My alarm goes off on my iPhone. But I don’t see the word “Alarm” come across the screen because I’ve programmed it to say something different. When I set this alarm to wake me up on Sunday mornings, I wanted to be intentional about how I started my day off, serving on the photography team at my church. I want the first thing my eyes see when I open them on this morning not to be “Alarm” on my screen, but to be “You GET to serve God today at Elevation Church.”
Because, come on, grabbing a Frappuccino (double chocolate chip, double blended, extra whip – you’re welcome;) blesses the heck out of me on an early Sunday morning.
Our arrival time for the photography team is around two hours before the Experience (At my church we call a “Service” an “Experience.”) We have a few tables and chairs set up for us backstage where our photo team sets up our laptops and camera gear. When we arrive, we plug in our extra camera batteries, open up Lightroom on our laptops, and get our SD cards out and get ready to start shooting.
Once the team is all set up, gear-wise, we huddle up to go over what the day is going to look like, to see what we need to cover and get on the same page. As the Coordinator, I pull up Planning Center on my phone and look up the cue sheet and go over with the team what songs we are singing, when the Welcome will be given, if we are doing a baptism that day and what time it will be, and any other important information that they will need that’s going on that day on the campus. It’s important that everyone be given as much information as possible so they will have a clear direction on what needs to be shot that day.
Next, we gather hands and pray for the day as a team. We pray specifically that God will use the creative gift that He gave us to be able to see things that He is doing that we normally wouldn’t be able to see, so that we will be able to capture what He is doing through His church.
It’s a time that we get to jumpstart our creativity and go on stage to shoot the worship band going through the songs, work with stage lighting, and get our close up, tight shots of worship on stage that we can’t get during the Experience.
We want to make sure that we are documenting everything from A to Z, and that includes the behind the scenes of the volunteers and all of the work they put into making the day an amazing day for the people who walk through those doors. If they are doing their own team huddles, connecting with one another, putting up tents, getting worship guides together, or putting the food out for the volunteers; whatever it is we want to capture it. Even one small thing one person is doing is important and makes a difference, and that makes every one person important to us.
45 minutes before each “Worship Experience” all of the volunteers, worship team, and leaders come together in the lobby and rally together as a complete team to do a quick fun game or icebreaker. A staff member speaks encouragement over us and we pray together over the day and for each person who attends in order to bring us together to see what God will do through us.
After Volunteer Rally, we photograph people walking through the door, our volunteers interacting with guests, our kids getting ready for their own incredible day, and everything backstage that is happening through our amazing volunteers and staff.
9:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
During the “W.E.” our team is shooting worship, and if we aren’t going “Point-To-Point” with our Broadcast Campus during the sermon, we photograph the Pastor or Speaker on stage. After, we want to capture real life change of people who are either getting baptized, accepting Christ as Savior, or getting connected more to the church by signing up to serve on a volunteer team or a home group.
10:45 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.
We choose the best 30-50 photos from our day, import them into Lightroom, edit, and export them into Lo-Res (for the photo stream) and Hi Res (for the photo archives online) before we leave. This provides a great way for the staff and leaders to see everything that went on throughout the campus that day. Catch a glimpse of what I captured at my church this weekend on my Instagram: @BlueAmberPhoto.
Above all else, project The Story, and don’t stop shooting!