The Benefits of Looking Up

Both of my parents loved photography. During World War II, following the departure of all the male photographers, my mother became the photographer for the local newspaper. She was on call 24/7 and learned a lot about telling a story through pictures.

My father also enjoyed photography and owned a variety of cameras, including movie cameras. He, and my mother, documented trips, family gatherings, and everyday life. Today, I am thankful for these pictures because they stir memories and fill in gaps.

I suppose I learned to love photography through osmosis and followed my parents’ custom of snapping photos at family gatherings. When my grandmother Neely died, my father’s sisters gave me my grandmother’s photo album. I also inherited family photos from my mother’s side of the family. I treasure these family heirlooms.

In my years of taking photos, I’ve learned some of the most interesting shots are garnered by looking up.

Following are thoughts on looking up:

You See What You Might Have Missed

On our trip to Israel, I took some of the most interesting pictures by looking up. We were often in a hurry, rushing to get on the bus on time and move on to our next destination, so taking time to look up was intentional and photos captured hastily. But the pictures I took while looking up are among my favorites.

View from a Different Perspective

Often, we lose perspective on life situations because we see only the negative. Our eyes are so focused on the enormity of problems we fail to miss solutions. Looking up changes our perspective, unfreezes fears, enhances progress, and ignites forward motion.

Refocus Away from Ground Level

On one of the cycling videos I watch at the gym, the instructor frequently reminds us to look up. Doing so opens airways and allows for deeper breathing. Looking up also helps us watch the instructor and emulate his form.

Often, we find ourselves looking at the ground instead of ahead or up. Ground level is one-dimensional. Looking up opens a wider vista and helps us see possibilities.

Gain a Heavenly Viewpoint

Recently, social media has been filled with photos of gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. I’ve captured a few myself. There is something breathtaking about seeing the multi-colored brush strokes of Creator God across the sky. His artistry is beyond measure.

When we cast our eyes upward, toward heaven, we gain an infusion of hope, moments of peace, and the assurance of God’s help and presence.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord,  who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2 RSV).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including:,,,,, Focus on the Family,,, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

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