Being In The Moment: Photographing My Church

I have started a really cool project that I have been contemplating for months.  One Sunday I was sitting in church, just sort of taking it all in; the music, the sermon, the overall feeling of the place.  I watched with detail, every move the pastor made.  It was a comfort thing I suppose, but I was seeing everything happen all at once.  I was in the zone. I was in the moment.  If you have been an athlete or enjoy athletics you may have probably at least heard of being in the moment, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you have been in the there.  That is where I was.  Everything slowed down, and for the first time in my life I saw my church in a way I had not experienced before.  The odd part was that I had no expectation for that happening, it just sort of happened.

The idea to somehow capture the feelings I was having with my camera started to tug at me pretty hard.  I lived in the moment for the rest of the service, and it felt great, invigorating even.  The following week it was back again, the same feeling, the same thoughts.  As I sat there making sense of all that was running through my head I made the connection that had eluded me the previous week.  I had finally loved the church I was a member of.  They were little cues that in of them selves might not have amounted to much, but taken together make the difference for me.  I’m not a musical person but the music the choir sang hit me the right way during communion.  The pastor would walk down the line of the congregation during communion, “The body of Christ, given for you.” The attendant holding the wine cup, “The blood of Christ, given for you.”  As our pastor would walk up and down the line he’d sing along with the choir.  He was in the moment too.  He was happy, he was at peace, he was loving his job.  I watched the lines of people waiting for communion, as they dipped a finger in the baptismal font, crossing themselves up, down, left, then right; a reminder that we belong to God.

These beautiful moments combined with many others got my mind working, before long I’d walk into service, and all I saw were photo opportunities.  Not just ideas for photos, but specific shots I wanted to capture.  The angles, the lighting, the mood, the message I wanted to capture.  It was all there before me.  That has never happened to me before with my camera.  As it goes, I see something that is worth photographing, so I do it.  I found these photos before they have happened and that is what I am starting, to capture the ideas I already have in my head.  I can’t decide what is more exciting, the idea of spending the day with my camera alone in church, or the anticipation of seeing if I can put the ideas in my head, and actually get them in the camera.  I suppose it doesn’t matter because this is going to be a lot of fun.  Several shots are ready for posting, I’ll get to working on posting them here, but if you look at my flickr feed, you’ll see them there too;)

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