Photos: Summer Camp

This weekend I went to summer camp.
As a photographer I am hired to be a spectator. I stand back, see a moment and document it. Little did I know what I was getting in to. One of my twitter friends asked if I would shoot Cottonwood’s youth camp. The last time I went to summer camp was when I was seventeen. I remember that week impacting my life dramatically. It was there, I made up my mind that I would serve God no matter what happened in my life. Since then my summer camp friends and I have chosen very different paths and I’ve become a busy adult.

This weekend I heard a new generation cry out to God.

There would be times when I would take a photo of a group of friends and think to myself, “They have no idea how beautiful they are.” The hope of life was seen in their eyes. You may think I’m being over dramatic but I haven’t hung around teenagers since I was one.

As I was in line for dinner I suddenly remembered my youth days. The hope, the dreams, the mystery, the excitement. I closed my eyes and took it in. I could hear young girls behind me talking about their day, laughing and joking with one another.

After I got my food I was suddenly in high school again, “Which table should I sit at?” I laughed to myself at this thought. I saw some of the young production guys (where I am always welcomed) and ate with them. We laughed and talked about video ideas.

My friend had arranged a special room for me.. or so I thought. I ended up sleeping in one of the cabins with some of the girls. They were up talking all night. haha.. I soon found myself at Summer Camp. I was eating, sleeping, getting dressed, and worshiping with these kids. My photos began to change.. and I was now apart of summer camp. No longer was I a spectator.

In the evening we had a worship service. I was snapping photos but then.. I couldn’t help but.. I turned on my video. The sound of young kids worshiping their Creator could be heard for miles..

At one point I put my camera down, closed my eyes and sang with them. The message that was preached talked about stop comparing ourselves with everyone. As a creative person, I do this all day. He said, “Walk the road God has graced you with.”

Anyone who goes to summer camp is never the same. God has their full attention and He never fails to speak in to their lives. I hope when they see these photos they are reminded what God did in their hearts..they would remember the prayers they prayed. Cottonwood’s youth is pretty awesome. It was great to be apart of the family for a few days. I know I came back impacted.

What is Beautiful

I don’t think we realize or appreciate the real beauty behind us all. We live life so fast, we don’t take the time to notice how complex and unique we all are.  We believe what is beautiful is what we see in advertisement or films, but what we all fail to do is ask the right questions about each other. What is beautiful to me is life. Through heartache or pain, celebration or victory, every event in our lives makes us who we are. It’s up to us if we let what happens in life destroy us or make us stronger.

I created these shots to suppose each thought in the poem. Enjoy.

 

VID: Youth Conference 2011

I’m always excited to work on videos for the youth department. I know I can take some risk with my creativity and if my creative idea fails, chances are teenagers will still think its cool. The theme this year is When Worlds Collide YoConf2011.

I pictured faces of young people with shadows appearing on them as if two planets were colliding. I considered creating the shadow in After Effects but thought it would be easier to take the sun visor from my car and have someone cover their faces to create the large shadow.

My first cut came out comical which wasn’t what I wanted. I guess that’s a risk when creating something sci-fi-ish.  But as soon as I added all the elements, it came together nicely. I watched one of Nick Khoo’s tutorial and thought this dreamy effect would be a great look for this video. Here are both. You can try it yourself.