I Thou Photography

posted in: Photography, Your best life | 1


How can I become a better photographer? Here is one answer that may apply to becoming a better  anything (at least in my opinion)—

Practice I Thou Photography

Be curious.

Be open.

Be loving.

Bring compassion, love, and wholeness into your work.

Compassion allows for all of the imperfections along with all of the perfectly wonderful ordinary miracles that surround us. Opening to what is with compassion puts us into God-flow.


Love connects us with the world in an I/Thou relationship. It opens the door to oneness, wonder, and delight. We allow ourselves to recognize and feel the beautiful and the terrible without needing to change anything.

Wholeness embraces everything—light and dark, healed and unhealed, beauty and ugliness, clarity and confusion.


Wholeness recognizes that our greatest gifts may contain within them our greatest challenges. It sees the cycles of life—youth and old age, grief and joy, pain and pleasure, life and death, good and evil—and does not judge one as better or worse than the other.

Witnessing, seeing, sharing, connecting.

As a photographer, I seek to shine a light on the beauty of the world, the grace of life, and the fragility and strength of nature.

When I accept what is inside myself, in my work, and in the world, I open myself to experiences that I would not otherwise have.

I often say that no matter where I look I see beauty. Sometimes I feel that I may be ignoring the parts of life that are ugly and awful. Or that perhaps I’m fooling myself to think that there can be beauty anywhere.


But I believe in looking for the beauty, killing myself with delight, looking for the light, and living from joy to joy. Even when something is dark and ugly, there is a spark of light somewhere within it.

Just as Gandhi told us to “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” I say we must diligently practice being curious, open and loving,  and embracing the paradoxes and contradictions of life.


by Mary Oliver


Every Day
I see or hear
that more or less


kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle


in the haystack
of light.
It is what I was born for—
to look, to listen,


to lose myself
inside this soft world—
to instruct myself
over and over


in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,


the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant—
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab


the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help


but grow wise
with such teachings
as these—
the untrimmable light


of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

May you walk in beauty.







Capturing the real moments of family life
Noticing the real moments of family life
And the love, always the love
And noticing the love, always the love


  1. Karen Davidson

    Marilyn, your home page is beautiful. I’m so glad you sent me the link. Your photography is calming and your words lighten the heart. Thank you for putting it all together for others to enjoy.

    I am glad you invited viewers to share your website because my family and friends will love your work. If we’re not FB friends, I will send you an invite soon and hope you accept. Since camera club comes only once a month (even less for me), this is a nice way to stay in touch. I’m excited to tour your other pages and website.

    Regards, Karen

    P.S. I love the “Women of a Certain Age” collection — what a nice idea. Thank you for your help and advice today, too, on the WCPC website. I will let you know how things develop.

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