Thursday, June 10, 2010

BLOG SERIES || PART 3 of 3 || HOW HOT IS TOO HOTT?

Hello, Hello!

Today we will wrap our 3-part series on the Do’s and Don’ts of Photography and Photo Sharing! Be sure to look back at the past two posts if this is your first visit to the blog within this series. I hope this has been an eye opening walk-through for you and has caused you to seriously re-evaluate some areas in your life, or even (and I hope this most of all) it has encouraged you that you are seeking to glorify God “in all things”.

The fact is, when you post something on the internet or you text a picture, you don’t have control of what other people might do with it or how it could be used elsewhere. Once they are posted online, you are giving full rights to your image to anyone, even a creeper! I know this seems gross, but it’s the truth.

The reality is many guys and men struggle with the area of lustful thoughts (which is stimulated by what they see) so we cannot afford to be ignorant about how we, as girls, present ourselves or dress in public. Further, we have gotten too casual with what we are sharing on social networking sites and we can no longer be so lazy in our pursuit of holiness and praise to the Lord. We must take responsibility for how we present ourselves, just as much as guys need to be disciplined in their thoughts.

SO, How Hot is Too Hott?

“Sexy” according to Webster’s dictionary, is “something that is sexually suggestive or stimulating.” Sounds a lot like what pornography does.

With summer time upon us we need to pay special attention to bathing suit pictures. I just posted a blog post challenging you to think differently about the cut of your bathing suit. I challenged you to desire to live the same way when you have to and when you don't "have" to...at church and away from church. You will never be somewhere were you are not a witness for Christ, you are an ambassador! Remember: 2 Corinthians 5:20! Think about this…if guys struggle with lustful thoughts…do you think wearing a bikini would help with that thought process? Do you think a bikini looks like lingerie/undergarments? I do! So if you are posting pictures of yourself (and friends) in your bathing suits, then you have literally just created an online “look book” of lingerie-type pictures….or in reality a form of pornography. Trust me, a guys mind does NOT say…”oh that’s just a bathing suit...not lingerie, so I’m not as affected by this picture showing off a girls body.”

Girls, don’t believe this lie. We must rally together to do what we can do to protect our brothers in Christ!

So, what to post on Facebook or send through Text?

      • No Sexy pictures. PERIOD. Remember Sexy is something that is sexually suggestive or stimulating. So stray from posting pictures in your bathing suit, in a low-cut shirt, short skirt, inappropriate postures or angles! Instead, P.R.A.I.S.E God through your pictures!
      • Also, I would strongly suggest never posting pictures you take of yourself by yourself. Having an entire album of arm shot pictures of yourself is just not necessary. This goes back to the question of motive!
    • Who should see our pictures?
      • Consider if this is a fun memory for you or for everyone?
        • Not EVERY picture you take needs to be uploaded online. Some pictures need to be kept as a private memory. Others might not look at each of your pictures the same way you do.
      • As for texting? My rule: Only text pictures of a group of people or a scene shot describing where you are. Not just of yourself….and NEVER at anyone’s request for a picture of yourself!

At the end of the day what you post on social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace is often times how people get to know you. Employers, friends, your friend’s parents…your Girls’ Minister (haha)! What are you sharing with others? How do you think you are being perceived? I challenge you to stop right now and take a look through your online photo albums and re-evaluate what you are sharing with the world. My guess is you might need a photo-album makeover and delete a few!

You are beautiful and your King is enthralled by you! So don't let the culture define you any longer! Instead choose a position of Gospel influence and holiness. BE SET APART!

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PS: If you want to see more fun group shots from the event with Ami & Alison Photography then >> click here <<.

Monday, June 7, 2010

BLOG SERIES || PART 2 of 3 || THE DO'S & DON'TS

Hi Girls!

This is part two on the Do’s and Don’ts of Photography and Photo Sharing! Last post I discussed the purpose behind us being mindful of what we share with others through photography (to glorify Christ!!) and in this post I am going to give you some helpful tips to accomplish this!

Psalm 139:14 praises God and reminds us that you were fearfully and wonderfully made! And Psalm 45:11 says “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” At the photo shoot I gave the girls lots of questions for them to ask themselves next time they are taking a picture, and ESPECIALLY if they are posting or sending a picture online or through text. Remember this: you want to P.R.A.I.S.E God in your photo sharing, so check the following before you post!

POSTURE:

    • Posture is important! This includes how you sit, stand, and position your body for a picture. It’s important also to make sure you’re not leaning over too much, that your skirt isn’t too short or your shirt too low. Rule of thumb: always sit like a lady.

RIGHT MOTIVE:

    • Why are you taking the picture?
      • Are you capturing a memory, a stage of your life, are you celebrating something? These are good reasons to take pictures!
      • Or are you self-promoting yourself, wanting others to notice you and your fine looks. Remember, the KING is enthralled by your beauty, who else do you need to tell you how beautiful you are?

ANGLE:

    • Angle is everything! Trust me, the right angle can help in positive ways…I know this secret for sure. But some angles are not honoring to God – such as giving suggestive looks (the pouty face!) and suggestive posturing. Pictures taken of yourself by yourself with the camera lifted high above you and pointing downward can often focus on your chest and not on your face. This can cause guys to stumble so it’s important to focus on your face only in pictures!

I-WITNESSES:

    • It’s important check who your audience is as well!
      • Who is seeing the picture?
        • Sometimes we take pictures when we are being silly and hanging out with “the girls,” but that doesn’t mean these pictures need to be posted where boys can see them too. One example would be pictures taken at a slumber party in your pjs.
        • Before you post/send a picture ask yourself: ‘Would you show this to your grandma? Your pastor? Your brother?’
      • Who is taking the picture? Do you trust the photographer to only post appropriate pictures? Be aware of this before a photo session begins!
      • Who is asking for the picture and why are they asking for it?
        • It’s never ok for a guy to ask you to send him a picture of yourself. The motive is usually not right, especially if he asks you to be dressed a certain way for the picture (like in your bathing suit)…or not dressed at all. There is really never a reason to send a guy a picture of yourself. Ever.

SURROUNDINGS:

    • Where are you when you are taking pictures? Is it somewhere you shouldn’t be? (ie: not at school when you should be, at a party, driving a car while taking picture, etc.? Even if you weren’t partaking in things you shouldn’t, a picture can make it seem as if you were. You will be guilty by association. Be sure to ask yourself if you are with people or items you want to be associated with?)
    • Is it somewhere that can lead others minds to impure thoughts? (ie: your bedroom, lying on your bed, in the bathroom, etc.) Remember a picture is worth a 1000 words and your surroundings say a lot!

EXTRA CARE:

    • What else is in your picture? Be sure to look out for the “little things”:
      • Bra strap showing?
      • Light through your skirt?
      • Undergarments lying in the background?
      • Are you revealing more than you want to reveal?

These guidelines will not only help you when you take your next picture or post your next album, but they will also help you look back through your current pictures and reevaluate what you are sharing with the world. Take a moment now and see if you are offering God PRAISE through your pictures. Thursday, I’ll be addressing the question, “How hot is too hott?” I would love to read some feedback as you walk through this blog series. Please comment in the comment section below!

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PS: If you want to see more fun group shots from the event then >> click here <<.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

PHOTOGRAPHY DO'S & DON'TS BLOG SERIES || PART 1 of 3

Hi Girls!

A couple of weeks ago we had a WONDERFUL time at the Peter’s home for our Girls Photo Shoot. Ami and Alison Photography came and captured gorgeous headshots of each of the girls! If you were at the photo shoot and have not received instructions on how to get your pictures, then please e-mail me as soon as possible. If you want to see more fun group shots from the event then >> click here <<. Since everyone was so cute and dressed up we had a "tea party" style lunch and then all gathered for a talk on the do’s and don’ts of photo taking and photo sharing (online and through text).

It is my hope to recap that lesson here for you through a series of three blog posts. I hope that you will not only use this as a tool for discernment on what you should share online, but also as a resource when sharing your heart on this matter with your friends. We must rally around this together in order to see change and bring God glory in this area!

Today, I want to discuss why we need to be mindful of how our pictures look and what we share with others. In the next post I will walk through a list of questions to ask before you even take a picture or post a picture. The final post in this series will wrap everything up by asking the question, “How hot is too hott?” I hope you will check out each one!

As you know, our purpose as God’s creation (and the heartbeat of this ministry) is to glorify God first and foremost and in all things. 1 Peter 4:11 says:

“If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

Sometimes we can forget that “in all things” actually means ALL things. Glorifying Him in church and in service projects seems like a no brainer. We’ve also talked about honoring Him with your clothing choices, with boys, and how you treat others…but do you think to glorify Christ in your every day tasks like texting, facebook, and through your photo albums?

Check back on Monday for some practical ways in which you can seek to glorify God in theses areas.

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