Make sure to take candid and not posed photos. This is a pet peeve so allow me to get on my soapbox. Candid photos also are more interesting and lively that posed photos. Posed photos focus on how the individual looks. Candid photos focus on what the individual is doing. We want more photos of what God is doing than how we are looking (amen). The other big downside of posed photos is the comment section. If you post posed photos then the comments on social media can digress into a back-and-forth of who looks more adorable. Taking candid photos can be tricky because people might think you want them to pose. If they do, I like to tell them “keep doing their thing and pretend I’m not here”. In a minute they will go back to being themselves and you can go back to taking great candid photos.
9. Shoot For Emotion
Most of the photos a church will use will be ones that demonstrate the life-changing power of Christ. So try to capture that emotion and power. If you want to capture joy, take photos of baptisms. When people come out of the water they are smiling from cheek to cheek. If you want to capture peace, take photos of your candlelight service. Seeing a darkened room full of worship eliminated by candlelight evokes unity. If you want to capture boredom, take photos of the annual church meeting (crickets). The best way to shoot for emotions is to be observant. Be observant for key moments that are loaded with emotion like surprise, happiness and peace. Or better yet, anticipate moments that are about to happen so that you can position yourself to capture them. This anticipation means that you need to think through upcoming shots even as you’re taking your current shot. This is a difficult skill to master but once you do, you’ll be able to capture key emotions.
10. Find Faces Fast
Not only do you have to find someone’s face, you need to capture it in a flattering expression. Notice that I didn’t same natural expression. Often times our natural expression is not flattering. Mine included. It usually defaults to a frown. Trying to capture a speaker when their face looks right is a unique challenge. The best time to do this is at the end of a sentence. Most people freeze their face at the end of a sentence to convey the emotional tone of what they’ve just said, before moving onto the next sentence. This frozen moment is about a quarter of a second so I usually like to shoot on burst mode to try and capture it.
So those are 10 steps to build a photo team at your church. Hopefully these steps will help you showcase what God is doing in and through you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what steps I missed. I would love to hear from you and learn from you. I would also love to connect on social media so look me up. Starting a photo team takes a little bit of effort but the impact it will have is huge. So start your team, or grow your team, today.