Rosalee was invited to submit a guest blog post for our site after seeing her portraits of Aaron and Cynthia (pictured above), who are currently preparing to become missionaries in Bolivia with the EFCCM. We are living in a time where image has unprecedented importance, and we hope you’ll appreciate a photographer’s take on it.
Hi my name is Rosalee Roy and I am a photographer. Now, normally I would go on to tell you about my images and how great they are, but God has led me to say something totally different.
I recently watched a series online called “Why Jesus Creates Art”. This series taught me so much and has totally changed my view on my work and why I do it. I want to share what I have learned and hopefully this can be beneficial for you as well.
I am created in the image of God who allows me to create. (Genesis 1:27) If I wasn’t created in the image of him I couldn’t create at all. God gave me a gift so I need to reflect this back to him in worship but I also reflect this out to everyone else which is my mission. Now most people will start to think “Great! God made me to create awesome stuff and so I’ll just go out and do that”….. the problem with that is that its not about me and how awesome I am, its about how I am created in the image of God but unfortunately it became all messed up in the beginning (Adam and Eve – Genesis). God gave us 3 main things, LIFE, CREATIVITY and the CROSS. I cannot understand creativity until I understand the cross and what Jesus did for me.
For most artists, jealousy is a HUGE factor. I’m being totally honest here so please bear with me. I have a hard time enjoying other peoples work. I immediately think, they are better then me and/or I get all puffed up and think I’m so much better then them because Im trying to compensate for a cool pose or location that I’ve never thought of myself ….. and so on. This is not a character default, its sin and I need to repent of that. Now, the proper way I need to be thinking and doing my work is this way: I acknowledge God, and because of the cross I can now take this gift (photography) and bounce it back up to God as worship, and then it reflects back out just like a mirror which is love to other people.
To put it in simpler terms, God is the creator; he creates us in his image so that we can create. This is FREEDOM, it lets us just love God and do our stuff. Most artists believe and think that their whole life is in their art and that their craft is their whole being, but it totally isn’t. Being an artist is NOT a higher calling then being a Christian. If the highest calling is being a Christian, then I need to celebrate the gift of Jesus and what he has done for me. People think that because they are an artist, that they get a pass on Mission…..well, to put it bluntly, it didn’t come from you, it came from Christ.
One of the most amazing things that I learned from this series is that God will still love me whether or not I get any better at my craft. And since he will still love me not matter if I get better or not, shouldn’t that prompt me to want to do better? Not because he WILL love us but because he HAS loved us? I need to know that Jesus loves me and then go out and make good stuff (photos). Its because of the acknowledgement of the cross that I want to create things to be great.
As a person that owns her own business, you would think that all I should be doing is be focusing on building a bigger audience, but if you focus on the story instead and tell your story well, that will captivate people. My goal is not to get more Twitter followers or more Facebook friends, its about opening the door to an audience who want to see my work. It’s not about the numbers, it about creating something that makes people happy. Is what I’m creating loving to people? If not, then there is a serious issue because Jesus loves people, and if I don’t then I have a real problem.
God created us to make things. Relationships, Families, jobs…….. God didn’t place Adam in the Garden and say “sit on your butt, slack off and enjoy”, instead he told him to “till the field”. We were created to make great things and we messed it up due to our sin. The bottom line is I want to be excellent because God is excellent.
I pray that for each reader and that they will be able to learn from this as well and that as Christians we need to strive for greatness because God is great!
If you would like to take a look at my portfolio and my blog, please go to my website: www.rosaleeroy.com
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! :-)