While searching for inspiration on another piece, I stumbled on several versions of The Photographer’s Prayer. Here is the most popular version:
Oh God, as I bring my subject into focus and prepare to make each portrait,
never let me forget that I’m creating treasures for some family,
a keepsake for loved ones.
Make me sensitive to the qualities and virtues of others,
that I may draw out into the light the beautiful radiant belongings of their hearts.
Help me to be an artist,
collecting the beauty of every soul,
the glow of youth,
the laughter or tears of each life that is precious in Thy sight.
Deeper than a means of livelihood,
give me the perspective to see my photographer’s art as a service to others,
making life richer and more memorable.
And, dear Lord, between the lights and shadows,
the ups and downs and the rolling years,
keep me from getting out of focus or off center,
so that my life and work may be framed with dignity and colored with contentment …
Further research led me to this one, which to me strikes a chord in my heart due to the similarity to the Prayer for Generosity of St. Ignatius of Loyola:
Lord be in my eyes
So I may find your beauty,
Be in my hands
So I may capture your art
Be in my heart
So I may do so with humility
And in a manner that glorifies your work
Last but not least, I found this poem by Jon Katz on his blog, which reminds me of Robert Frost’s poem Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening:
The moon came to the old photographer one night,
with a sweet offer.
“The sun has been your faithful lover for years,
I will offer my cool soft light to you,
the gift of brilliant light at the end of every month.
What do you say, old boy?,
you can bring your tripod and your big new lenses
and bask in my moonlight,
your faithful dog at your feet,
your settings wheel in hand.”
The old photographer laughed,
blew a kiss at the moon,
“Sweet thing,” he said, “there can be no deal.
I already sold my soul to the sun,
you know he is a jealous lover, a tough negotiator,
he has a corporate deal with the devil,
I get photographer’s light, twice a day, 100 times a year –”
“Oh,” said the moon, “poor old photographer, better you
traded for wine, what did you give him? I see it has snowed for 40 days.”
“Why, my best lens,” the old photographer said,
“I traded my best lens. I never thought to ask about the other days…”
The moon laughed his chilly and foreboding laugh,
it sent shivers up the old photographer’s spine.
“I hope you won’t hate the silly old photographer for that,”
he called for his dog, and yelled again over his shoulder, up at the sky,
“I hope you won’t sue this silly old photographer for that.”