Sounds catchy doesn’t it? Framing Faith. It is the title of the next book I chose to read and review. For me, it elicits vibrant images of a golden crucifix, stained glass Orthodox icons, or even prayer circles around a campus flagpole of the red, white, and blue. When coupled with the photographic technology we enjoy in the 21st Century I anticipated something quite touching out of a book designed to pictorially capture the Christian faith. Think about it, place some burning incense behind the lens of a high-resolution camera and you can practically smell the fragrance better than you would a scratch-n-sniff. So again, not only did I hope this would be worth by time, but a spiritual boon to boot.
Now that I’ve elevated your expectations on par to mine, let us delve into the actualities of this book. Written by Matt Knisely, an experienced photojournalist, Framing Faith is described by its subhead: ‘From Camera to Pen. An Award-Winning Photojournalist Captures God in a Hurried World.’ Okay, so this isn’t entirely about the pictures. The premise is more to foster spiritual perspective analogous to effective photography and storytelling. Not what I was initially hoping for, but I’ll evaluate the book for what it is, not by the cover I anticipated.
In all honesty, I enjoyed the book tremendously. Sure, I am a content writer by trade, so anything pertaining to effectively communicating an authentic story to elicit a desired response rings true to my ears. His success to that affect, I will tell you, is well communicated. Full of honesty, stories, and teachable moments, the book was a narrative in its own right, which added to the credibility of his experience.
I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll summarize the book. In the first section, the author wants his readers to FOCUS on stories that matter, stories that hold our attention because they are authentic and connect us to others. In the second section, he wants us to CAPTURE those moments, enjoy them, and let them influence our perspective. In the third section, he instructs us to use these moments to help us DEVELOP who we are and where we are going, to find beauty and hope in the darkness and seek God in the light. In summary, he is using terminology from his trade to give his readers different perspectives about faith.
I’ll be honest. Since I initially had alternate expectations for the book, I almost discarded it as an amateur attempt at spiritualizing photography. It didn’t help that the book contains random black and white images which look like stock photos for a 1990’s advertising firm. Perhaps I fail to grasp their significance, but really, what are they for? They don’t add to the book in any way. I would venture to say they actually subtract from the book. If these images paralleled what I described at the beginning, pictorially capturing the Christian faith in a modernly stylistic way, I would understand, and even consider it a nice touch to a book about photojournalism and storytelling.
I’m giving this book 4/5 stars because I jived with his writing style and enjoyed the unique, intentional content; not the typical shallow ‘feel good spirituality’ book. If the pictures had more relevance I’d have probably bumped it up to five.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookbloggers.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.