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Who I work for

December 22nd, 2010

I met Maggie Ingram on a cold December night for a portrait shoot. We shook hands and went through the normal motions of getting to know each other. I asked her to bring her daughters with her, not only because she regularly sings with them, but because I wanted her to be surrounded by loved ones in hopes that she would be more comfortable. I started setting up a single light and sat Maggie in a chair with a hymnal. I asked if she had a favorite song she could sing for me while I tested the lighting.  She looked at her daughters and started into a beautiful hymn. Slowly Maggie began to clutch her hymnal and her eyes closed, her voice rose and soon, she was lost. To her, nobody else was in the room, nobody could hear her except for her God.  It was a moment in my life I will never forget. At no point have I ever felt more surrounded by the Lord. I could feel him all around me. I couldn’t help but shed a tear and by the time she opened her eyes and sang the last note, I had it.

Moments like this help me to forget about all earthly worries that weigh me down as a professional, a man, a husband, a father. Its a beautiful reminder of what life is all about: Living for God.

I used to keep my favorite verse on the front page of my website,  Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Faith seems to be something we don’t talk about in a professional setting.  Often, it is laughed upon and I say nothing to defend it. I am disappointed in myself for not keeping it there when I went through my rebranding, but my hopes are that I do a better job of keeping my faith on the forefront of my business in the new year.

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

I often find that I get depressed when looking at other photographers amazing work or see what exciting projects they are working on.  In the past this has eaten away at me and made me think less and less of myself. For the past year, I have prayed nightly that I can put my personal, business ambitions aside, and place it entirely in the hands of the Lord.  I want to work for Him.  By recalibrating my standards of success, from appeasing the industry to finding value in my family, friends, and the love of photography, I have found a richness I never anticipated.

I may not be as wise or gracious as Maggie, but I long to see my photography as my hymn and may it be glorifying to my Lord.

29 Responses

  1. Aaron S says:

    Your best post yet. Well done.

  2. Nicole Unice says:

    I love this Casey. You’ve captured a moment here that shows that God has truly gifted you in an extraordinary way. I’m proud to be your friend and love your honesty as you write about the struggle to be both “in the world but not of the world.” Stay surrendered my friend.

  3. Thanks for your transparency Case. I know God will bless it.

  4. Wonderful portrait and wonderful words. Thanks for posting this Casey and sharing your heart.

  5. Ashley says:

    Such a wonderful description of your passion to serve our God. I am so proud to be your bride.

  6. beautiful post Casey. thanks so much for sharing – inspiring to say the least. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  7. Sarah says:

    Casey, your photographs speak volumes about not only your subjects but about your faith. Amazing photographs! Your posts reflect that you are a man of few words, but those words are chosen carefully and are both sincere and powerful. Thank you for sharing your nightly prayer with your readers. Your doing so encourages us to do the same. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family!

  8. Keith Newnam says:

    Casey,

    Thank you for sharing this story. Your work is beautiful and this photograph spoke to our family. You are truly talented and it is apparant that your Faith is a priority. May you and your family be Blessed this Christmas .

  9. Jenny Brady says:

    What a beautiful post. I am honored to know you, Casey. May God continue to bless you and your precious family. Merry Christmas!

  10. Mimi says:

    Casey, you have your priorities in the right place. GD & I are very proud of you. You have a wonderful family and you make that happen.

  11. Alex Suarez says:

    Superb images, Casey. I’m certain that Maggie Ingram was thrilled with them.

  12. Pat says:

    My goodness. I didn’t think it was possible to love you more or be more proud to know you… but I do and I am. Plus, you’ve made me cry at work. Not good. Not good at all.

  13. gd says:

    Casey it is wonderful a job. Your faith shines throughj. We are so proud of you.

  14. Mom says:

    Beautiful story Casey, I was very touched . I have shared the same feeling that Maggie had when she was singing. Now you see why I love singing in a choir so much ! I would love to sing in Maggie’s choir ! I am very proud of you !

  15. Debbie J says:

    Well said young man.

  16. Your Friend says:

    Casey, faith is nothing to be marketed, so don’t regret the decisions you made with your brand. The way you conduct business, with integrity and by the example of Christ is what truly matters. Remember, don’t say you are a man of faith. Be a man of faith and lead by example, as you always have and will. Merry Christmas to you guys. I’m honored to be your friend.

  17. Kin says:

    Casey….awesome story of faith. I want to be that man too. Keep doing what you do. Great photos too. You must be a JMU grad. :)

  18. Ben Bender says:

    Thank you for this post, Casey. I’ve enjoyed your blog, but this is the best post I’ve read from you.

  19. Tripp says:

    Thanks for being such an inspiration brother!

  20. Esther says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today so thank you for listening to that Inner Voice and being sensitive enough to it (and having the guts!) to post this. I often think I am the only person that finds myself being discouraged by others’ creativity: will I ever be good enough? Is this what I’m called to do? I find myself flabbergasted that someone with your level of talent would feel this way but on the other hand, I am not surprised, we all battle these demons, no? You are telling a great story with your life and work!

    Ahh, I just can’t say thank you enough for sharing this.

  21. Rebekah says:

    Thank you so much for the encouragement, Casey! It’s so refreshing to see artists and photographers so open with their faith and to share the core reason behind why they do what they do. I feel inspired and encouraged today, thank you!

  22. julie buchner says:

    Casey how beautiful, refreshing and honest. Your thoughts blessed me. Thank you. Lord bless your family – we miss seeing you guys!

  23. Alicia White says:

    Wow — I wanted to take a moment and say that this posting really inspired me and reached a place of pure honesty that not many put out there. I always remind myself Psalm 46:!0, “Be Still and Know That I Am God” — it often brings me out of any fear or sadness and is an amazing comfort I can’t find words to express :-)

  24. Marangelie says:

    this was incredibly inspiring. a beautiful reminder.

  25. Steve South says:

    Casey – you have touched on a deeper level of reality than I think you realize. Thanks for being so vulnerable and transparent. His Presence. His Love – nothing more, nothing less. I admire and respect you Casey.

  26. Ally says:

    Haven’t visited you blog in a few months but I am a huge fan of your work. Yes. it is so hard to know where to “fit” God into our professional work but it shouldn’t be. We should always take every opportunity to spread God’s Grace whether we are on a stage or in our everyday routines. Thank you for reminding us.

  27. Mumtaz says:

    It’s really great to know I get to work with a man of faith (every so often). I remind myself always that I must do my work as unto God, afterall it is He who gave me every ability I have/display. Thanks Casey, your work does glorify God, especially when we boast about Him.

  28. […] I worked on a comprehensive project about pigeon racing for National Geographic Magazine (http://www.caseytempleton.com/pigeonsculture/) and I had a blast. Take a look at the project and you’ll be able to see why. What does the future hold for you? I hope that the best is yet to come, it is out of my hands: http://blog.caseytempleton.com/photography/whoiworkfor/ […]

  29. Katie says:

    Thanks for the reminder! When taking photos and looking at others I think about the verse

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

    It reminds me to be just enjoy and take notice of everything that’s beautiful and worthy of my attention while staying away from negativity.

    Thanks again, so refreshing!

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