On Assignment: Training the Next Generation

by | Aug 5, 2022 | Assignments | 0 comments

If you have been doing any of the recent monthly photo assignments, this new one will be quite easy. It’s not too different than some of the recent assignments we’ve done, but with my schedule being packed with so many end-of-convention-season things, I found it quite challenging to find the right situation with suitable subjects to photograph. It was just a matter of days before the assignment needed to launch, I had never met in my life the family I was going to photograph, and I was hoping against hope that the place where they lived would be a nice location. With fingers crossed, I pulled up into their driveway, and here’s what happened next!…

This photoshoot was truly God-arranged! I knew it was something God wanted me to do, so that gave me to strength to do the sort of things I would not normally be comfortable doing! And it’s amazing how well it worked out. I have to say it was one of the best photo assignments. Incredible backlighting, scenic surroundings, complementary color schemes, and photogenic subjects. I couldn’t have put all that together in the busyness of convention season if I had tried!

Before heading outside, they asked me what they should wear. I am not usually in control of this so I wasn’t exactly sure what to say. I looked outside. The grass on the hillside was a beautiful warm tone. I knew blue would be a good complementary color, so I turned back and said “Blue?” And what about pants? “Something business casual.” I didn’t want them looking too casual. But it wouldn’t make sense for them to be wearing Sunday best working through an unmown field. They had already determined that Philip would be wearing khaki colored shorts, so we decided that dad’s pants color should be khaki colored too. Looking over the pictures now, and knowing that incorporating the idea of “imitation” was a clear goal, I can’t believe how perfect the clothing color coordination turned out to be!

220731_James Staddon_9897 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 135 mm, 1-320 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

220731_James Staddon_9915 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 165 mm, 1-320 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

220731_James Staddon_9917 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 150 mm, 1-320 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

The log location with backlighting was simply stunning. I was amazed, with a telephoto lens, at how just little changes in my angle completely changed the way the photo looked.

While I do my best to make the photo perfect in-camera, here’s what the original, RAW file looked like so you can see what kind of tweaks I made when “developing” it:

220731_James Staddon_9917 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 150 mm, 1-320 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100-2

Most of my shots need one tweak or another to bring them to perfection.

Up on the hill, I took a lot of photos. It’s tricky to get photos that show natural-looking postures. I wasn’t trying to take lots of photos, but I had them do the same thing multiple times so there would be a higher chance of postures being ideal. Of the 153 photos that I took of them walking up and down the hill, 19 of them were worth batch-processing, 7 were very useable, and 4 that were perfect.

220731_James Staddon_9944 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 145 mm, 1-640 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100220731_James Staddon_9953 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 165 mm, 1-1000 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100220731_James Staddon_9972 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 190 mm, 1-2000 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100220731_James Staddon_9976 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 165 mm, 1-2000 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

And at the top of the hill, I really didn’t get what I was hoping since I didn’t have a wider angle lens. But I did do the best I could. Notice the difference in feeling from the first photo, with front-lighting, and the other photos, that are basically back-lighting. One lighting angle is not necessarily better than the other, but there certainly is a difference in feeling between them.

220731_James Staddon_0009 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 130 mm, 1-2000 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

220731_James Staddon_0028 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 145 mm, 1-1000 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

220731_James Staddon_0018 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 90 mm, 1-1000 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

I am excited to see how God will use these photos! There is something so amazing about photographing professionally for a ministry. And to think that you have the opportunity to do this too!

But photographing for In The Gap in not the only way you can stand in the gap for the next generation. ITG has the tools for providing you with training on exactly how to do this. They have a two-and-a-half-week summer program called “Operation Impact”, where young people ages 14+ are equipped to share the Good News and are mobilized to partner with churches around Oklahoma City to do Bible Clubs. I remember hearing lots of incredible stories of God at work from when my sister worked there several years ago. ITG is definitely a ministry I can recommend!

Now It’s Your Turn!

Now that you’ve seen how I did it, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and take some photos for Training the Next Generation! There are multiple kinds of photos that ITG could use to illustrate this concept, so make sure to look at the assignment details to get ideas for what other kind of photos you could do in addition to a father and son with Bibles.

Get each article as soon as it goes live!

Recommended Ebook


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send the next blog post straight to your email inbox!

Thank you for subscribing!