Elohay Kedem

Have you ever sat riveted to those around you at an airport whilst awaiting your flight to board? The young businessman in the suit seems a bit self-conscious; the middle-aged woman with the children seems intent upon silencing her babe, needing peace and quiet. Sometimes at the mall you see people out with friends, laughing and having fun; the families are always entertaining and tend to have that distinct tension walking along—we know who's in charge of the wandering clan, and who balances the checkbook.

But why are people so thoroughly intriguing?

Whenever I happen to have my camera with me as I enter the public, barely can I resist the urge to capture so many faces from so many places! If you've spent time with my camera and I, you most certainly know this tendency.

A face carries the emotions, the fears and dreams of a person; scars show the toils and strife, the eyes hold the soul and spark of mind; faces characterize a persona in its entirety—and people are made in the image of God. My favorite portraits rely on a single variable: genuine emotion. And no matter the emotion, if the expressions are a genuine feeling, not a cheeze-whiz-style smile, people tend to look more natural. More natural, more beautiful: more human. Faces carry a story.

I once had the chance to take an afternoon on a playground with a pair of boys (who embody the energy of the universe) and their mother. As they played, I joined them, often toting my camera along—especially as my objective was to take photos. Only later, looking back at the photos I'd taken of the two rascals, did I realize that the best were impromptu and unplanned, better yet if the camera was barely even aimed!

The only reason that I could think of for this (odd) phenomenon is that the boys offered their most natural, genuine face during the most natural, spontaneous moments; it stands to reason that the photos weren't just lucky.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
— Genesis 1:27

We were made in the image of God; humans are animals, some of the most cunning and reasonable animals in existence, though certainly not the smartest of them all. Our power as a race stems from our ingenuity and passion—more specifically, from our characteristic souls.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
— Genesis 1:31

Through all of my years, I have never met a dull man; some are bored, slovenly or slothful, but no matter where you go on earth, you will find people with a story and a purpose.

None may look upon the Face of God and survive for the sheer glory and power of His image. God is beyond our comprehension and understanding, so perfect and pure is His character.

Deuteronomy 33:27 claims the name of Elohay Kedem, the God of the beginning:

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you, saying, ‘Destroy them!’
— Deuteronomy 33:27

Made in His image, we all share the common origins of perfection, and our imperfection only taints the canvas as we allow it; though God created many things, only after one day and creation did God claim that his work was "very good". As mankind, we are stewards of our world. We are marked men from the birth of all Man.

It's intriguing to view faces for one particular reason, though: a face is only the beginning of God's story for each of us.