Finding beauty through a camera’s lens

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When I look at the world, I see ugliness. I see a society corrupted by greed and wrong-doings. I see nations torn apart by war and conflict. I see a place unworthy of good.

But, when I look at the world through the lens of my camera, I see beauty. I see individual people fueled by love and kindness. I see communities sustained by trust and camaraderie. I not only see a place worthy of good, I see the good.

I used to think that the photographs I took were just flukes– that the moments, the emotions, the sense of togetherness I captured were, most simply, too good to be true. Now, however, I realize that while it may be true that those moments, those emotions, that sense of togetherness were fleeting, that doesn’t mean they weren’t genuine– that doesn’t mean they aren’t still genuine.

Over time, I’ve learned that the beauty I capture, the good I capture, is always there– sometimes, it’s difficult to see in the moment, sometimes, it’s buried beneath layers of apparent ugliness. Fortunately, though, I think I’ve finally figured out how to peel back those layers.

For those of you who look at the world and can only see the ugliness, I invite you to look through the lens of my camera. Here are three personally tried-and-true steps to follow when you just can’t seem to find the beauty:


Step One: Take a step back.

Be it physically (like I did to capture the photos below) or emotionally, taking a step back and distancing yourself from a moment allows you to recognize it as something worth recognizing. After all, a forest is only able to be seen when you’re not in it.


Step Two: Recognize the extraordinary in the ordinary.

The best moments are the moments that aren’t planned, the moments that happen naturally. It can be as simple as your best friend looking in a classroom or as quick as a shadow being cast on a building you pass every day. If you can’t find beauty, don’t try to force it into existence– trust me, just take a look around and I’m sure you’ll find it’s already there.



Step Three: Find a story worth telling.

Everyone has a story to tell. Oftentimes, finding that story can transform even the ugliest moments and emotions into something beautiful, something good. I think I’ve found mine. Now it’s your turn. What story will you tell? What beauty will you find?