Throughout the years of my photography business, I've tried to do things that leave me with warm fuzzies. Obviously, my clients give me plenty of those, but I try to do something with my camera pro bono to serve others. One year, it was taking people's portraits who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford a photo of themselves with HelpPortrait in Des Moines. Other years, it's been donating a senior session to Norwalk's After Prom raffle drawing. Over the course of the past several months, I've lent my help to my church's online & in print magazine STORIES, helping them document an article's subject and give a face to the person behind the words.
The first assignment was especially challenging for my heart because I was asked to photograph Bri just a few weeks after our second miscarriage and her story is about how God has redeemed her life since the abortion she had in college. She now works to save the lives of the unborn, visiting with moms-to-be who are considering an abortion. She's even made a trip to D.C. to be a pro-life advocate. You can view her story and images HERE.
Kourtney was my next assignment and this gal really is in tune with where God calls her to be. I know my own hair stylist and my mom's hair stylist serve such an encouraging role in our lives, speaking the truth in love and refreshing not just the hairs on our head, but our hearts as well each time we're in their chairs. Kourtney has used her abilities to bless missionaries across the globe and her story details how a hair stylist can be so much more than someone with scissors in her hands HERE.
Their latest issue focuses on Technology and how to use it for good, redemptive tasks. Specifically, I photographed a gal named Michelle who has helped restore older buildings throughout Des Moines' downtown area (namely, The World Food Prize). She works to show her clients that buildings are never too far gone to save and there are economical ways to save buildings that are also environmentally friendly. (Sound like a great intro to sharing the Gospel?) You can read her story HERE.
Over the course of the past 5 years, Gerard & I have been on such a journey with our church and their expanding efforts in several church plant locations. Now, our group has moved to help start Walnut Creek Highland Park on Des Moines' north side. No, it doesn't make sense for people who live in Norwalk to drive a fair length of the city of Des Moines, but it's where God has us now and I've been able to help document the building and the people who make up the church body. You can see those on our church's blog describing our newest location's first Sunday HERE.
I love documenting these stories for our church because I learn something new each time I meet someone from another of our locations and I'm introduced to a new area of Des Moines. It's also quite fun and encouraging to see your photos in print and serving a larger body of people. :)
Lord willing, there will be plenty more issues to come!