harnessing the power of photography for good

Rock Academy

A Look Back at August 2012

Since returning from Oaxaca at the beginning of August, it seems like I have been going non-stop.   As I sit in Chick-fil-A and look back it’s hard to believe that it’s September 3rd.  Where did August go?

It’s a good thing I have photos to look back on to help me answer this question…if not for that, I don’t know what I would do.  So, as a way to maintain some sanity and to share what God has been doing I share these photos of August 2012.  God is good!

Beginning of August, finished photographing Summer Camp in Oaxaca, with Adventures in Life.  Taking portraits of cute little kids and some not so little kids….I got to spend some time with family, always a blessing.   We came together to celebrate my youngest niece Olivia’s 9th Birthday.

2002 Rock Church Staff photo, taken by Rafael Delgado.
In August I started looking through and uploading on Facebook old photos from the archives.   Photos are great reminders of what God has done in the past and a way of showing those who came before us.  This photo is from a 2003 Rock Church baptism at Mariner’s Point, Mission Bay.I love this photo.  Pete Giordano took this photo at one of the first Rock Baptisms, Mariners Point, I believe in 2001.  He is a great photographer who loves black & white film.    The photo speaks for itself.

August 16th, the Rock Academy started school.  I have had the privilege of photographing at the Academy for several years now…I watched a few kids graduate this past May that I have known since they were in elementary school.  It’s always fun to see the new faces as well as the familiar ones, in expectation…Blessings on the Rock Academy for a great school year! 

My friends kids, Valeria, Veronica and Diego.  It was their first day at their new school…August 18th, taking photos in San Marcos at Knob Hill Elementary.  Rock Church North County was there to help beautify the campus…over 150 folks came out that day.  That afternoon, Warriors Indoor Club Soccer…Photos are from the 18th and 25th.Rock North County had a Marriage “Date Night” on August 24th.  They asked us to document the evening and take portraits of the happy couples…Rock North County Baptism, August 27th at Carlsbad Lagoon.  A great place to declare your faith in Jesus publicly…August 31st, Friday night lights.  Rock Academy Football team had their season opener versus Capistrano Valley Christian. It was a close game but in the 2nd half Capo Valley pulled away winning 35-21.August was busy, but after looking through several thousand photos I can’t complain.  I get to use my gifts to serve Jesus and bless others!  Hopefully September does’t go as fast…

Lady Warriors Soccer

Rock Academy Lady Warriors Soccer team came from behind to tie the game late in the 2nd half vs. Tri City Christian.  The Warriors were down by 1 goal…Kalissa took the corner kick and placed the ball perfectly for Alexis to head the ball into the net.  To see the sequence of this goal please go HERE.

The game would end tied at 1-1, and went into extra time “golden goal!”  Extra time ended with nobody scoring.

Penalty Kicks to determine who would move on to the 2nd round…

1 blocked kick is all it takes…Warriors win 4-2 on kicks to move on to 2nd round  of CIF Div 5 playoffs.  Warriors would lose in the next round to eventual Div 5 CIF Champions Horizon Panthers.

You can see all the penalty kick photos HERE.

Congratulations Warriors on a great season!

CIF Basketball Championships

The Rock Academy Warriors battled to the end but came up a few points short in their first San Diego DIV 5 CIF Basketball Championship appearance, losing 36-44 to Foothills Christian.  

CIF Championships were held at USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion (aka the Slim Gym).  The Warriors were well represented in the stands, cheering on their class mates on the court.

Congratulations Rock Academy Warriors on a great run!

Let’s hope for a good draw in the CIF State playoffs…Go Warriors!!

Rock Academy Warriors :: CIF Basketball

The Rock Academy will be playing in their first CIF Basketball Championship this Friday at USD, 4PM.

These are just a few photos of their journey to the championships…They had to defeat Warner Springs, Calvary Christian and Vincent Memorial along the way.  The no 2 seed Warriors will be facing the no 1 seed Foothill Christian Knights for the Division 5 Championships.  Go Warriors!Rock Academy Cheer Team, encouraging the Warriors on to victory!Warrior pride!

Rock Academy Winter Formal

A few of this year’s Class of 2012 

Rock Academy had their winter formal last Saturday, “Masquerade Ball” was the theme.It was a fun evening, and some of the students actually dressed for the evenings theme.  Take a look at some of the fun from Saturday night…more photos soon

You can see more photos on our Facebook page HERE…while your there, make sure you “LIKE” us

Warrior Golf? Men’s Basketball :: 1st Annual Player Coach Golf Tournament

Rock Academy Warrior Basketball began with the 1st Annual Player Coach Golf Tournament at Cottonwood Golf Course.  It was raining but that didn’t stop these warriors from digging up the golf course and having some fun.  You can visit our Facebook page HERE to view all the photos taken.  Don’t forget to LIKE us!  Go Warriors!

Rock Academy Lady Warriors!

Why should the guys have all the fun…

This years Lady Warriors Soccer and Basketball Teams.  Go Warriors!


2011-2112 Varsity Soccer Team

2011-2012 Varsity Basketball Team

You can visit  the Rock Academy Athletic page to get info on their schedules and when they play next…or you can go HERE

2011 rock academy homecoming

Rock Academy had their Annual Homecoming Dance at the South Bay YMCA.  It was a huge success, lots of fun and dancing…

Wanna see more photos….please go HERE

rock academy:: new school year has begun

its a new school year at the rock academy…which means new and familiar faces, new shoes and a chance to learn new things and more about Jesus!  have a great year warriors!

wanna see more photos of the first day of school and orientation day…please visit therockacademy.smugmug.com

2011 Rock Academy Football

the rock academy football season is about to begin, they play vincent memorial  tomorrow at del norte high school, 7pm.  come out and support the warriors as they begin their 2011 campaign.to see the whole team you can visit the rock website photo galleries or just click HERE

Rock Academy presents: Beauty & the Beast Jr

Shae Lamb was belle, in the Rock Academy’s spring musical presentation of Beauty & the Beast jr.  It was a great 2 day performance of music and dance with a little drama mixed in…Shae was injured midway thru the 2nd nite…but she was able to finish the show.   Well done Rock Academy.

please visit our MISSION focused FB page for more photos or you can go HERE

Rock Academy Prom | Cruising SD Harbor aboard Newport Hornblower

mike and terry spent the evening on the Newport Hornblower taking photos of the Rock Academy Prom.  Take a look at some of their photos…thankfully nobody got sick!

you can see a few more photos HERE on our MISSION focused Facebook page…go look and make sure you LIKE us!!

more photos soon…

rock academy cif basketball vs horizon

the rock academy warriors will be playing in the div 5 cif semifinals for basketball this wednesday.  they are playing at 7pm at horizon.  if your not coming to our photo class go and cheer on the warriors.

rock academy warriors

epic takes over indian hills camp…

i love camp.

goin to camp always gets me fired up.  friday was no exception. one of the greatest blessings for me, as part of the rock photographers, has been the chance to go to camps with the rock academy and rock youth ministries.  over the years ive been privileged  to get know many of the kids and ive known quite a few since they were in jr hi and in the case of rock academy students, even before that. so to see them at epic hi school summer camp is really a treat.

those who know that im heading to mexico in 3 days may think im crazy.  i was thinking the same thing as i was packing up my gear yesterday.  but as they started rolling into camp i decided to use this time to prepare myself for God was gonna be doin in mexico.

in case there was any doubts…once worship started, i was blessed and humbled once again.  i love taking pictures of folks, young and old, fully abandoned worshiping our God!  but its especially sweet to see hi school folks who dont care what others think and are willing to praise God whole heartedly.  thats not to say that every student here was like this, not yet at least…there were folks lookin around, and a few you could tell wanted to raise their arms but were scared.  thats ok.  theyre here and more importantly, the Holy Spirit is here!

after worship, they showed the movie to save a life. it was originally released in the theaters last year, and ive heard nothing but good stuff about the movie.  so i was glad to see it and more so, after i saw it.  the readers digest version of the movie is its about hi school students getting serious about their relationship with Christ and looking to make a difference in their world.  not just when things are good, but in the bad times as well.  and seeking out those kids that others look down and make fun of…realizing that we all have baggage and issues, and to not let appearances fool you.

after the movie, pastor mark asked that they break into hi school classes and pray that God would allow them to be the difference in their schools, that they would be the one to show the Love of Christ to others in their schools.  they closed the evening holding hands in prayer and praise to God!

Rock Academy Class of 2010

the rock academy ‘s class of 2010

congrats to the rock academy class of 2010.

more pics soon…

Welcome to the Prom

I had a great time shooting the prom with Mikey last night, he came to show the kids how to dress and class it up, suit and tie style. He made the mistake of following me and brother Joe down the rabbit trail and took us a little too seriously. The last time i got dressed up was probably my wedding 5 years ago, and then before that probably prom 12 years ago, both with the same beautiful gal! Check us out, Horizon Prom 1997.

Anyways, I shot the prom with Bro joe the previous year and we had a great time messing around with some night photography. This year’s group served as great models, finally a group who didn’t mind getting their feet wet in some instances and simply enjoyed having some memoires captured of their special night. hope y’all enjoy the shots, here were some of my favs . . .


Do you remember your Prom? I do. Mine was May 20th 1995, my school Prom was on a boat in Mission Bay it was on the W.D. Evans. On May 8th 2010 I was back at Prom, NOT again but to take pictures for the Rock Academy Junior/Senior PROM. The prom started at a private home on the top of Point Loma. This is the senior and junior class outside the home.
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It was now off to the back yard that over looked the city for more pictures and great food.
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Now its time to head to the dance floor let Prom begin……
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they had these cookies with the Rock Academy logo on them
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What’s cool about a small school you know everyone and can play around IMG_7159 B
they dared him to eat a goldfish… and YES he did …
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In this pic the kids were using helium to make fun of some of the teachers that were they, the teachers were enjoying it.
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It was a great time now its time for these Seniors to get ready to go off to College and the Juniors to take Lead of this small school.  Lets keep them in Prayer.. 🙂

its amazing…boogie woogie woogie…

i dedicate this post to the memory of “heyyyy nooooah”

the rock academy is presenting their spring musical, joseph & the amazing technicolor dreamcoat, in the rock sanctuary tonite and friday nite.  come check it out, the lights are fantastic…and the singing is great too.

if you hurry, you might be able to catch the 2nd half tonite, or else come on down to the rock this friday, 630pm.   its free.  come and support the arts program at the rock academy.

(take 2) low hung fruit….on the tree of creativity

the mythical tree of creativity, in my neighbors front yard.  i wish i would have known that sooner.   many moons ago, i had this sticker that said “mediocrity sucks.”  it was an ad campaign for the distributor of italian cycling gear, back in early 90’s, i dont remember now who it was.  i guess the ad campaign didnt work too well after all.  i do recall the idea was dont use inferior(mediocre) gear, use theirs.  “mediocrity sucks” has been something ive held on to ever since, with obvious implications to our life with God.   i do think that as followers of Christ, we (i) often settle for mediocrity, saying “its good enough.”

david du chemin says that in the life of a photographer, we often settle for good enough, the so-called low hung fruit on the tree of creativity. he is speaking specifically about shooting in exotic and picturesque locations.  in these locations, its hard to not take beautiful pictures. thats easy!  taking powerful, compelling images of the mundane or the “ugly” parts of jamaica, where toursits dont go…that takes hard work, sweat, and patience.

the GOOD is the enemy of the BEST!

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,   so that you may approve what is excellent

Philippians 1: 9-10

in the greek, paul is saying the “knowledge and all discernment” is an understanding of what is good vs what is excellent.  he assumes we know the right thing to do (choosing between right and wrong), God wants us to understand that the choices we make are often decisions between what is good and what is best.  God wants us to choose the BEST!  this is what paul is praying.  that we would see what is good and excellent, and that we would choose the excellent, the best.

a pastor friend of mine shared with me and a group of brothers who met with him weekly, a perfect example from his life of what paul is encouraging us to do.  he had just finished eating dinner with the family and was looking forward to spending some time with God reading the Word.  as he sat in his easy chair he began reading…his kids finished clearing the table, and his wife began washing the dishes from dinner.  at that moment, God told him to put the Word down, and go help your wife do the dishes.  he was speaking honestly with us that evening, and he struggled with this request for a bit.  his mindset was,  what better thing is there than chilling and reading God’s Word?  nothing!  but God said, right then and there, the best place for him was next to his wife, helping with the dishes….setting an example for his son and daughter, living out what he had been teaching them.  after finishing the dishes and thanking his wife again for the delicious meal she had cooked, he went back to the Word.

at that moment, a choice between helping his wife and reading the Word, one was clearly better than the other.  he chose the best.

photographers and christians often take the easy route, we grab the low hung fruit cause its convenient and within reach.  but like the tree with the fruit way up high, where its hard to reach and takes an extra amount of effort to get to.  the rewards are much bigger, the fruit is tastier and sweeter.

in preparation for the caymans, the task is to not duplicate the photography we did in jamaica.  but to look for what God has for us NOW!

as people who love Jesus, we stretch ourselves as photographers, reaching for the high hung fruit on the tree of creativity…because of this, we will inevitably fall at times.  but the rewards and blessings involved with stepping out in faith, to reach higher and further than we have dared to in the past is far greater than merely settling for just good enough.

i had the pleasure of spending some time today with kimberly, a senior at the rock academy, for their “shadow” work day.  she is interested in journalism and photography, so she got stuck with hanging out with me after not hearing back from national geographic and getty images.  i said a bunch of silly stuff, pretending to know something about photography, i think i fooled her.  but i did get to share something that i feel was worth sharing…at catalyst last week, andy stanley closed this years gathering with a quote from howard hendricks (a professor at dallas theological seminary).

if there is anything that has kept me on track all these (50+) years of ministry…its sticking to this principle:     many things will detract us from our goals, but the secret to concentration is elimination

i was reminded of this quote after reading nicoles blog from wilderness.  as we allow God to work in our lives, His process of sanctification (making us more like Jesus) isnt always easy or fun. but as we eliminate the mediocre, the distractions, and focus on the best… it will only make us stronger and more focused on the race thats before us.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

rock academy spring fling pics…

saturday nite was the rock academys spring fling.  we set up an area where we could take some fun pics at the dance…here are just a few of the pics taken.   patience is a virtue…more soon

hot lights are great for keeping food warm

last monday we took a break from shooting military families and opened up our time for shooters to come and practice shooting under the lights in a “studio” setting.  the lights are constant, borrowed from production.  not the most ideal for photography, but they were free.  plus, part of the fun of photography is learning to shoot in conditions less than ideal, because much of the time, we have no choice.  kind of like what God said to Job,

Job 38:19  Where does light come from, and where does darkness go?

as photographers it would be great to be able to control the sun and moon, to get the most ideal light for each shoot, but we cant.  thats what monday was all about.  having fun while shooting…pluse it was nice to have some folks come and let us take pics of them.

id like to thank hayden for blessing us with his skills and not charging us his normal rate to pose for us.   the lamb sisters for being so much fun to shoot, and victoria and nicole, for blessings us as well.

most of the pics i took were using an old projector hooked up to my computer.  we projected different pics of textures on a screen.  what i didnt see was the images we used had a fine grid texture to it, and wasnt noticeable in camera…oh well, made the pics look more moody and dramatic.

lisa took this last photo below of hayden

hayden relaxing, his work was done

Rock Academy Basketball Season is Over

the rock academy warriors played in their first cif state regional playoff game yesterday, against the ribet academy frogs, who were the cif div 6 champions in the los angeles section.  they battled the long drive deep into LA and a good team with more height, but the warriors came up short.  they played hard the whole game and their first experience with state championships has left them hungry for more next year.  go warriors!

Rock Academy Warriors vs Maranatha Christian

the warriors fought hard against maranatha, battling till the end, but came up short in the semi-final game on tuesday nite.  the good news is they have a chance to play again in the socal state regionals on tuesday.  they dont know who they are playing yet, but be sure they will be ready.  check back here for more info soon.

Warriors Win!

before fridays 2nd round cif game against calvin christian, the rock honored their 2 seniors…

sr, eric dickenson w his family and coach jones

sr, jivin kissoon with his family and coach jones

it was a fun aggressive game against calvin.  the warriors played a much taller team but with their tough full court defense and furious offensive play, the calvin crusaders were never able to bet much momentum going to counter the play of the warriors.  the warriors finished strong, winning 64-42.

the rock academy plays their next game on tuesday, march 2nd at 7pm at maranatha christian.   come cheer on the warriors this tuesday.  for directions to maranatha, look HERE.