the right light*

Piedmont cemetery, Oakland, Canon Rebel Xti

Light is everything; every photographer knows this. It can turn the most ordinary things into magic, elevate them to a kind of poetry. In the right light, everyone looks more beautiful, more true. It’s almost as if you had never really seen them before.

It’s an age old metaphor, I know, seeing things in the right light, a different light, etc. But I just saw the connection with photography today. As photographers we are light seekers, beauty hunters, we want to see something extraordinary and we usually do. In a very literal sense, we are trying to see things in the right light so that they please us, are interesting to us, give us the pleasure of appreciating them.

This is a kind of spirtual practice as I see it, a way to move through the world looking for what you can love, what you can be grateful for, what dazzles you about this colorful, amazing world.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. emily

    this rings so true for me today. i just began two projects (one photography, one poetry) which invite me to see the beauty in the everyday. at this point, these projects are purely for my own creative and spiritual growth. it just feels necessary. so incredibly necessary.

  2. Puanani

    This has been my practice with me and my camera of late. Find the beautiful, the true in the ordinary so that we do not walk past it, day after day. The freesias are blooming today, I want to notice that, i want to be taken aback. Follow the light, in life and death, follow the light…

  3. Megan

    I walked down to Lake Michigan for lunch today (60 degrees in Chicago today!) to take a few photos. I’m a new photographer, and on the way back, I was asking myself, “What do I want to take photos of? I could walk around this city all day, take 1,000,000 photos and still not be pleased. What am I trying to say? What’s my intent here?”
    My conclusion was exactly as you articulated above.

  4. Shelley Noble

    Go ahead, Miss DEEP! Be Profound on a Friday morning. w00t!

  5. Juliana

    You are too cool…
    From Wikipedia:
    The LUX (symbol: lx) is the SI unit of illuminance and luminous emittance. It is used in photometry as a measure of the apparent intensity of light hitting or passing through a surface. It is analogous to the radiometric unit watts per square metre, but with the power at each wavelength weighted according to the luminosity function, a standardized model of human brightness perception. In English, “lux” is used in both singular and plural.[1]

  6. Marianne

    Boy do I need to find a different light to see things in today. Thanks for this lovely metaphor. I’m going to find the beautiful in my life today and try to stop looking at the scary bits so much. x

  7. Lola @ Sacred Curiosities

    Yes, exactly! Beautifully said, I believe it certainly is spiritual. Gorgeous photo, too.

  8. Zoe

    Oh, man. The Piedmont cemetery is chock-full of incredible graves and mausoleums. I love that you took advantage of the light and sky to really show it to its full advantage. Creepy and gorgeous. Have you ever been to the Chapel of the Chimes right next door? A great place to wander and wonder in.

  9. Julia

    Wow Andrea! I never thought I’d see a cemetary or a crypt that was so strangely beautiful.
    I usually detest cemetaries with a passion…
    However, you have such a gift to make me see even what could be seen as sad and dark, as so filled with lightness and mystery and hope.
    Thank you for this photo and your wise words about seeing things in a different light.
    As usual, just what I needed to hear today.
    Bless you.

  10. Eric Hegwer

    Yep, it’s not about the gear, it’s all about the light.

  11. suganthi

    You have a way with words as well as your lens. I love coming here and just drinking it all in. BTW, was it the intentionally chosen.. the word “LUX”. My nerdy mind immediately thinks.. unit of illumination 🙂
    xo..Suganthi aka thodarumm 😉

  12. Darlene

    So true. And if you look at the root of the word photography, it literally means “drawing with light”. You’re drawing with light. What a beautiful concept!

  13. Darlene

    So true. And if you look at the root of the word photography, it literally means “drawing with light”. You’re drawing with light. What a beautiful concept!

  14. Leslie

    not a job really, is it? sometimes maddening yet always juicy journey and, yes, so very spiritual 🙂 your words sum it up perfectly, andrea. thank you.

  15. Katherine

    And in a way, you can take this idea and apply it to writing. Words can cause a reflection on the page if they are angled correctly.

  16. marilee pittman

    such wisdom!~

  17. jen maiser

    I really appreciate this metaphor. One thing I’ve always found interesting and seductive about photography is that the “right” light for my photos usually doesn’t happen on beautiful, sunny days. I’d much prefer to take my photos when it’s overcast or foggy or dreary — it’s turned the darker days into days where I love taking the camera and going. Very silver-lining-y if you ask me. 🙂

  18. littlepurplecow

    This is such a great image. Gorgeous light. I love walking through old cemeteries.

  19. Sheila

    Oh, this just moved me in a way that I can hardly describe.
    Relentlessly seeking beauty is what must be the definition of spirit.

  20. Sara

    Beautiful photo. Beautiful post.

  21. Sara

    Beautiful photo. Beautiful post.

  22. Sara

    Beautiful photo. Beautiful post.

  23. Sara

    Beautiful photo. Beautiful post.

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