CAN A CAMERA BRING YOU CLOSER TO JESUS?

Meike Beutow
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  In a Discipleship Training School you could end up in many unexpected places. In a classroom, cabin, prayer room or a village in the mountains. Or maybe behind the lens of a camera

Doing the Photography Elective means spending four hours a week getting to dive into a particular area or passion and getting to actually do it. But this is more than just learning the technical things about aperture and light. The heart beat of all we do is to see and share the love of Jesus. So can a camera bring us closer to Jesus? 

Photography can do many things – create art, document life, freeze a moment in time, capture a memory…

I got my first camera when I was twelve. It was a very old SLR Camera my Grandpa gave to me. From this moment on I would capture the leaves on the ground, my feet in the sand, my sibling playing, the rain puddles on our deck, ants, trees, our dog, our turtle. Anything and everything. 

 

The thing about photography is it sharpens the way you look at this world.

It forces you not only to give attention to the details that life contains but also the way people relate to each other, the influence light has and so much more. One of the many qualities of a good photographer is a good observation. Suddenly a whole new perspective of the world  opens up while you slowly find your way through all these technical things like aperture, exposure, and light settings. Suddenly you want to capture everything through your lens. 

 

At this point, I often encourage my students to actually stop and put the camera aside for a second. It’s so important that we be present in the moment. It’s drinking in our surroundings, the atmosphere, the relationships, the lighting, and all those factors our photo will expose before we limit our field of view with the camera. It’s when we stop and see the beauty around us that we can open up our eyes in wonder to Jesus. Like a trail of breadcrumbs, the details of the world around us lead us to see the creator and giver of life. 

 

Our camera is such a powerful tool. It doesn’t only capture and frame – it actually has the power to lift up or humiliate, to dignify or expose. What we portray matters and it is a powerful tool to help shape what others see. Use it wisely!

Even more than photographing what’s evident, I have even come to the point that I want to use photography to display maybe what is not so evident. To see beneath the surface to what God sees in someone. The inner beauty of a person that so often hides behind masks, make-up, and our best camera smile. 

 

In our Photography Elective, we want to teach our students not only the art and technique of photography but also the ability to see and serve God with it. He is the one that made (almost) everything we capture. By our photos we can see God, and display the beauty of His creation whether that is capturing the beauty of nature or the identity of a person. 

What does the elective mean very practically?

We learn to understand our camera and its settings, learn to shoot manually, and therefore get an understanding of lighting and exposure. We teach different artistic approaches to photography and learn how to execute a photoshoot. We encourage and guide the students to find confidence in taking photos and to find their own style. And last but not least we want to show you how you can serve God with your photography.

 

If you would like to join us for our next Photography Elective, apply for a DTS and select “Photography Elective”. 

Author

Meike Beutow

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