I heard an amazing illustration from a speaker recently; Danny Wuerffel, who was a Heisman Trophy winner as a quarterback from the University of Florida, played 6 seasons in the NFL, then retired in 2003 & moved to the the Upper Ninth Ward in New Orleans to work with Desire Street Ministries (http://www.desirestreet.org), focused on serving some of the poorest of the poor in our country. Then Hurrican Katrina happened in 2005, and along with all of their neighbors, the Wuerffels lost everything. When they returned to start gutting houses, Danny said he remembers looking up & down his street, and all he could see were these empty shells of homes, with their muddy, destroyed contents in gigantic piles along the road.
All he could think about was how, just a couple of weeks earlier, all of this trash, including the pile in front of his own home, had been someone’s treasure. And literally in what seemed like the blink of an eye it was all turned to worthless garbage. Even his “precious” Heisman Trophy. It was devastating, but he said in that moment, he was thankful that everything that truly mattered to him the most on this earth- his wife, kids, and close friends & neighbors- were there by his side.
Why am I sharing this? And what does this have to do with photography?? I write this as a public reminder for myself & for others of the message from Luke 16:9- “Here is the lesson: use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.” I know that the photos I take won’t last forever. My goal as a photographer is not to try to convince you of all the huge, fancy prints & products you should buy to clutter your home. Do some of those things have an appropriate place in your home? I believe they can. But I hope the purpose behind them is to 1) display the genuine love captured in those photos, and 2) to encourage others by the loving example your family lives by. My parents, for example, have a huge wall in their living room covered with the wedding pictures from all 5 of us kids. And in the center of those photos is a large sign that reads “FAMILY: All because two people fell in love.”
What are the most important things in your life? I hope they are your family members, and I hope you continually pour everything into their lives. That’s what I want to capture with my photography. I believe it’s so important to use our material possessions & talents to bless others & strengthen relationships, otherwise they are completely meaningless & when they’re gone, they become useless trash. This is why I so love generational photos, and photo gifts for grandparents or parents… it’s a thank-you & a “I love you more than words can say” for the years of sacrifice & love they have poured into you.
It’s photos like these that make me choke up because of the significance behind them: (these are from a shoot awhile back with our dear friends Ryan & Lisa, (and their little angel Lorelai,) who recently moved to San Antonio to be closer to family, and we miss them terribly…)
All because two people fell in love. :)
In His Grip,