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Photopeeps San Juan Capistrano Photoshoot

Here’s the details y’all

We’ll meet at the Solana Beach Amtrak Terminal at 8:30am Saturday March 24, 2012.

Round trip ticket is $16.00

Board the Pacific Surfliner Northbound 567 (departs at 8:40am)

Arrive San Juan Capistrano 9:28am

Mission tour is $9.00 ($1.00 off discount coupon available online)

Swallows Day Parade 11:00am

Board the Pacific Surfliner Southbound 580 (departs at 4:14pm)

Arrive Solana Beach 5:03pm


Photopeeps this Wednesday, February 7 in Rm 353 at the Rock Church. All are welcome.

This Wednesday we will be sharing photos we took for our homework. The homework assignment theme was 13, how you choose to take photos that express our theme is up to you. You can join the fun this Wednesday by doing the homework and bringing photos to share. Sharing is caring!

Please bring three (3) photos of 13 to share with the class.

You can bring the photos on a thumb drive, cd, or memory card in order to share the photos.

Please bring your cameras to class with you. Time permitting we will answer any questions you might have about your camera or any other topic you can think of.

We will continue to share more info about our upcoming Intro to Photo Fun class coming in February.

Any questions, you can email us a MISSION.focused@yahoo.com or you can leave a comment and we will get back to you.


I had the pleasure this past Saturday to share my love and passion for photographers at the youth Alliance Conference held at Horizon North County this past weekend. It was fun to encourage these teens to do more with their photography along with the opportunity they have to really give back with photography. I don’t usually realize that I’m growing up until I notice some gray hairs starting to show up which I usually blame on the Chiefs performance as of late but I did realize it when trying to explain what photography was like for me at their age. Yup, that means film, paying a ton for 1 hour photographs, and no internet to share the photographs I had taken. Hopefully I was able to inspire some to start using facebook and twitter and really share their photographs and continue to document the good going on in the world along with the stories behind the photographs they create.

I had an amazing time with the Mission Focused team, check out the images on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.287693614594345.75820.169983526365355&type=1

Chick-Fil-A Military Appreciation Night | Eastlake

I had the privilege of shooting the Eastlake Military Appreciation Night with Mike Menegus and Mark Wallace from the Eastlake Church Photo ministry. The Eastlake Chick-Fil-A joined all the other locations in an amazing effort to simply serve our military. I’ve never seen people work so hard and have nothing but smiles on their faces throughout the entire event. Here are a few images from the Eastlake location, to view all the pics from this amazing event visit: missionfocused.smugmug.com

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chicmilitarymw (13 of 28) (1)

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firstkiss-chickfila-eastlake 7


I had the pleasure of shooting the wedding of Julius and Leah with the Mission Focused team. This was an amazing opportunity to use our talents to truly bless a wonderful couple. Having 4 shooters endured that every angle was covered. It was such a blessing to show Lea and Julius their photographs last night, they were truly blessed as was our team.











A Night To Remember

The Mission-Focused team joined forces with Eastlake Church this past Friday to help document “A Night to Remember” which is a prom for students with special needs. I have been at a crossroads in terms of ministry photography lately with a desire to truly make sure the photographs being taken are making an impact and not being buried. I’m excited to continue to work with the team at Mission-Focused as well as serve with the team at Eastlake. The prom was very well covered, there were so many volunteers serving the event that at first it seemed to be too much. What I later realized was that with the abundance of help I truly got to experience the event. The faces on all the students is not something that I’ll forget. The night truly was one to be remembered.

To view all my photographs please visit: http://www.firstkiss.smugmug.com

To view all the images from the event please visit: http://eastlakechurch.smugmug.com/





The first thing I find myself doing every morning as soon as I wake up is I check my email, then go onto facebook. I read past all the complaints going on and look for someone who posts something funny or creative, maybe just my desire to be inspired. I then check the few comments on my usual smart ass postings and then check the photos of Hayden to see how many people decided to comment on how cute he is. I then ask myself, am I using facebook to it’s full potential? Am I missing out on an opportunity to be “liked” and reach a broader audience and show them my work? People have become professional facebookers in the photography world, and we can no longer deny the fact that it works! People are wiping out their advertising budgets and are generating new clients through social media, so why am I just sitting back and watching it take place?

As a new photographer establishing a business my first thought was to work on my brand. After having a class on branding I was asked to think about what is more important to focus on, branding, or your reputation? My initial thoughts were that branding and reputation are synonymous. What I realized is making that the case is the goal.

To me branding is projecting who you are and what you want your business to be. Your reputation is who you really are, you can’t fake a reputation. We are at a crossroads between the old and new, brought mainly about by social media. I’ve come to recognize that the brand I build and project online will mean nothing without the reputation that must be the foundation. Foundation means everything to a business, do I want to rush mine and build on sand?

Reputation is built differently then branding. I can’t go online and post something funny that get’s a big response and stop there and have a reputation built. Anyone can post 1 great photograph out of 100 taken, but realize your client will see the rest, and it’s those remaining 99 that will establish your reputation.

I realized that I have made a lot of groundwork already in building a reputation. From the start I’ve treated every customer like they we’re my best despite what package price they ordered, something I will continue to do. I’ve been blessed to serve and donate my time and talents with free military family portraits as well as working with the team at Mission-Focused to document God’s work being done. Again, the fact that there was not a penny paid does not reflect in what I provide them. I am blessed with some great testimonials from my clients stating that I went above and beyond their expectations. I have a good foundation to work with, now I need my brand to represent that.

So my bottomline is this. I absolutely believe photographers need to build their personal brand. I believe that like it or not people will book a photographer based upon your image, your personality. They are booking YOU. If you ignore that then you will get passed by. However, don’t let building that be your end result, succeeding at your craft and exceeding expectations should be. If you achieve that then your clients will have lasting memories, and you will have repeat business. Make sure your brand and reputation do become synonymous. Have better use of time management – could the time you and I spend on facebook / twitter / linkedin be used to provide an even better product and experience for our clients? Lastly: Be Original – it’s very tempting to copy someone’s branding tactics that work. To be honest people are getting rich off of encouraging others to mimic them, truth is they know they will fail because it’s not authentic. People can tell when you’re being you and when you’re trying to be someone else. Find yourself.

– Trevor Stolebarger
First Kiss



Mission-Focused is having a series of classes for anyone who is interested in the business aspect of photography. We are a team of young growing professionals who meet everyother Monday and discuss the various aspects and challenges of setting up a photography business. We will be meeting this Monday (March 21) at 5PM in Kearney Mesa at 8525 Gibbs Dr. Ste 206 San Diego, CA 92123

This upcoming Monday’s discussion topic is branding. We will be discussing the following:

A. Logos
B. Website (hosting, domain names, templates, etc.)
C. Blogs
D. Packaging
E. Emails / Correspondence
F. Business Cards
G. Graphic Design
H. Promo Videos

If you’re interested please email Trevor at: firstkissproductions@gmail.com for further details.

Last Frame


While shooting an event last week I had a philosophical photography talk with Brother Joe. The topic was complicated but really came down to what do you want to shoot, if you had 1 shot left to take, what would you want it to be that would represent your photography? I’ve stayed awake at night thinking this through and I don’t think it’s a coincidence this came up at the same time I am re branding myself and my business.

Digital photography has changed photography, in my opinion for both good and bad. I will be negative and dive into the bad. I really feel that digital photography has led photographers to no longer really concentrate before taking a shot because digital allows us to fire off a bunch of shots and find a few that work. For me it takes the thinking out of photography. For me it went so far as to take out the thinking about what I was shooting. This led to a lot of meaningless photographs that are now stored on my computer that I don’t see any value in. There hasn’t been a whole lot that I’ve shot in the past 2 years that I’m really proud to attach my name to. Not that the photos are bad or anything, it’s just they don’t really serve a purpose in representing me.

I used to photograph a lot of models. Aside from coming up with a unique concept there wasn’t a whole lot to it. Pretty much anyone can take a decent photograph of a person who knows how to pose. During that time in my career I wanted to show beauty in my photography. I was lucky to shoot celebrities at events which just pushed me more towards that side of photography. But what I recently realized is that I was taking photographs of people who are considered “beautiful” but I didn’t see beauty in the shots, and the reason was the shots didn’t mean anything to me.

I found beauty in shooting photographs that really meant something to the person I was shooting for. I found beauty in shooting love. There doesn’t need to be a pre-conceived idea, there doesn’t need to be a professional pose or expression because love doesn’t need to be posed. Shooting photographs for someone to just add to a portfolio is now meaningless (to me). Shooting family portraits for military families who never had time to get photos means a lot. Dedicating time to shoot a wedding for people who can’t afford to pay normal rates and seeing them cherish their images is what I want to continue to shoot. Those are the photographs I want to start putting on my website and blog. Those are the shots I want to represent me. If I had one frame left, I would want to make sure I captured love, because isn’t that really where true beauty lies.

My goal in 2011 is to revamp my entire portfolio. I look forward to transferring a lot of my work onto an external hard drive and freeing up space on my computer so that the frames I shoot have meaning. One of my camera’s is nearing it’s end, in shutter years the camera is quite old. I let that camera down by not making sure each click of the shutter had been thought through. I won’t make that mistake with my next camera!

– Trevor Stolebarger
First Kiss

Rock Academy Spring Fling

I enjoy shooting dances, probably because I remember how much I looked forward to getting our photos back from Prom / Homecoming. I also love that the same gal in those photos is the gal I married. I shot the Rock Academy’s Spring Fling this past friday night with Brother Joe. It was a cold night with the dance outdoors but we still had a good time with our makeshift light system and the students were fun to pose. Brother Joe shot this photo with me and the gals, not sure how I got caught on the other side of the lens but at least I was able to plug Nikon!


more photos at first kiss

Photo Class Tonight


7:00 Room 353

Bring some shots to share as we explore the wonderful world of photography!

Rock Photo Peeps Class Tonight


I shoot people!

Brother Joe has asked me to fill in for the next 2 weeks. Bring along your favorite 2 images taken in 2011 and we’ll discuss how to build confidence in shooting people in the face. We’ll also discuss some great photography resources online and how Nikon is supreme. I look forward to meeting with y’all and undoing some of the brainwashing you may have experienced through Brother Joe. 3 simple things you need to know about me.

1. I love my creator and that He made me creative
2. I don’t think Scarlett Johansson is ugly
3. I listen to Taylor Swift

I’ll see you tonight at 7PM in room 353

October Wall Calendars are here!


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September 2010 Calendar

Howdy All,

September wallpapers are here, enjoy . . .


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August 2010 Calendar

Howdy All!

Our August Calendars are now available for your desktops. Enjoy!

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Military Family Portraits: The Williams Family

I had a great time photographing the Williams Family this evening.  Every Monday night the team at Mission-Focused serves our military through offering free family portraits.  We have now been doing these shoots for the past 6 months, it was exciting to hear tonight how much this means to the families and how quickly the time slots are filled up, sometimes within minutes of the schedules being posted.

I’m Batman

I had a great time shooting Bruce’s 1 year photographs tonight, he was kind enough to bring his daddy Bruce and mommy Alicia, his uncle, and his grand parents who came all the way out from Tennessee to celebrate his 1st birthday.  I had shot their family portraits a ways back so I was excited to get to see the Estep family again tonight, it’s fun to see how fast kids grow up.  Anyways, I had a great time shooting tonight with Malia and Lisa, we decided to break the mold to avoid a creative block (sort of like writer’s block) so we shot around Liberty Station this evening.  It provided us with a lot of great backdrops to work with and we were glad we made that decision.  I got to learn more from Malia who is great at posing which is something I am wanting to get better at. anyways, here some pics from tonight. . .

Rock Photo Classes Summer Break

The Rock Photo Classes will be on break for the next 2 weeks with Brother Joe and Terry down in Oaxaca. Be sure to check this site for photo updates from their trip!

Next week I will be shooting Comic-Con as a member of the press for my 5th year. Time to shoot some celebrities, in the face 😉

July 2010 Calendar

Howdy All,

July wallpapers are here, enjoy . . .

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I Poo in Blue

I’ve been blessed with a beautiful bride and son. I have found out during the past 19 months that being a daddy has no equal. Hayden is my joy. I love you prince!

June 2010 Calendar

Howdy All,

June wallpapers are here, enjoy . . .

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We Remember

Thank you to all who serve and to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, we’re forever thankful.


I had the pleasure of taking pics of my good friends Angie and Parker, their first pics since being married a few years back.  Angie and I worked together in the past, and although she is still working on her accent I can finally understand the majority of what she says 🙂  Her husband Parker recently got back from deployment and I have enjoyed getting to know him as well.

Sun Tanned Toes Ticklin the Sand

After weeks of Hayden pointing out my clothes on the floor and yelling at me for putting my shoes in the wrong place I realized he needs to get out more. So me and Hayden took a little trip to the beach this past Saturday for a day of sun and sand.