I've learned that though being conference photographer can be fun and crazy, I don't think it is the kind of photography service that I am looking for as a vocation. Its not as fulfilling. I believe that what I'm searching for is to tell the stories of people's life work. Whether that be here or on the mission field. And the crazier the person's work the better. This is not to say that I don't want to photograph conferences in the future or other fields of photography, but I'm starting to see that it's people stories that I want to tell. Not that I'm quite sure how to do that yet. I still think that having video editing skills could be very useful for this.
For the conference you take pictures of the speakers speaking, of the people listening, the vendors talking, the posters and display, and things like this. I think it would be more interesting to take pictures of the speakers getting ready, hanging out with friends, preparing, praying, working, and then speaking as only part of the story of their life. Or the vendors working at the organizations they usually work for, the getting ready for this event where they will share their vision for missions, the setting up of their displays that will tell of their work. Or the story of a young person preparing for the mission field or for pastoring a church. What work do they do to get them selves ready? How do they find the books that will teach them and the elders that will mentor them? And do they hope to find these at the conference? Stories more along these lines are what interest me I think.
Most of the people that I have talked to have encouraged me in a different path from the one I am pursuing/investigating. The idea that somehow I could serve missionaries as a vocation without some other way to support myself does not seem like a likely thing to happen. "How will you support a family? How will you support your self? You might end up just adding to the burden of the missionaries you are trying to serve." Most of these people have encouraged me to establish myself in wedding photography or something and then use that as a platform to be able to go on short trips to serve other people.
I am taking these warnings to mind while still investigating the possibilities. I have been encouraged by the some of the people at the Texas Photojournalism conference that God can do things and lead people places that most people would not think possible.
I am still in contact with Trevor Johnson with World Team, and he has again mentioned the World Team Asia conference in Bali Indonesia as a possibility for serving World Team with photography. But I still have responsibility as rec director at Bates Creek camp in Potosi MO and I have decided (I think) that I will not try to smash them both together. So unless someone else is providentially provided to take my position, and SOON, I will not go to Indonesia. The other thing is I do not feel quite right trying to recruit someone for my place either seeing as I said I would fill it.
What to Pray for now-
- Bali conference in Indonesia. That God would clear up my convictions and feelings and give me clear direction for whether I should go or not.
- TGC (The Gospel Coalition) That the pictures I took for them would be a blessing to them and be useful. And that the contacts I made may lead to further work that God has for me to do.
- Video Skills. That God would help me get these skills quick OR give me some clear direction against it. (we always want everything to be clear don't we. lol)
- That I would be able to serve Sports Crusaders at their summer camps and on their mission trip. Also pray for the boys going on their mission trip.