Can you just imagine what kind of Bible we might have now if there had been photographers back in Biblical times? To visually see Jesus feeding the 5,000 with two fishes…. I could totally tell you right now, as a photographer, how I would shoot that – and it would be fantastic.
To be able to capture and document a move of God for history, to show our children what we got to be a part of and what God was doing, is an incredible honor and an amazing responsibility.
Today, as creatives, we have that opportunity in a huge way, across multiple platforms. Through the magic of social media this generation is adopting a visual learning style more than any in the past, and we get to fully embrace it and run with it using the extraordinary creativity that God has given us.
One of photography’s greatest, Ansel Adams, once said, “When you can look at a photograph and hear the music…” – that’s is the greatest compliment you can get as a music photographer. I not only saw the photo, but I could hear it, I could – feel it. That’s what we want, to provide not only a window of what’s going on in our church, but also to go deeper and show the joy that we and others are experiencing by being there. Then, we want to provide these images – quickly and easily – for our Pastor, Worship team, and church leaders to use these on their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. This is a way we get to focus our creativity in ministry, as creatives, to serve and help grow the church.
Along with our weekend Experiences – that’s what we call our services at Elevation Church – we have another one on Monday nights at 7:00PM at our Elevation Lake Norman campus (which you are totally invited to, btw!). We have Monday night Experience for people who work weekends. Call time for my photo team starts two hours before to set up, go over any info of what’s happening that day, pray together, and start shooting. We will shoot run-through, set up, prayer, volunteers, people excited coming into worship, the kids ministry, and finally the entire 7:00PM Experience. Afterward, we sit together and edit our images and post them on a photo stream for our leaders to have use of immediately to reach people.
So, where do you start? Many churches have a professional photographer – if not several – already in their church, they just need a platform to serve. Start there. Professionals know about copyrights and shooting etiquette, gear, lighting, and editing. They can lead and train a team of volunteer photographers that will allow that team to be surrounded by other creatives, learning and serving together. It’s a fulfillment that brings our creatives in house and puts them in their sweet spot and allows them to come together as a team. It’s documenting church history for the next generation, and it’s a powerful tool that can be creatively used to reach people who are far from God. It’s that important.