The Photographer

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Forty two years! I can honestly say we have a very happy marriage.

As we sipped our morning coffee and replied to messages of congratulations, I decided to haul out our wedding album. As I looked at it, I was reminded how disappointed I had always been with my wedding photos. The photographer who took them was an amateur, recommended by a friend of my fiancé and a lot cheaper than a professional photographer. We were on a budget.

My best friend had a beautiful wedding album. The photos were black and white and had a dreamy look. I told our photographer I wanted black and white photos. Instead of looking dreamy, they came out harsh and in high contrast. He caught the family photo in front of the church with us all half in shade and half in sun. He did manage to minimize the shadow to a certain extent during the printing process but there is still a faint line stretching across all of us.

Yesterday, for the first time, instead of thinking about my disappointment, I thought about the photographer.

In those days there were no digital cameras. You got a spool of 36 frames and you had no way of knowing what your camera had captured until you developed and printed them. I can imagine the sick feeling he must have had when he first looked at his photos.

I’ve learned a bit of photography myself since then. I’ve taken photos at parties where some of the faces aren’t even in focus! Fortunately I can quickly delete those and nobody needs to know. Imagine having to submit a contact sheet for examination! A photographer knows a good photo from a bad. If I was disappointed, how must he have felt? I wonder if he ever photographed another wedding? Maybe he learned from his mistakes and got better and better. I’ll never know.

What this incident has shown me, however, is how selfish I still am. I see all events through the narrow focus of myself. After forty two years I am now finally able to release my disappointment with my wedding photos and the photographer. I hope I’ll be able to look at other events in my life and see the bigger picture, not my own selfish feelings.

My prayer

Father God, forgive me for my selfishness. Please give me the eyes to see things the way You see them. Grant me the compassion and understanding of Christ. Amen.

This post is part of JusJoJan

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