Oaxaca :: Arnold, Wonder Woman & Power

Power photography.  Not to be confused with power lifting or body-building… the last thing we need is a bunch of self absorbed photographers on steroids, running around shooting people.  You can do a lot of damage with a camera….or if you choose, you can do a lot of good.That’s the conundrum, nay, quandary that photographers must confront…to use the power of photography for good or for evil.  To fight the system of oppression that seeks to hold down your fellow man and use photography to build others up.  To use photography to document what’s good in this world, and show off and expose the evil as well.

Well…we may not be fighting crime, flying in invisible planes like Wonder Woman or arresting bad guys.  The question is as photographers, are we contributing to the betterment of society and the good of all mankind?

More specifically, as a follower of Christ, am I using the gift of photography for God’s Glory or my own?

The above photo was not taken by me.  The photo in the photo, was not.  I share this to show the power of a photograph.

The photo was taken by Doug, who is the gringo in the photo that Dave Miller is holding.  Doug has been down to Oaxaca several times over the years on different Adventures in Life building projects.  Doug was part of the team that helped build the church in San Baltazar Guelavila, a small town 40 minutes from Tlacolula, in Oaxaca.  Julian, the man in the photo with Doug, lives next door to the church in San Baltazar and helped Adventures in Life build the church.  Doug and Julian became friends as they worked together and the photo was given to Julian by Doug.  The photo hangs in the living room of Julian’s home.  His son, Jaime, in the above photo was telling Dave that his dad still speaks fondly of Doug and when Doug comes to help he makes a point of visiting Julian.

I was speaking to my mom recently about why I go to Oaxaca.   “Can’t you take photos of families in the states?” She asked.  The answer is yes…but not like what we are doing in Oaxaca…Of folks who have never had their photo taken!This past trip to Oaxaca, I took the above photo of Elisabeth(in yellow) and her friend.  I recognized her from the kids camp I photographed 2 years ago in Oaxaca.  I asked her if she still had the photo we took of her that we gave her.  She said yes!This is the photo of Elisabeth that was taken 2 years ago at the Adventures in Life kids camp at Pastor Chable’s farm.

What we have had the privilege of doing in Oaxaca to take photographs of families and kids who have, for many, never had their photo taken!  Wow!

This honor does not get lost on me.  

I started taking photos with the family camera back in 3rd or 4th grade…and I haven’t stopped photographing.  Everyone in the states seems to have a camera, be it a traditional camera or a cell phone camera.   The idea that, in the 21st century, there are folks who haven’t had their photo taken seems improbable…but I’ve witnessed this first hand.

So, does the world need another wedding photographer?  hmmmm….

The big picture is this, as part of MISSION focused, we want to use the power of photography to help extend the reach on those in the mission field.  Using photography we can help open doors and build relationships, that hopefully will allow folks like Pastor Chable to share more about Love of Jesus with those who may not know Him yet!

Using the Power of Photography to help spread the Good News of Christ!

Another honor and privilege!

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2 Responses to Oaxaca :: Arnold, Wonder Woman & Power

  1. David Miller says:

    So Joe, what can we do to give some folks in Oaxaca a leg up on catching the vision you caught in the 3rd or 4th grade when the love of photography was just a seedling in you? I am still transfixed with how Ike gave the kids his camera and they were able to create… and document.

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