Letting go of Images in the Image Industry

Have we ever experienced pictures that turn out absolutely glorious when we simply pressed the shutter without any expectation or thinking? Have we ever been blown away by the deep beauty we see in ourselves when we were not intentionally posing to be photographed?

Working in the image industry, I have frequently experienced this. There are many moments when I simply felt impulsed to press the shutter of a camera without even seeing exactly what was in my viewfinder. Something was calling me to simply receive what was being offered. When I looked at these pictures, my heart skipped a beat, not only because the glory was physically visible, but also because the harmony captured was deeply palpable.

Working with my phone camera this way for many years, I have come to realise that pictures call out to be received. Divinity presents itself all around us, all of the time, and it is up to us to register it, to feel the call and not hold back in receiving it and allowing it to be expressed through us.

This is the only way I feel true pictures are created – to express what is Truth.

A true image is formulated only when everything aligns at one single moment, and after that moment, something else is already formulating. No images can be held onto when they are true because we, nature and everything are constantly changing from moment to moment.

By contrast, in the image industry we are constantly trying to re-create images – we regurgitate images and seek a perfection based on images. However, when we hold onto any images, this act is already not aligned to the natural movement that our bodies feel, which is simply to receive what is being presented in that moment. For when we expect something to be only a certain way then we are allowed to only see what our mental expectation permits. But seeing is receiving, and what we are receiving every moment is an opportunity to evolve.

Images are truly successful only when they allow us to let go of, rather than further cement, preconceived ideals and beliefs.

I have observed that the way to work with images is to be image-free within ourselves; not by controlling our thoughts that having images is bad, but by the choices we make every day to free ourselves from the big daddy of images, the ideals and beliefs we have accepted in life.

If we prepare ourselves every day by connecting to ourselves and being true, a freedom and truth will be expressed, simply by receiving the truth that comes through us. As everything is complete once it is expressed, there is no attachment to any image we capture, portray and/or share. This then leaves us free to express the next Divine image that is already coming.

If we are honest, we can all feel Truth, which is one and the same for all. This realisation in relation to working in the image industry is also a truth for any industry and life in general because it is only when our preconceived attachments to what we are looking for subside that we get to truly express as ourselves.

By Adele Leung, Fashion Stylist, writer, photographer, model, presenter, Hong Kong

Further Reading:
Truth
Having my Photo Taken – Seeing the Real Me
What does it Mean – ‘Holding Onto’?

427 thoughts on “Letting go of Images in the Image Industry

  1. It all comes down to relationship with our selves and others and the magic of this – true religion – in the image and fashion industry as in all other work-places, occupations and activities. Images can be a particularly tricky and seductive milieu to be working in and I love the way you have described coming to terms with that Adele. And it is also interesting that images rule us in whatever situation we are in, if we are unaware of them and let them rule us with the shadows they cast between us and the Sun/Son of God.

  2. I just have to wake each morning to feel the influx of images that can pour in from the moment we step out of bed. Each one loaded with how we should be rather than stopping to feel where the body needs to be.

  3. Adele this is super powerful what you share here and imagine if we could receive images as you say and have the space to be us and not be imposed upon all these ideals and beliefs of what it is to be as women. This sentence really stuck with me -‘Images are truly successful only when they allow us to let go of, rather than further cement, preconceived ideals and beliefs.’

  4. When we feel impulses to take a photo I know I begin to concoct images of how I want it to look like, with the angles and the scenery and the “happy” or “good time” look, which is to show that I’m always having a good time, but the truth is found in the original impulse of the moment, not what we want it to be.

  5. Your blog made such sense Adele of all the feelings I have around pictures and I can see that I have always looked for the ‘perfect image’ – when the perfect image is the one that presents itself in any moment – ‘As everything is complete once it is expressed, there is no attachment to any image we capture, portray’. Interestingly I recently had a photograph taken of me standing with my granddaughter and it is patently obvious that we were both uncomfortable with the situation…….and the way it had been contrived. Something that I like about this ‘moment in time’ is that it allows for an understanding and real appreciation of how we were both feeling and how so often photographs are used to present an image that is not true. We cannot hide the truth no matter how much we try……..

  6. When I am not present and still inside I find I get bombarded with pictures, coming at me from every angle, literally changing the way I act and move. When I feel present and still it becomes much easier to have the space to observe what is taking place and choose what I do and don’t want to be part of.

  7. ‘ No images can be held onto when they are true because we, nature and everything are constantly changing from moment to moment.’… so true Adele.

    1. I can relate to your focus on these words of Adele’s, Jenny. What kind of madness possesses us that we have to hold onto an image of anything at all, when it cannot be anything but already past. It reminds me of those collections of dead butterflies. Can we imagine doing that in Heaven?

  8. I agree Adele, photography continually shows me, that when I try to create something, arrange or generate an image that I think is ‘good’, everything reduces down and often falls apart. When I open myself up to just what comes and take photos without expecting anything big, what comes through blows me away. This is a potent metaphor for how we are given everything we need naturally in life and trying to control it just misses the point.

  9. The power in an image is more than what we are prepared to admit and we have allowed ourselves to be bombarded with images continually that tell us everything that we are not. We don’t want to admit this because we have desperately tried to live up to what these images are asking of us. To have images that are free from such imposing beliefs and ideals absolutely are few in far between. When I see them I instantly can feel the difference in my body and can feel the space that they give us to just be who we are. I know which one I prefer.

  10. It is great to see an alternative take on image especially in the fashion industry that you are in, that is all about image. The best photos ever are not the ones manufactured but simply captured in a pure instant when everything magically aligns.

  11. ‘…when we expect something to be only a certain way then we are allowed to only see what our mental expectation permits’ – This is groundbreaking Adele; could it be that when we have expectations of someone or something we only pay attention to their actions that fit into our picture, or their lack of ability to fit our picture and become so fixated on this that we miss out on actually getting to know them?

  12. As I slowly remove the images from my life reality is starting to take hold. Images have held me in the past. Moves take the unreal and seemingly make things real. Role-models are shaping what is to become the future for most and I have had some not so good role-models. All these in the past have given me an expectation of something outside myself to be possible when in reality all they have done is disconnect me from my true inner-essence.

  13. Adele, I can really feel the difference between controlling an image – having an expectation of how it should be, to allowing what is naturally there to be captured, I can feel with people photography that so often people are told to look or be a certain way rather than us allowing them to simply be themselves and capturing them as they truly are.

  14. “For when we expect something to be only a certain way then we are allowed to only see what our mental expectation permits. But seeing is receiving, and what we are receiving every moment is an opportunity to evolve.” This is so true and the way we are held in images and the fashion industry is all based on these images ideals and beliefs and is enormous in the world. Our evolution is what we are all here for so exposing this is in our lives allows and opens up a true honesty and expansion in and with the all. Seeing the beauty and magic all around us opens us up to receive and allows everything and everyone a joyful way of being with no pictures only truth.

  15. Expressing and capturing what is truth is certainly the key to a gloriously divine image. As you have expressed Adele, hanging on to pictures denies us the opportunity to feel the truth in every moment.

  16. One only needs to take a beautiful photo of a sunrise and know that you waited for that moment that is just right, it is a feeling, then the moment is gone. It is like capturing an explosion, a freeze frame of something that happens so fast we can’t see it and then it is gone. Advertising photos are as you have said Adele, just an attempt to re-create a spark after it is gone.

  17. “If we prepare ourselves every day by connecting to ourselves and being true, a freedom and truth will be expressed, simply by receiving the truth that comes through us.” It really is that simple isn’t it? A choice to connect to who we are offers an opportunity for truth to be revealed.

  18. A picture not just captures the physical but the energy a person holds. When the picture is of more than one person, in addition to what everyone brings, there is the flow of underlying energy between them that brings a particular flavour to a situation. That is what a spontaneous picture captures. Let’s face it, when there is beauty, the beauty stands out in the picture and when is not, this becomes very evident.

  19. This feels so true, Adele, that when we try to hold onto something or project a certain image, we have lost the graceful flow that comes with connection to the natural and perpetual unfolding process of evolution.

  20. Putting in so much effort chasing an image of how we want our life to be, then achieving it only to realise that the image didn’t actually deliver us any form of truth only emptiness…then chasing the next image and so on. What have we sold out to that allows this constant merry-go-round we call human life?

  21. “There are many moments when I simply felt impulsed to press the shutter of a camera without even seeing exactly what was in my viewfinder. Something was calling me to simply receive what was being offered. When I looked at these pictures, my heart skipped a beat, not only because the glory was physically visible, but also because the harmony captured was deeply palpable.” Every time I read this paragraph again I marvel at what I have read. I know what is expressed here, and am left realising how much of the world around me and my own life is spent chasing images and control. This example is a great prompt for allowing true harmony and flow.

  22. The topic of images is pertinent – a friend and I were recently cleaning out our respective wardrobes with the help of a consultant and we realised how our choices and purchases had been driven by a certain image; for one of us it had been overconsumption based on pretence and for the other sparseness rooted in lack of self worth. The result and conclusion: images are not the truth, they are just an image.

  23. I have been so tied to my life being one of being driven by the images or way a thing should be that it is taking me a long time to start to break out of the way images have influenced my life.

    1. Almost from day one I was my mothers baby boy then I was her first baby boy, and this image was something she held me in until her passing. After being sexually molested I had the possible image I may be gay and this was a huge upheaval in my life. Drinking and partying gave me an image of being like a TV star and made me forget about being molested. My life was riddled with things that were just heaped one upon another that disconnected me from being the loving tender man who was humbly sensitive and divine. Thank you Adele and also thanks to Serge Benhayon for helping my ability to heal any issues that I am carrying from my past about images of what my life should be like an image has never helped me reconnect to my inner-most. It is only the light of the soul that when I reconnect to it that brings me to an image free place in my life.

  24. One thing that I tend to get caught up in is that I am the one seeing what is out there but in actual fact what is happening out there is what is coming towards me. That I am receiving the images in life and that I don’t have to take any of it on and absorb it. I can just see it for what it is and thats cool. When you turn it around like this you absolutely start to see things differently and then people get to see your natural reflection as well.

  25. It’s an interesting point Adele, how to let go of images in an image industry. I have used images for a long time to structure how I should live or what I could live up to. Without those pictures, it feels very liberating to have the space to develop and grow.

  26. Our entire world is made up of pictures.

    It is actually difficult to personally imagine the world without some sort of picture underlying its manifestation.

    We are heavily vested and influenced by pictures every single day.

  27. I love what you are presenting here Adele it is so refreshing to what the normal approach to images are. The images I have seen created in what you share absolutely holds a quality to them, you are left to be who you are and there is no imposition of any kind. These are images that I am deeply inspired by.

  28. “Divinity presents itself all around us, all of the time, and it is up to us to register it, to feel the call and not hold back in receiving it and allowing it to be expressed through us.” This is powerful Adele, and can feel the responsibility we all have to live in a way that is true and allowing of the volume that is there for us to tap into for the benefit of all, thank you for such an inspiring blog.

  29. Beautifully shared Adele – images can certainly lock
    Us into a single picture and expectation – when really there is so much more on offer. I really relate to what you share when you say that a true image will never stay the same as nature is always changing. Thank you for your sharing and helping all to understand that a true image is ever changing.

  30. ‘If we prepare ourselves every day by connecting to ourselves and being true, a freedom and truth will be expressed, simply by receiving the truth that comes through us.’ I love the simplicity and wisdom expressed here Adele and by choosing to live this we become free of the images that control us.

  31. I love this concept that images are pictures to be received – I have never been a confident photographer this gives me something more to play with.

  32. As someone else who works on the image industry I can see how valuable it is to be able to let go of images. I’ve built up images to give me security of how things need to look and then I fee let down when something does not meet my picture – so letting go of images is a huge thing and I really appreciate this blog and the fact that it is possible if we trust our senses.

  33. “we can all feel Truth, which is one and the same for all.” two incredible scientific laws in one small part-sentence Adele! – very confirming to take into the day with me.

  34. Almost every time I am not myself it is because what I have put expectation on a picture and it does not turn out the way I want it to be. This expectation is very often on myself. Pictures lock us in a false security thinking we can get away with not feeling, not observing, not reading, that is unawareness. But it is never worth it to be disharmonious with myself and others when being controlled by pictures in life.

  35. Exposing that when we have expectations of things being a certain way and we are only allowed to see what our mental expectation permits, is truly profound… for so many if not all of us are consumed and therefore restricted by the pictures we have…. And when living through their lense we are denied being able to truly see what is there to evolve us should we let go and surrender and just see what is there to be seen.

  36. Imagine a world without images, could this be something like a world without lies so that truth is understood to be an absoluteness, which is part of our divine connection to God?

  37. All of us have a sense of who we think we need to be, and so when one says, just be your true self, that is quickly and easily misinterpreted, and is a truth that can only be arisen to if one is incredibly honest at first, and thus willing to question the forces that made them into who they currently think they are. That process of unravelling is in esoteric terms called the process of initiation.

  38. “A true image is formulated only when everything aligns at one single moment, and after that moment, something else is already formulating. No images can be held onto when they are true because we, nature and everything are constantly changing from moment to moment.” This is such a gorgeous revelation and shows how unnatural it is to demand that people and life deliver an image we have been holding onto in our mind.

  39. I wonder if there will come a time when the image industry won’t be all about image, but truth and true beauty. For when this occurs we will be in a far better state because the image industry has a lot to answer for in creating images most can’t live up to and by this are made to feel less.

  40. Only yesterday I heard some basic science about the body and how it functions in its movement; We even “image” how are bodies are going to move and where they are at any given moment, because evidently we have a preconceived notion of how it will feel from the brain that has been trained through habit in this way. I think I understood it right, but basically the result was that we do not necessarily feel the truth of where our bodies are. It seems imaging is learned so we can unlearn it. Instead of allowing our brains to image our next movement, how about feeling the energy that is flowing through it instead and following its flow? This must be what is happening Adele, when you just respond to being open to whatever picture your camera is taking?

  41. In an industry that is all about image, its great to bring forward a bit of truth into all that glamour and illusion for there is nothing more beautiful than natural beauty which is completely image free.

  42. ‘For when we expect something to be only a certain way then we are allowed to only see what our mental expectation permits.’ Those pesky expectations they get us nowhere! I love the way you work Adele and can palpably feel the joy and ease in which you work. I also loved what you shared in that to work with images we have to let go of … images! And ideals, beliefs and expectations. Ironic but so true 💕

  43. The image industry relies upon the grip images have on everyone. It sells images of how can one look and it aligns to images of what does a look mean and represent. Escaping totally from images in such an industry is not an easy task at all. This is important since this brings up the element energetic quality into the picture and the whole array of things we can do to make sure that the quality of an image is simply divine.

  44. The camera is a pretty cool representation of how we see – instead of looking out a camera takes in the light of the image it’s receiving – just like us and our eyes. We don’t look outward, we receive light.

    1. I am fascinated by light. What I feel is light comes from within us and it is reflected everywhere, we are receiving light all the time and that is what we “see”. What photography lighting does is, sometimes it enhances the light within us that we know can be more fully expressed. It is awesome to receive this awareness, and it is a reminder for the reminder to be lived, so that eventually this light is simply emanated from us to be received. I wonder if then photography would be done differently–imagine if everyone emanated light so bright from within 🙂

  45. “pictures call out to be received” I have never seen it in this way before but it makes absolute sense to me. And this will go for the pictures that are both physical ones we capture or the ones we take on from the ideals and beliefs we hold in our heads.

  46. “Divinity presents itself all around us, all of the time, and it is up to us to register it, to feel the call and not hold back in receiving it and allowing it to be expressed through us.” Divinity is found in the connection of our bodies to every fine movement expressed and it is from here that I too find the most glorious things happen and the reflections in nature and connections with others is simply magic and full of honesty.

  47. In the image-driven culture that we are currently living in, the purpose behind the use of images is generally to sell a quality that is missing in our lives, on the premise that we are not enough and this is what will deliver fullfillment. However, there can only be a supply if there first is a demand, which highlights that there is an emptiness that we as a humanity are in general experiencing. And so, the images of perfection, power, beauty, success to name but a minuscule few, drives us to seek outside of ourselves and compete with each other to attain the quality we are missing. Yet what you are sharing here Adele brings a greater and far more purposeful use of images. What if images represented a quality of vibration that confirms who we are in essence? Although we are forever changing, evolving or de-evolving, as you have shared, images that hold the vibration of love, truth, harmony, and Soulfullness will reflect a quality of vibration that we know is true and inspire us to be and live with the true fulfilment being in connection to who we are within, with the quality of vibration of our Divinity, which is one and the same for us all in essence.

  48. The pictures of how life is supposed to be don’t give us a way forward, they limit us to the potential that is truly there.

  49. Wise advice that we need let go of all images and preconceived notions and expectations, results and perceptions and remain open to receiving life and responding with an unbiased canvas.

  50. When recording in studios, Jenny would always say to the engineer to be ready for the ‘first take’ of my singing, and so many times this was the one… just letting it come.

  51. To be open to receive life rather than cast our gaze out allows for an undistorted, unfiltered honesty to arise as to the whole before us that we oft deny and are wholly blind to by our held pictures and perceptions which filter life and create it in the way we want it to be.

  52. I love what you have so simply and powerfully expressed here Adele; our responsibility is just that, to lovingly prepare ourselves daily;
    “If we prepare ourselves every day by connecting to ourselves and being true, a freedom and truth will be expressed, simply by receiving the truth that comes through us”

  53. Great sharing Adele on how images control us and making the choice to let them go allow us to express ourselves in a more true way.

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