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Last year, I purchased a camera.

A Nikon D3500 to be exact.

Prior to purchasing the camera, I did as much research as possible to find the right fit for a beginner like me.

I am also extremely money conscious, so I needed this thing to be affordable first and foremost lol.

During my research, I came across a video by Jared Polin, a photographer and owner of FroKnowsPhoto. In the video, he spoke about the pros and cons of a Nikon D3500, in addition to the most important aspect of photography:

"I just want you to understand that the important thing in photography is glass. The quicker you can understand that better glass will result in better images for the most part, the quicker you will understand that better glass will help you out."

In other words, the lens that you attach to a camera body totally impacts the quality of photos taken.

Even an aesthetically pleasing camera body worth thousands is somewhat ineffective without the right lens.

Last week, my sister's best friend asked me to take a few photos to promote her skincare line, Boujee Bar Skincare LLC. Do yourself a favor and check out Havilah's products!

Havilah also happens to be my sister Alexis' best friend.

Alexis is a natural beauty.

I felt that between my lack of photography skills , the lighting, my nerves, and also the lens, the images did not quite capture who and what I saw in front of me.

The colors and the props that Havilah beautifully put together for the shoot did not quite translate on the D3500.

In that moment, all I could think about was the contrast between what I saw right in front of me, versus the image.

Fortunately, Havilah is a true artist, and with a little bit of creativity from the both of us, and her wonderful iPhone lol, she was able to capture some great photos of Alexis.

Nikon D3500 vs. iPhone X

Clearly, I need a better lens. I also need some photography lessons lol, but that's another story.

A new perspective.

What we typically see right in front us versus what is pictured is often times different.

Pictures can be distorted. The colors are not as vibrant. The intricacies that you would have seen in person are not fully displayed.

A few days ago, I had the urge to listen to Kirk Franklin's 2005 album, Hero. I loved that album the moment I listened to it for the first time in my teenage years. It impacts me even more so now than it did back then. "The Appeal," "Hero," "First Love," and "Could've Been" are some of my favorite songs on the album.

My favorite by far is "Imagine Me." It makes me cry like a baby every single time without fail lol.

Interestingly enough, my favorite part of the whole song is the very beginning when Kirk Franklin speaks and says, "Thank you for allowing me to see myself the way you see me."

Imagine the power of seeing yourself the way God sees you. Imagine how the creator of the universe sees you. Imagine the quality of that lens. His lens captures all of you with no distortions. No interferences. His lens is not tainted by the world's standards or ideas. His perspective of you is clear. Unlike a traditional camera lens which captures externals that are seen by the human eye, God's lens is both external and internal. He sees you for who you are and not what you appear to be.

There is no perspective of the created greater than that of the creator.

*With the author's permission, this piece is a reprint and first appeared on Arianna's website: "Thinking Out Loud" on 2.16.21 located at:

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