less of me, more of Him

by Dawn Camp on April 18, 2014

in faith

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This Easter week I’ve pondered how much simpler and fuller my life would be if I focused less on me and more on Him.

I stopped to shop for a new Easter dress for myself, then remembered I’m two days behind on my seven day Bible plan, which covers the final chapters of each of the four gospels. Last year I spent the weeks leading up to Easter re-reading all of the gospels (if you want to feel more intimately connected to Jesus Christ, I highly recommend it; although I’m always aware of his wisdom, I was reminded of his wit and his humanity) and this year I seem to be too busy to keep up with two chapters a day for one week.

I cut my shopping trip short, aware that I need to worry more about my head and my heart than my clothes.

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I saw a man with a sign that read Homeless Veteran. I looked in his eyes as I passed and it felt like he saw inside my priority-twisted soul. If he wanted to attract attention, he didn’t pick the best spot to lay his bucket and his pack. I couldn’t shake the thought that he wasn’t supposed to be seen by all, only those who passed down this lane, those like me who needed to wake up and see him—see Him. Always less of me, more of Him.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

~Matthew 25:37-40

I drove back later and asked if he needed something to eat. “No,” he replied, pointing to a plastic bag hung on the fence to keep away ants. I handed him some cash, it felt like so little, and he looked into my eyes and simply said, “Happy Easter” with more feeling than I’m likely to hear or speak this weekend.

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Last week I attended Photoshop World here in Atlanta and honestly, I was a little lonely. Thankfully my husband drove in and spent the first night with me and attended two classes the next day, but I spent most of the three-day conference on my own.

Almost every time the thought entered my head, I felt the response—you are not alone—as clearly as if it were spoken.

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I want my faith to be more than a bandaid for the hurts. If I only hit my knees when there’s nowhere left to go, I miss the joys of sweet fellowship day by day, surrounded by His presence, my ever-faithful constant friend.

Lord, help me focus less on my needs and more on others’; grant me both the opportunity and willingness to be your hands and feet; let me feel your presence. I pray for revival in our country, for men and women willing to uphold your word, unashamed and unhindered by the political correctness that stifles conversation and breeds confusion.

Make me more like you: less judgmental, more merciful.

Give me hope, for without it I am lost.

Less of me, more of Him.

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This 2005 Easter morning photo is a classic representation of motherhood, even though I’m not in it: mom plans the children’s clothing in meticulous detail—matching shoes and hairbands, coordinated outfits, nothing but the best—and just wants one photo to commemorate her efforts. {You moms know that I probably wore an old, un-ironed dress and didn’t have time to fix my own hair. This remains undocumented, because I’m not in any of the photos.}

The kids want no part of it—too young to understand mom’s tireless efforts—except for the oldest (and you can tell that he’s much older than the rest), who shows sympathy and tries to rally the troops.

A photo taken this Easter morning, 9 years later, might produce the same results, although my kids are older and some of them don’t mind being in pictures (if selfies count). I’m still waging the same internal battle about how soon it’s appropriate to wear white shoes. This year I chose gold and off-white for my youngest girls, just to be safe, but I obviously took the frugal position of just one pair for the whole summer—in white—in 1995.

I’m joining my friend Jessica, who starts a new series today called Throwback Thursday Stories, the story behind the photos.

Question: Do you buy Easter clothes for your kids and if so, do you get something new, too?

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Today was the second of Photoshop World here in Atlanta (find the day 1 recap here), another great day of inspiration. My husband attended two sessions, visited the Expo Hall, and met some of my KelbyOne (formerly NAPP) buddies, which made it extra special for me.

Here’s what I did:

Session 1

Class: Thinking Outside the Box
Instructor: Joel Grimes
Track: Photoshop Skills

I was a little late for this class, which started at 8:15 a.m. (that’s my perfect excuse), but I wish I’d seen the whole thing. He showed samples of stacking images in camera (like on this website) and I totally want to know if it’s possible on my Nikon D700.

Session 2

Class: The Creative Portrait
Instructor: RC Concepcion
Track: Photoshop for Photographers

I had major technical difficulties during this class—my iPad locked me out for nearly an hour (I think my keyboard in my purse wasn’t turned off and I was accidentally typing the wrong password over and over) and my phone locked up and eventually needed a hard reset—but I took two pages of notes on borrowed paper.

Quotes:
“Find your courage.”
“Sharpening is like pasta: it’s all to taste.”

Session 3

Class: Top 10 Headshot Blunders
Instructor: Peter Hurley
Track: Photography Techniques

Peter Hurley’s classes make me want to hang my white backdrop and start shooting headshots.

Quote:
“Posing isn’t authentic.”

Session 4

Class: Creating Your Own Custom Photo Books with Lightroom 5
Instructor: Scott Kelby
Track: Lightroom

Why haven’t I made Blurb books from Lightroom’s Book Module? Beats me. This looks so fun!

Tips:
Keeping a small 7″ x 7″ book in your camera bag can open doors.
People prefer looking at the 8″ x 10″ book instead of the largest sizes.
The softcover books are great quality and what Scott orders most.
You get a 20% discount on your order if you leave the small Blurb logo on the back page of your book.

Session 5

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Class: Live Food Photography Shoot
Instructor: Joe Glyda
Track: Lighting

Fascinating stuff! Joe didn’t even talk about his X-Rite MSCCPP ColorChecker Passport (<—affiliate link), but after seeing it and reading up on it, I’m going to search the Expo Hall tomorrow for a good deal on one. I’ve carried a torn up gray card ripped out of the back of a Scott Kelby book in my camera bag for too many years.

Quote:
“The secret to food photography is backlight.”

Session 6

Class: Bad A$$ Text Effects
Instructor: Corey Barker
Track: Creative Cloud/Graphics

By this point I’d officially attended a session in each of the 7 tracks. Corey never fails to amaze me with his creativity.

Tip:
The 3D and Properties panel are the most needed for Corey’s heavy duty text effects.

Session 7

Class: Zack’s Daily Lightroom Tips & Practices
Instructor: Zack Arias
Track: Lightroom

Zack is one of my favorite instructors: genuine and informative. I wrapped my brain (or at least my notes, practice makes perfect) around a technique that I’d seen but not understood in Lightroom. I realized today that my favorite images came from photographers who did the least editing. Go figure. This is an interesting revelation to a girl who loves to edit.

Sadly, the Lightroom track is on a hallway that’s too stinkin’ cold, but I’ve been to the Cobb Galleria Center enough to know to carry a sweater or jacket.

Great Scott Kelby Interview

Check out this new interview with Scott Kelby about the new KelbyOne and the vision behind his company. I’m all about continuing education and honestly, I bawled over this video. Watch it and see. It will make you want to go teach somebody something that you love.

I look forward to another great day of classes tomorrow!

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Photoshop World Atlanta, Day One

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