Idolizing Photography: All Hail the Camera

It may not be a golden calf, but idolizing this gorgeous piece of glass and tech is just as deadly to the human heart.

What a wonderful piece of technology a camera is and how amazing it is that we as photographers can use this tool to bless so many families. That said, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing! It’s a daily battle fix our eyes upon the cross, give Jesus our full attention and keep cameras in our peripheral vision where they belong.

 

Do you feel like you have your spiritual and work life balanced? Read the following clues to determine if photography has become an idol:

 

If you mind wanders to f stops, client emails, props, session inspiration every waking second, then photography has become an idol.

Thinking about how to light the worship team Sunday morning instead of you know… worshiping? Yep, been there. Addicted to your photo groups on Facebook? Yep.

 

If you’re playing with your kids, but secretly you’d rather be editing a session, photography has become an idol.

As parents we claim the love for our kids is second only to God and spouse. So if you’ve caught yourself putting the kids second to your photography business, then chances are you’ve put it before God as well.

 

If client emails, marketing, editing and shooting edge out daily devotions, photography has become an idol.

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33  I take this verse literally. Before client emails, seek God first and get in a daily devotion. The way you order your day, should give you a good idea of what your heart desires most.

 

And finally, if, out of everything else in life, you are HAPPIEST with your camera and photoshop, photography is definitely an idol.

Be honest! What excites you most in your day? Where does your joy lie? Christianity is not just rules to live by, but a relationship with a Savior who delights when you delight in Him!

When you give your heart an honest look, you’ll see the passion you feel for photography can become first in your life faster than the click of a shutter. We naturally love to learn new things, but there’s a significant difference between mastering a subject and letting it become your master.  Matthew 6:24 tells us 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” God sees the big picture and the Bible promises in Phil 1:6 “that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Use the wide angle lens in your mind and zoom out, so far away that you can see the entire expanse of earth. And then notice a small speck- that barely visible speck is your life. When you think of all the people who have lived before and all that have yet to be born and then think of the vast universe, you’re life may seem insignificant, but not so; Jesus sacrificed all for you, a small speck made in His image.  What an honor to have! Yet, despite our humble size, down in our microscopic microcosm we feel huge and, like the Israelites and their Golden Calf, replace God with earthly idols that will wear out, break and disappoint. Let the Lord reorder your priorities without holding anything back and “all these things will be added unto you”  All these things may not be success in photography, but more precious than any camera or client, is the blessing of knowing Jesus. Fix your eyes on our eternal God who loves,  forgives and guides!

 

Daily Tips:

Start your day right. You’re client can (most likely) wait a few minutes while you mediate and pray.

Hectic days happen. You skipped devotions that morning, but things finally slow down in the evening and you get a chance to sit down to edit. Stop! Make a habit of asking yourself, “Have I prayed and read scripture yet?” Do this before you start any new activity. This works for movies too! Before sitting down for a family movie, ask yourself if you have prayed together as a family that day and if not, stop and talk to God. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” Before photography, entertainment, family, you name it.

Verses to Meditate on:

 “…that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” Matthew 6:24

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it…” Exodus 32:7-8 

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