Lancia is the best photographer I’ve ever known for capturing not just the outward appearance, but the very essence of a person. She is able to perceive the qualities of a person that make them better than who they are – their potential, their goodness. For someone writing about goodness, truth, and beauty, I don’t know of a better ability to have.
Bless you for your incredible posts! In a world of skim milk, you are the cream!
What Lancia brings to my life is priceless: inspiration, affirmation, and a challenge to think deeply. She does this through her thoughtful, consummately interesting essays and interviews. She does this through her genuinely stunning, often glowing photographs that help me feel that I am right there. Lancia’s work moves me deeply and awakens my faith when it is most damped down … like a constantly glowing hearth. I am warmed here. I can return to this site and be refreshed, nourished, and challenged. In the best possible ways, I feel like I have come home.
Lancia’s eye for beauty is unsurpassed — whether in architecture, in nature, in urban landscapes and, of course, in her fabulous portraits. She is an artist, posing as a photographer… and I mean that with great admiration for her skill with a technology that she has truly mastered.
Lancia is a good friend; her work with Cultivating gifts readers with a resource like that of the most life-giving kinds of friendship - truth when you've been confounded by lies, beauty when you’ve despaired there could be any left, and goodness when you lack the strength to keep faith.
There are those who carry a very specific and specialized anointing to bring forth beauty for ashes. Lancia E. Smith just so happens to be cut from such precious stock. Lancia truly has been given a priestly assignment of Spirit-led artistry. She serves as co-redeemer, restorer and renewer, breathing life into dry and weary bones with her offerings of deeply blessed beauty.
I've been photographed by many professionals. Not one has peered thru the lens with the penetrating depth of Lancia E. Smith. When Lancia fixes her eye on you she sees you at your best; and will not be satisfied until that reflection is captured through her camera. Being interviewed for The Cultivating Project was such a fun experience for me. I came away from our interview recognizing a huge and generous spirit who made me want to live up to the high perception she had of me and my work.
Those engaged in the creative arts have a special role in the church; they were once seen as co-laborers in the shared project of spiritual formation, calling and spiritually forming souls through truth presented in beauty. We live in a time when too few resources exist to support artists in that calling, inspiring and enabling them to be the kind of people and the kind of creators they were meant to be. The Cultivating Project is a deeply powerful resource with a laser-focused mission, and I am grateful for Lancia's tireless work.
Today there are countless blogs, courses, and podcasts on the practical concerns of the creative life, but few resources for the artist who understands his or her creativity as a vocation of the soul. Lancia's work with The Cultivating Project and Calling to the Arts is filling this sacred space. As a workshop leader, Lancia has a gift for discerning the movement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the artists she is mentoring, allowing her to meet them in the deep, raw places where Beauty is always born.
Lancia, I was perusing Facebook the other day and lamenting the sheer number of negative articles and comments. It appears that social media is where many people vent, argue, and attempt to gain attention instead of connecting, learning, and encouraging. In observing this, I am so thankful for your website, dedicated to the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. Your words, posts, and shares are in such stark contrast to the bitterness and hostility that often pervades the web. It is so good to have determined artists who do not surrender to the swarming chaos. Artists who enlighten our daily experience with beautiful music in a world full of noise. Thank you for being you and accentuating positivity, faith, and beauty.
Lancia is an experienced photographer with an eye for a great shot, but she's also unusually thoughtful and holistic in her approach, taking pains to communicate and contextualise her subjects with sensitivity and wisdom. She's not just “snapping” pictures; she's serving and caring for human beings.
As Lancia spoke in her session, Prayer as Truth-Telling, she cultivated an environment that was warm and inviting to all. Her prepared remarks were made all the more meaningful by her ability to also speak directly to that specific room with individuals who both had their own unique needs while also sharing in themes common with the larger human story. Lancia has a gift that she honors in how she serves her audience in a way that is holistically comforting and challenging, helping those with ears to hear grow courage from knowing that they are loved by their Heavenly Father and are welcomed into His grand work.
In this fast-paced, instant-gratification seeking world, Lancia's work invites us to slow down, to pay attention, to see the beauty we're apt to miss in our rushing. But it's more than seeing--Lancia's artistry cultivates in us, an appreciation for the necessity of beauty. She reminds us that God is an artist with a keen eye for detail, color, and form. Lancia's work turns our chins and says, "Look. See. Don't miss this glory.
Lancia is a remarkable woman who has been a blessing in my life for the past 20 years. She is a woman who walks her talk, and is simply the personification of courage. Through the grace of God, she has found the courage to walk through the places that scare her, to offer a place of refuge and beauty and clarity to the world. Cultivating is her courageous, sacred gift to the world; a lingering reminder of all that is good and true and beautiful!
It’s been an honor & a privilege to have a front row seat, as it were, to the cultivating life of my mother, Lancia, through the years. To not only be privy to her intentional pursuit and curation of all that is good, true and beautiful in this world but to see these very elements manifested daily in her personally has become a treasure trove that I carry with me. Whatever she puts her hands to invariably ignites a life that lives beyond the picture or page, echoing those Deeper Truths that steady us. Her voice in this often-dingy world, stirs up the tenacious magic inherent only in Hope and captures its luster one spark at a time. To bear witness to this embodiment of her life’s pursuit has been a fierce and irrefutable testament of her Faith and I am the more challenged and changed for it.
As a writer, I relish Lancia’s way with words. As a journalist, I laud her interviews. As a novelist, I wanted her to make my portrait for my book and website. As a follower of the Christ, I have been blessed immeasurably by her spirit. You will also.
Sow the seeds of goodness and truth, and you will reap the fruits of beauty. Cultivating is truly a garden of beauty, and it is no wonder because Lancia is a master gardener. She provides a space where lovers of these things can learn, unite, and thrive.
To follow Cultivating is to open the gate into a garden of intentional, thoughtfully curated beauty. Lancia shares a gift that goes beyond inspiration and encouragement; each post, image, and interview plants an anchor in the truth and goodness of God. In Cultivating she has made a rich and spacious way-station for believers engaged in art as well as the everyday work of faith, and I’m profoundly grateful it exists.
If you only read one blog in the coming months make it The Cultivating Project. Always intelligent, never academic. Graceful writing that is a balm. Isn't that what we really need amidst all the noise? Enjoy. You can thank me later.
There are lots of people who take beautiful photographs, but Lancia does something more. She has the instincts of a mystic, in touch with the seen and unseen at the very same time, and she has the gift of capturing hidden truth on film. There is something revealing and healing in all her work: as an artist, a speaker, a teacher, a writer.
Lancia Smith has an extraordinary gift for asking the right questions and, as on previous occasions, has drawn things out of me I scarcely knew were there.