“The principle of photography is seizing the moment. Carpe diem.”~ from Framing Faith: From Camera to Pen, an Award-Winning Photojournalist Captures God in a Hurried World by Matt Knisely
About this book: (from the publisher) Stop. Slow down. Be present. The moment matters.
Like a photographer or storyteller, Jesus exhibited time and again how easy it is to capture moments of profound importance just by noticing, stopping, and responding to his surroundings. In a world moving way too fast, Framing Faith is a book for people seeking to focus their lives, to find a deeper knowledge of God, and a more authentic Christian faith. In this modern age, many of us fill every “spare” moment we have rather than taking an intermission to see the true works of God and realize that he is present in every moment.
Matt Knisely communicates biblical truths in a fresh way, allowing you to really hear them, as if for the first time. He illustrates a new way to see God and to help us live in the moment through the exploration of various photography concepts, including:
- Darkness versus Light
His probing questions and unexpected presentation lead readers into a place of honest self-examination, causing them to ask, “Am I listening to God?” Framing Faith provokes its readers toward reflection; it reveals God is in everything we see and do.
About the author: (from his website) Matt Knisely is an Emmy Award winning visual storyteller, creative director and author who loves telling stories of the extraordinary in the ordinary. He has been described as “one of the most versatile photojournalists working today,” and has a national reputation for his unique approach to visual storytelling.
He is the creative director for Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. Matt’s work has won many honors, including the Edward R. Murrow Award for photography.
Genre: Non-fiction/Religion/Christian Life/Spiritual Growth
How I’d judge the cover: Thumbs neither up nor down. It’s artistic and gives a sense of what the book’s about, but it wouldn’t have compelled me to read it had I not heard good things about it first. Also, the profile confuses me a bit: its youthfulness doesn’t match the adult tone and concepts of the book.
Reminds me of… Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art for the way it connects these two disciplines.
Will especially appeal to…photographers, artists, writers and other creative types; also any Christian, man or woman, longing for encouragement for living in the moment.
Would I read another by this author? Yes. I like his fresh, insightful way of examining the Christian life.
This story matters because… it talks “about stopping–really stopping–to focus, capture, develop, and savor the moments in life that really matter.” (from the book)
My take: Artists of every ilk will find much to connect with here. Certainly, Matt Knisely’s thoughtful and often profound insights on story and storytelling resonated deeply with me. But I would also say that even if you’re not creatively inclined, you will still find much to appreciate about this writer’s unique take on faith and life. Reflections like this one, for example: “Perspective gives us meaning. It frames our world, gives us a point of reference, and allows us to see different possibilities.”
For a book on the power of stories, however, I wished for more of them. I felt much of the book focused on concepts and not enough on concretes.
I also wanted more connection with the specific photos in the book. Unless I missed them (and I looked), I found no captions. I’m not a photographer myself, so I felt this would have helped me to know what I was looking at–especially the more abstract ones. I definitely enjoyed the exception: a full-page photo of a bunch of boys running out onto a field (which I actually lingered over, savoringly), and then was pleasantly surprised when he later told the story around it. I wanted more like that.
Still, Framing Faith provides many thought-provoking ideas about how art and faith connect. For me, that alone makes it a worthwhile read.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and Book Look Bloggers for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
After words: I first heard about this book from Jamie, one of my new favorite bloggers. Check out her review at Books and Beverages (and enjoy more of her fun blog while you’re at it).