Is it Worth it?

by | Jun 21, 2010 | Perspective | 0 comments

Do you ever wonder if all the time you’re putting into learning photography will ever be worth it? I have felt this way many times. As I live to make every moment count, I sometimes find it difficult to keep learning and taking pictures if there are no immediate results.

But now, my perspective has totally changed. All the hours and years of experience suddenly came into play a few weeks ago. On the 5th of June, a special delegation of Peruvian leaders arrived at the IBLP Headquarters. There were government leaders, prominent lawyers and a number of influential businessmen. It was late in the afternoon when Mr. Gothard asked me to take their portraits. “When” I asked, knowing that they would be here for a few days. “Tonight” was the reply. What! The portrait studio was all packed up and in Nashville waiting for transport back to Chicago. “Can we wait until the studio gets back?” I shouldn’t have asked. “OK, we’ll take their portraits tonight!” I said.

Because of what I’d learned over the years, the task–that would have seemed impossible a few years ago– was quickly and efficiently accomplished. It took some creativity to shoot without the customary equipment, but that’s why we learn in the first place: to figure out how to tackle the impossible! It wasn’t easy, but it also didn’t feel any different than taking anyone else’s portrait. The lights you operate, the camera you hold, and the poses you use are in no way affected by the person you shoot.

Perhaps you won’t be asked to take portraits of Peruvian leaders; perhaps it will be a long time before you are in the position to be asked to do something unexpected. But the day will come! Will you be ready?

This reminds me of the parable Jesus told in Matthew 25 about the secret to being ready for the unexpected. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13). Watch, stay awake, be vigilant, work while it is yet day, for “the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). It’s worth it to be prepared!

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