photography: a contemplative way of seeing life differently


Every picture (or photograph) tells a story. But what if we were to simply make one up in response to what we see? I actually do that all the time to some extent, when writing poetry to go with a photograph I have taken.

When using photographs contemplatively, the image itself acts as a prompt to stir contemplation and creativity. Words follow soon after. It’s a kind of contemplative seeing via a camera lens.

And an art I am slowly learning with every photo I take. It’s very satisfying to see more than the image presents itself as. To use our imagination and be able to trace God’s hand at work in what is before our eyes. It requires me to still my soul and focus on the object before me, while I take several snaps from different angles to gain a fresh perspective.

Today I am venturing back into the Twittering Tales creative exercise which my blogging friend, Kat Myrman shares on her site, among her eclectic and delightful offerings! I have written three responses, telling a consecutive story.

God inhabits our life story and seemingly ordinary days, making them sacred by His Presence. Our intentional holy-ordinary seeing helps pave the way for growing awareness of His grace in our lives.


Almost obscured by leaves
this sign breathes renewed
hope into her sad soul
signalling a new beginning
where joy and optimism
overcomes pain

(139 characters)


We hop

She squirms higher in her seat because, at age 5, she can barely read. But she sees “hop we” as indicator of her family being happier here.
(139 characters)

Secrets lurk within

Hedged in by dense
undergrowth, accessed
by dusty driveway
a house stands proud
looks inviting but is
far from it, for deep
secrets lurk within

(140 characters)


This week’s photo prompt is based on the image at the top of my post, courtesy of Leigh Heasley at  If you would like to participate in Twittering Tales, you can find the rules and link up advice here.

**Are you interested in discovering more about the practice of contemplative photography? Here’s a helpful book by Christine Valters Paintner that’s on my wish list! My friend, Kate Kennington Steer has a great contemplative eye. Her Instagram feed is well worth following** 🙂

11 thoughts on “photography: a contemplative way of seeing life differently

    • Thanks, Kat! It never ceases to amaze me how inspiration comes in response to a photo prompt. And I really enjoyed creating these Twittering Tales! Thank you for hosting it. 😊💜

    • How kind and generous of you, Michael! It’s good to stretch ourselves creatively sometimes. I haven’t participated in this exercise for months, so I was really pleased to receive some thoughts to share! Bless you for sharing them with your readers. 😊💜

  1. Oh Dear Joy, I have to say that your “Hop We” has just made my day! What a precious perspective, from the eyes of a young heart, that doesn’t get everything “right” by adult standards, but yet brings such a sweet heart into focus for those of us who’ve grown older and crustier in our perfections. Oh may I let the Lord stir up that child-like heart within me as well. So glad to see your “twittering tales” back here again! Love and Hugs to you my friend!

    • Dear Bettie, I was grateful to have considered a child’s perspective with this prompt! Maybe that’s all it takes to maintain a child-like heart? An openness to the adventures of life and trying to see things as though they are fresh and new, even if we feel old, fatigued or jaded. I think your heart’s desire will be answered, my friend. Because God delights in us being as children before Him, coming with open minds and hearts. May it be so, Lord! This venture into Twittering Tales is to give my readers some light relief after last week’s rather deep and somewhat stodgy offering. Lent might lend itself to deep reflective thoughts but it also encompasses opening our eyes to God’s presence with us. Joy and Hope sit beside the hard and dark. Love and hugs to you too! xo 😊💜

  2. Pingback: Twittering Tales #73 – 27 February 2018 | like mercury colliding...

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