opening my eyes to see the story I’m in…

paparazzi Naomi…

I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.” – Jesus: John 16:33

I really appreciate the positive response to yesterday’s post. Sometimes photography gives me so much more joy than I had bargained for – and the Campbell family photo shoot was certainly one of those occasions. So it’s nice when it’s apparent that some of that joy is effectively communicated via this blog.

It was also great fun to take a few photographs with a real SLR camera for a change, but then, after I had posted, I remembered about the handful of extra pictures I also had on my phone.

15726808_10100871692288962_4300095678991782849_nAfter taking a look at them this morning I’m reminded that good photography is more about paying attention to what’s around me, and then remembering to open my eyes to see clearly, than necessarily having the most elaborate equipment. The old joke in my family goes like this: “You can give grandma a five dollar Polaroid, or a three thousand dollar Nikon DSLR – either way she’s going to cut someone’s head off!”

Consequently, two of my favorite photos from the Joyner Park expedition are this one of the children waiting for the next “real” shot, and then the above picture of Naomi after she grabbed the DSLR and started taking pictures of the children with me.

I believe an image that tells a story is a much more effective piece of photography than something spectacularly beautiful, but without anything to say. Having both is better still; but, given the choice, I’d pick story any time.

I believe an image that tells a story is a much more effective piece of photography than something spectacularly beautiful, but without anything to say…

img_7087-002Recently, I’ve really enjoyed taking pictures along with our daughter, Naomi. She’s always had a great eye for art, but over the past couple of years her photographs have elevated simple portraits to meaningful stories (she did the photo of me leaning against the barn – the one I’m using as the title header). When you see one of Naomi’s photographs you feel invited in, and that’s not easy to do. Too many portraits – even many prepared by paid professionals – tend to be one dimensional; but Naomi’s have extra layers, and she’s getting better all the time.

Pay close attention to this space over the next few days, because my camera will be heading to some beautiful locations. In the meanwhile, take a moment or two to wrap up 2016 with a few purposeful conversations centered around gratitude. Tell people about your blessings, and what you have learned from this year, as well as your hopes and vision for 2017. Then take pause and pray.

Grateful, yet still loaded with anticipation – DEREK

Family relationships Uncategorized

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. derek, There is a picture of you and Geoff taken many years ago and Geoff has the same stanch as you do. Legs crossed, leaning against something (it may have been you) with at least one hand in the pocket. When I saw your picture it reminded me of him. I know you miss him much. Happy New Year and safe travels to visit family. sandee

    Liked by 1 person

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