I love when people ask me how my passion for photography began. I took a year “off” after my first year of college and traveled to China, Peru & Russia with a non-profit. For some reason they trusted me with their camera. I mean, I took a photography class in high school and Photoshopped myself into a picture with Josh Hartnett, so clearly I was an expert. I became their “photographer”, despite having any street cred. I’m thankful for that opportunity – it’s where I realized I loved photographing people. Fast forward to now, and I actually do know what I’m doing. :) In the coming months and years, Amos and I are going to be more intentional about using our gifts to benefit others. Next month we’re jet setting to the Philippines to work with Arms of Love. Among many exciting projects, we’ll be photographing the kids for their website and sponsorship needs.
Since we are fortunate enough to travel for destination weddings, we’re going to make an effort to connect with a local ministry when shooting abroad and provide photos for them to use on their website and other promotional/fundraising needs. It’s kind of a no-brainer: loving people with your talents! The day after a wedding in the Caribbean was the perfect time to put this into practice. (Shout out to our bride + groom, who were completely supportive of us doing this!)
We Googled “orphanages” and this was the first one to pop up. After doing a little research we e-mailed them, asked if they had photo needs and next thing we knew, we were there! It was a relationship that started a little impersonal (see: Google search), but blossomed into new friendships and rich connections. Every person you meet becomes part of your story. We’re glad to have them as part of our story, and to be a small part of theirs. They even invited us to come back and stay! We only spent a day and a half with them, but I’ll never forget these faces…and not just because I have photos. :) We found they are bringing incredible integrity to what Jesus said: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
There’s the orphanage, literally perched on a mountain! ^
This is the “road” they navigate daily!
How amazing is this playground?! Someone donated it!
The way these people love the kids blew us away.
When we weren’t taking photos, Amos worked with Spunky Sharon in the garden and I painted. One thing we were really impressed with is their use of resources. They’re incredibly frugal by growing their own food (even chickens!) and re-purposing materials again and again.
We got to ride in a Jamaican push cart that the kids made!
Look at that steering genius! ^
They have their own school, which is also an outreach to their surrounding community.
We were also able to go to the beach with some of the kids. What a blast!