What it means to be still

There are so many reasons I love being a photographer.

The energy of the people who are dressed their best, feeling beautiful as they twirl and kiss their spouses and hug their children. The way people tend to sparkle when they feel beautiful. The excitement I get out of chasing the best light and stealing killer sunsets. Getting creative with poses, apertures, shutter speeds, and techniques. Collecting lenses and awesome equipment to make my images even better than before (much to my hubby’s dismay).

But my all-time favorite thing is getting to freeze something so unique, so beautiful, so candid–that it would go unrecognized and forgotten without my lens. The little moments that have such little significance because of their brevity, yet completely define who we are.


That feels like a superpower almost.

Oftentimes I’ll be editing images and I’ll just stare at an image of the small smile and the far-off look of one of my clients, light reflecting in their eyes just so. Quiet hands. Content. Brief. Perfect.

We need more of those moments.

kissy baby

We hear it all the time. Be still and know that I am God. Yet we fill our lives with static. The radio, Netflix, our cell phones, Facebook, our own voices. We tend to fill the voids and the empty spaces with stuff. We don’t pause enough. We don’t take those moments–those beautiful, thoughtful, peaceful moments that I see through my lens–and cherish them. I’m to blame for that as well.

I think a lot of us think of being still as just not stressing out and choosing to be patient while trusting and knowing that God is there and will work it out. And while that’s probably a big part of it, I think being still is also very literal.

NICU shot

Pause yourself and sit for a while in your snapshot. Spend time with those you love, free of phones and tablets and noise.

Take time to think and read your scriptures and pray. Set things down, quiet your hands, and turn off the TV. When life gets to be too much, realize that at least 50% of that “too much” are things you can control. Things you can shut off. Things you can set aside for awhile to just be still.

I’m a busy body too, and need the constant reminder that my answers will come and my stresses will relieve when I give myself time to just quiet down and listen, free of technology and work and all the other trivial things that steal my attention. I need to give way more than a few minutes a day to the very creator of time.

Whether you are suffering from depression, a physical illness, every day stress, or the pains of waiting on an answer that hasn’t shown up yet–you won’t find your peace amidst the noise.

be still

1 Kings 19:11-12 says, “…the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”

We are blessed to have the voice of the Creator speak right to us. We are so entirely blessed that He’s on our side, despite everything.

We just have to be still and find those moments of clarity.

And we have to let ourselves listen.


4 thoughts on “What it means to be still

  1. Love your thought about photos and snapshots. I always tell people to write about their photos – particularly those who are not into journaling or creativity. Keeping a journal is so important – and if we write down what the photo reminds us of, it not only helps us, but our posterity who may want to know us better.

  2. Oh my gosh! You have no idea how much this spoke to me, today especially.
    I am going through some pretty real and significant trials, and as much as I hate to say it, these trials have catapulted me into a place of doubt when it comes to my faith. This post hit my heart and mind today in a good way. Thanks for sharing!

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