Writing with Light

We’ve heard the famous quotes, “A photo tells one thousand word“ and, “Eyes are the window to the soul.“

But how do you look through a window into someone else’s soul and sum up the one thousand words that make up their story?

The answer is; very carefully.

People are valuable and dare I say, ‘fragile?!’ That being said, we should treat people and their stories with honor and dignity.

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I don’t know about you but my own story often feels fragmented between messy and magical. There are moments of immense beauty and wonder and then there are sharp moments of pain and disappointment. The ups and downs ebb and flow through the days, weeks and months that make up my life. One thing that I’ve learned, is that just because I have a bad moment in my day where something unexpected comes up, doesn’t mean that I’m living a bad life. There is always good to be found, even in difficult seasons.

We can’t control what happens to us but we do have the power and ability to choose the way that we respond to the circumstances that arise in our lives. 

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Photography is something that I’m deeply passionate about. It is so much more than just composition and camera settings, people posing and smiling. Photographs are a powerful way of conveying emotion, of telling our own and other people’s stories. Photos preserve history and culture.

I started photography 12 years ago when my brother died because it was a tangible way to keep memories close. But since then, it has morphed into something deeper. It’s been a way of intertwining my story with others. With finding beauty in barren places. I have a firm belief that God has planted truth in me that needs to grow and take root in the words that I speak, in the pictures that I take. 

When I was young and living in Guatemala, I would watch the women in the markets weave together threads of all different colors to create a “Corte” which was a long piece of fabric that the women would wrap around themselves as a skirt to keep warm in the cool, mountain climate.

Similarly, I feel like everyone that I meet has a thread to add to my tapestry and I’m slowly weaving it all together into a long tape-story (tapestry + story, get it?) that I will wrap around myself and wear for the rest of my life.

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With Film, photos were developed in the dark room.

Similarly, our stories are shaped by how we are developed in our own dark places. Real stories are born out of  vulnerability. 

Photography literally means,
“Writing with light.“

As someone who follows Jesus, I believe that I actually have a powerful part to play in writing light into other people’s stories. And my camera is a practical way of doing that.

We can show people value by opening up our eyes, opening up our lenses and truly seeing them and allowing them to see themselves from another perspective and ultimately from God‘s perspective. 

The past couple of months, I have taken on teaching the Photo Track on our Creative DTS. It has made me really dig deep into the why and what behind what I do with my camera.

We’ve learned the photo basics and done some fun assignments, learned how to tell our own stories but the thing that I’m most excited about is that we’ve gone out and met people on the streets and put into practice using our cameras to thread together the stories inside of each person that we meet and interact with.

Come follow along with us as we walk the streets of Brisbane and meet people and hear their stories: TOBRISSYWITHLOVE.

Cheers! Gretta

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