“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” – Dorothea Lange
Stock photo sites provide a wealth of beautiful photographs for your blogs and social media. We should strive to provide our own photos. They tell a better story. As the Digital Engagement and Disciple-Making Coordinator with WorldVenture, I have access to photos from all over the world. For WorldVenture, they make ideal Scripture image posts, support blogs others (or I) write, and give depth to updates and prayer requests.
Two years ago, I bought my first professional camera. I had been on social media for years. The massive libraries on Pixabay, Stocksnap, and Unsplash served my many blogging adventures well, but I wanted to go deep in my stories. I wanted to capture real people, real landscapes, and I wanted to tell their stories with detailed, good quality shots a smartphone was unable to provide. Authenticity is about transparency. In the church or mission organization, this is an important part of storytelling.
A picture of a door accompanying a verse about knocking is just a door until you realize it is a door of an ongoing ministry who sees answers to prayers all the time. A Scripture image comes alive, especially to those that know that ministry.
When I teach churches and individuals to use photography in their own social media posts, I don’t discourage the use of their smart phone. People connect emotionally and they connect even with the less polished posts as long it is emotional.
- First, you can go to Google Drive on your phone and create folder to store your photos for quick and easy access to them for on-the-go posts. Create sub-folders named Spring, Summer, Sadness, Happy, or whatever will help you find specific photos for specific updates.
- During the week, if you don’t use a social media poster like Hootsuite to schedule them, you can post your thoughts and add the appropriate image from your Google Drive folder.
- Take the best photos you can, keeping your hands still, and getting familiar with the camera settings on your smartphone. Experiment with different light settings.
Don’t worry about having a plan for your pictures. Take pictures because something is beautiful. Take pictures because it brings you joy. Pictures intensify an experience and help you notice things you otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. Pictures are a visual story. Whatever you post online, make sure the picture supports your words and your words support your picture, like a children’s picture book.