Receiving Pictures

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Great advice about photography can hit you when you least expect it. And I don’t often expect it when I’m in a church.

Nevertheless, there I was on Sunday morning when Glover Wagner of Pilgrim UCC here in Bozeman brought up photography and my ears suddenly pricked up.

Glover said photographs should not be taken, they should be received.

I’m going to say that again, because it’s important and this is a pretty short post: Photographs should be received, not taken or made.

I have a friend who is a great sculptor and painter and he’s trying to help me become a better artist. He talks about his work as eulogies, as expressions of gratitude. I think he would agree with Glover.

I think great pictures and great art works are the receiving of gifts. They are an expression of gratitude for having known the object or person photographed, and also an attempt to share the subject — and the wonder associated with it — with others.

Go figure.

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