harnessing the power of photography for good

Posts tagged “free

Christmas 2012 :: Free Portraits for Military Families

08We had a great time on Saturday, December 8th, blessing Military Families in San Diego.  MISSION focused gathered up a bunch of talented photographers to offer Military Families in San Diego an opportunity to have their Family Portraits taken at Liberty Station.  We had 36 families, representing the Navy, Marines and the Army, come join us Saturday morning.  It was a beautiful morning to bless those who serve our country and their families.   You can see more photos HERE.


Free Military Family Photo’s :: December 8th

Cruz Family :: June 2010

The Cruz family were the first family we photographed back in 2009 when we started photographing Military Families, as a way of thanking them for their service to our country.

On December 8th, 2012 at Liberty Station in San Diego we are offering active and retired Military Families from all U.S. Armed Services, Free Family Photos.   It can be just the kids, the whole family, gramma & grandpa with the grand-kids or just the 2 of you…We are here to serve and bless those who protect us through their service in the Armed Forces.

If you would like to take us up on this offer, please email us at MISSION.focused@yahoo.com to reserve a time slot.

December 8th,   8am to 11am at Liberty Station in San Diego.  All Military folks welcome.  Please help us spread the word:)


Free Photos for Military Families in San Diego

We want to bless Military Families in San Diego.

If you know any Military Families who have been wanting photos but just haven’t found the time…send them our way.

We will be at Liberty Station on December 8th, 8am-11am

You can contact us at MISSION.focused@yahoo.com to reserve a spot.


Jesus Geeks in Action!

Jack praying for Faris Hassan after delivering a laptop for him and his family.  They are refugees from Iraq and have been in the US less than 5 months.Faris with his wife and kids.

Jesus Geeks is a non-profit ministry that provides quality computer services for those who can’t afford it.  They also take old computers and repair & refurbish them…then they donate them to families who don’t have computers.  Sunday I had the chance to follow Jack, leader of Jesus Geeks ministry,  as he delivered 2 laptop computers to families in need.  In the case of Faris, they are Muslims, but Jesus Geeks don’t discriminate…the family needed a computer and they delivered.

The ministry is about serving Jesus with their gifts.  They have learned to be culturally sensitive with families who don’t know Jesus…but when Jack asked if he could pray for them they gladly accepted.   After praying, Jack closed the prayer by praying ” in the name of Isa Jesus.  Amen.”  Jack said Isa is the name Muslims use for Jesus.  Very cool.

Jack helping set up the laptop for another family from Ethiopia.

Kids are kids, no matter where your from.  The computer isn’t quite ready for play, but the kids don’t care…

Gabrawhout with his wife and 6 kids.  They have been in the US for less than 8 months.  While Jack was setting up the computer, I spent much of my time photographing their middle boy, on the left between his big brother and sister.  He was so much fun, wanting to pose for me whenever I wasn’t taking photos of Jack in action…Praise God for the work God is doing through Jack and the Jesus Geeks ministry.  If you want more info about the Jesus Geeks ministry, you can go HERE.


Adventures in Life, Oaxaca & Photography

2010 AIL Summer Camp at Pastor Chable’s farm (Zimatlan, Oaxaca Mexico)

3 years ago I made my first trip to Oaxaca with Dave Miller and Adventures in Life.  I have known Dave for quite some time and I have many friends who have been very involved with AIL over the years.   I almost made it Ensenada 15 years ago, give or take a few years,  with AIL but it didn’t happen.

Terry in action at 2010 AIL Summer Camp

Understanding that God’s timing is perfect,  I finally made it in February of 2010.  It was on that trip that I began talking with Dave about bringing more photographers to Oaxaca in order to photograph the work that AIL was doing and to take portraits of kids and families in Oaxaca.

If you have ever been on a mission trip, one thing you will notice is that everyone serving seems to have a camera.  What you see is someone taking a photo, usually of kids, and then they show the image on the screen of the camera and that’s it.  The folks you are serving never see the photos ever again.  Our goal as a ministry is to fix this problem.  The Summer of 2010, Terry Schwartz came to Oaxaca with me to photograph AIL Summer Camp at Pastor Chable’s farm.  We brought with us 2 HP printers so each student that came to camp could take home a photo of the whole camp and a picture of themselves.  The photo above is of our “command center” that week.

Cyndy has been to Oaxaca several times, like Terry, to take portraits and to photograph the work of AIL in Oaxaca.

Some of the students looking at their photos from this summers camp in Oaxaca.

One of the biggest blessings for us is knowing that we were the first photographers to take some of these students portraits!  It’s something that I can never forget or take for granted.  We live in a world here in the U.S. where everyone has a camera, whether its a traditional camera or a phone with one.  And to think that someone has never had their photo taken?  

I took this gal’s photo in 2010.  She is from San Pedro Amatlan, a small town several hours in the mountains above the city of Oaxaca.  Cyndy and I visited this town with AIL’s Medical Team in March, where we had the chance to photograph families while we were there.

I recognized her from camp and I asked her if she was coming to camp in July.  She was not able to make it.  I also asked her if she still had the photo we took of her in 2010.  She smiled and said “yes.”  We took the photo above of her with some of her family…we left this and other photos we took before we headed down the mountain that evening.

These are some of the portraits we have had the privilege of taking over the past 3 years in Ensenada and Oaxaca… 

This Summer was a blessing for us as a ministry.  Since we started taking portraits of students at camp in 2010, we have been able to take portraits several different times on numerous trips to Oaxaca with Adventures in Life, in a half dozen locations around Oaxaca and in Ensenada with Dios es Amor Church this summer!  Praise God!

2012 AIL Summer Camp

It is our desire to help ministries like Adventures in Life by documenting in photographs the work they are doing, and help AIL and the local church in areas like  Oaxaca and Ensenada extend their reach into the community through photography.

MISSION focused is now a non profit  501 (c) 3, registered with the State of California and the IRS.  If you would like to support the work that we are doing in Oaxaca and in San Diego, it would be a blessing to us.  At this point in time we are not set up for credit card donations, so for now you can send a check payable to “MISSION focused” to the following address:  MISSION focused ~ 8030 La Mesa Blvd  #326  La Mesa CA, 91942

If you are a photographer, and have a desire to use your gifts for God’s Glory and to serve others, we would love to talk with you about future trips we are planning….

All Glory to God!


Photopeeps Tonite!

Bolt on over to Photopeeps tonite.  We will not be in Little Italy tonite, it’s sold out 😦  So we will be meeting tonite at our usual time and usual place tonite.

7pm in Rm 353 at the Rock Church

We will have some pizza to share, it’s not the same, but it is kinda Italian.  Come and join us and let’s share photos and talk about Jesus!

Free pizza, free sharing, free fun!  All are welcome!


Photopeeps this Wednesday…May 30th

Victory Loves Preparation!

Join us this Wednesday as we share what’s happening this Summer with Photopeeps.   We have tons of fun things planned, some new classes, photo outings and summer bbq’s…

All are welcome, with or without a camera.   If you do have a camera, please bring it with you…we might take some photos in class!

Photopeeps :: May 30th, Wednesday at the Rock, 7pm in Rm 353

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


Join Us Wednesday for an Evening of Fun with Dave Miller

Dave Miller, Executive Director of Adventures in Life Ministry

Dave Miller, in orange, is coming to town next week.  The photo above was taken in the middle of Oaxaca City’s main market at the world famous NIEVES OAXAQUEÑAS CHAGÜITA .  

I first met Dave back in the mid 90’s, after my good friend Grady Martine and Dave co-founded Adventures in Life Ministry.

MISSION focused first started going to Oaxaca with AIL in 2010, to help Dave document the work that God is doing there.  Since February of 2010, we have been down to Mexico with Adventures in Life several times.  The photo above was from February of 2011, with Dave is Cyndy Smith, Jim Wanglund, Terry Schwartz  and Brotherjoe

Wednesday, May 2nd, 7pm at the Rock Church in Rm 353

Dave Miller will be sharing stories with us about our most recent trip with Adventures in Life, along with photos that we took.  This will be a chance to learn what God is doing deep in the heart of Mexico and how you might partner with MISSION focused and AIL as we continue to help them photograph the work of God in Oaxaca.

Please join us, FREE fun, all are welcome!

You can learn more about Adventures in Life Ministry HERE

If you want to see what we have been doing with AIL, please go HERE


Photopeeps Sharing this Week!

Photopeeps this Wednesday, 7pm at the Rock, in Rm 353.  All are welcome!

This Wednesday, April 25th is gonna be a sharing time…hopefully yall have been busy shooting photos over the past few weeks.

Yall are cordially invited to come and share with us!  Sharing is Caring!!

Please bring 3 to 5 photos that you have taken this month, April, that you would like to share.  Be ready to talk about your photos.  It’s best to bring your photos on a thumb-drive, but you can bring them on a cd or on a memory card.

This is a great time to come and learn more about us.  We have some fun things planned for the summer and we will be sharing a little bit of what we have planned this Wednesday.

Photography is fun!  Sharing is fun!!  Sharing photos is extra fun!!


The Old Town in My Backyard

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is the “Birthplace of California.”  SD is the birthplace of California!  Sweet!!I’ve been to Old Town San Diego many times over the years, my first time was when I was a wee lad in elementary school…but sadly, I have only been to Old Town 3 times over the years for the purpose of photographing this historic area.

Rock Photopeeps decided it’s time to venture out and take photos of San Diego.  Might as well start at the birthplace of California!  These are a few photos that I took Wednesday night.  I definitely want to come down and shoot a few more photos…

At the beginning of the year I decided that as fun as it may be to visit other parts California for photo excursions, it was time to spend more time photographing in  San Diego.

Love water!  Great for taking fun reflection photos…

Learn something every day…I did not know that the first US flag raised in Southern California was in Old Town.  Cool!

It looked like it was gonna be a cold and rainy night but it turned out to be quite lovely.  The clouds gave a little more character to the sky.  Overall…a fun night of photography!


Photopeeps :: Old (School) Town

No…you don’t have to photograph in black & white and shoot with your film camera.  That’s unless you want to!  

This Wednesday we will be taking Photopeeps “Old School” as we venture out to Old Town San Diego for some photo fun.  We will be meeting in front of the Immaculate Conception Church in Old Town, at 645pm (link to church HERE).  We will start wandering around Old Town at 715pm.  

Immaculate Conception Church

Rain or shine, we will be ready to shoot and have fun!  So come join us and don’t be just a fair weather photographer, that’s if it rains, and come have fun…photography is fun!

If you haven’t been to Old Town San Diego State Park, now’s your chance.  It’s one of the more popular State Parks in California and it’s right in our backyard!

If you think your gonna come join us, please go to our Facebook page and let us know >>>go to the right of this post and you can get to our Facebook page>>>that way we can keep an eye out for you.

FREE Fun!!!   Tomorrow, Wednesday April 11th.

Meeting in Old Town, at the church at 645pm, we hit the bricks at 715pm!

Rain or shine, we will be photographing.  Bring a jacket and umbrella if it looks like rain.

Photography is fun!  All are Welcome!!


Oaxaca Med Team :: Notes from Dave

Dave Miller, with Adventures in Life just wrote a great blog about the power of photography.  He gives us huge props as well…You can read his blog at his blog site  “notes from Dave” or by going HERE.


Oaxaca Medical:: Portraits

What happens too often in “missions photography” is those serving bring their cameras, in all its forms, and take photos…then they show the photo in the small screen and that’s that!  They go home, share photos on facebook, tell stories of what God did and talk about going back soon (most never do).

Seeking to use photography in new and creative ways to bring honor and glory to God…we began taking family portraits in Oaxaca, Mexico.  We print and give photos to those whose photos we took.  Hopefully building trust and respect with the folks Adventures in Life is seeking to minister to.  

We have learned that what we take for granted in the states is something they really don’t worry about, since family photos are a luxury item.  So when we can give them the photo we just took, it’s powerful stuff.  Our hope is that through photography, another opportunity to share about God’s Love will happen during the delivery of these photos.

Interested in using your gifts to help us photograph what God is doing in Mexico, let us know!  For now you can visit the Adventures in Life Facebook page HERE to view more photos.


Photopeeps :: Intro to Photo Fun

Photopeeps:: Intro to Photo Fun!  Classes begin this Wednesday

The fun is about to begin…Our 6 week Intro to Photo Fun classes are beginning this week, in Rm 353 at the Rock.

All are welcome and classes are FREE!

Requirements:

~Please bring your camera and camera manual to class with you each week.

~A digital camera is preferred, but if all you have is a Polaroid camera, your more than welcome to join us.  ‘

~Each week we will be taking photos in class and you will be assigned homework assignments that you will   share in class the following class session.

~Be ready to share.  The class is meant to be fun and part of the fun is sharing photos we take and learning from each other as we share.

~Before you come this Wednesday, make sure your camera is ready to use and battery is fully charged with a memory card that is ready to use.

This Wednesday we will be talking about the Intro to Fun classes as a whole and what’s expected, and we will be talking about “the Camera.”   No camera, no photos.  No photos, no photo fun!

All are welcome, even those who don’t consider themselves as beginners.  There’s something to learn for everyone.

Any questions, please leave a comment or email us at MISSION.focused@yahoo.com


Oaxaca 2012 :: Wednesday in San Baltazar

We spent the day in San Baltazar, about 40 minutes southeast of Tlacolula.  To get an idea of where we are and have been, take a look at this little video Dave put together.

It was good to be in San Baltazar.  This first trip I came with Adventures in Life was to San Baltazar.  The day was quite successful as the men put a roof on two adobe structures at the church that will be the kitchen and a Sunday school class room.  Before work began they gathered to pray and strategerize for the day…The men are putting up a greenhouse next to the adobe buildings…this will be version 2.5You can see more photos on our Facebook page 🙂


Photopeeps this Wednesday :: February First

How many folks does it take to hold a ladder for a photographer?

Photopeeps this Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm at the Rock Church in Rm 353…Join the Fun!

Homework for this Wednesday is Shadows

Come join the fun as we share photos we took this week of Shadows.  If you weren’t able to make it last Wednesday but want to share in the fun…go and take photos of Shadows.  Please bring three(3) photos to share with the class, plus the photo you took and shared on facebook.  Be ready to share, since sharing is caring.

We are starting our Intro to Photo classes on February 15th.  Keep an eye on this site for more info…


Photopeeps this Wednesday :: Join the Fun!

Homework theme: Texture

Photopeeps this Wednesday, January 25th 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 was to take photos of Texture.  Texture is the theme, 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 Texture 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.


Be Prepared

I was chillin with a friend the other night when The Mechanic came on, we hadn’t seen the movie in awhile so we decided to watch it.   I’m not giving anything away for those who haven’t seen the Jason Statham flick, but there’s a gun in the movie that has engraved on the side AMAT VICTORIA CURAM, translated from the Latin means Victory Loves Preparation.

As I thought about the phrase I began to think how well it relates not only to our relationship with Christ but also to the photographic world.

In order to have victory in our relationship with Christ we also need to be prepared.

Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.

(1 Peter 3:15)

In the same way, if we are to have victory in our photography we need to be prepared.

How you prepare is the question.  

In Christ, thankfully we have the Holy Spirit to guide us through the process of conforming ourselves to the image of God (Sanctification).

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

(Romans 12:2 ESV)

As a photographer, we may not have the spirit of Ansel Adams in our ear to instruct us, but thanks to the internet there are tons of resources online to learn from to help us on our journey to becoming a master photographer.  For those of you in the San Diego area, we have free photo-classes to help you along the way…

We want to help y’all be prepared.  More prepared you are, more fun you will have, and more photos you take that you will love.  At least that’s the idea…  Come join us on Wednesday nites in Rm 353.  Leave us a comment if you want more info on our classes.


Photopeeps this Wednesday…Join the Fun!

Photopeeps is back!  Come join the fun this Wednesday, 7pm Rm 353 @ the Rock, All are Welcome!

This Wednesday, January 18th, we will be sharing our calendar of events and photo field-trips for the year and talking more about upcoming classes.

Homework for this Wednesday…was to take photos of palm trees.  

Palm trees are the subject, beyond that it’s up to you…please bring three (3)  photos to share with the class.  Please bring your camera to class as well, because there might be a surprise in class photo contest…you never know!

All are welcome, with or without a camera.  Classes are free and photographers from all skill levels are welcome.  Come and share with us…sharing is caring!

Any questions…leave a comment and we will get back to you…


Fotopeeps 2012 :: All Are Welcome

Fotopeeps is….Fabulous! Fantastic! Fotography fun for all!

Photopeeps is our weekly gathering of folks that want to share & learn more about the Joy of Photography.   

We meet every Wednesday at the Rock Church in Rm 353, 7pm till they kick us out…usually 9pm.

We are gearing up for 2012 and are excited for another year of fun and fellowship as we explore the world of photography together.

All are welcome to join in on the fun.  We have folks from all walks of life and photography skill levels who come and have fun with us.  You don’t even have to have a camera to join us, but it does help!

In the next few weeks we will be getting to know each other, sharing photos, answering questions that you may have and preparing for our Intro to Photography Phun classes that will be starting in February.  If you have been wanting to learn more about photography but don’t have time or money to go to your local community college, come join us.

Our Intro classes are free!  We only charge a small fee of Nothing! to join us.  All we ask is you come and be ready to have fun and share with the class.

WARNING!!  Our classes are not meant to be an exhaustive, learn everything about photography class.  

We believe that the best way to learn is by taking photos as you learn new things about your camera.  Our goal is to teach you how to use the camera you have, not the camera you want.

Therefore, the best camera is the camera you have.

We also believe that you can learn everything there is to learn about photography but if your not actively taking photos and sharing  your photos, all that knowledge is for not.

In the same way we believe that Christ came that we all might have life to the fullest (John 10:10) and as  followers of Christ it’s not enough to memorize Scripture and read God’s Word from cover to cover…you need to use it and share the Hope and Joy of Christ with those around us, especially with those who don’t know Christ yet.

We invite you to come and learn with us.

If your reading this and want to join the fun, but are beyond the basic “Intro classes”, don’t fret!  There’s room for you too.  Come join us and we would be glad to share more with you.

We will be sharing soon some of our scheduled fun foto outings for the year in class and on this site soon…so stay tuned.  If you haven’t been to our facebook page and “Liked” us yet, please do so.  That way you will be kept up to date as to what we got cookin for yall.

Any questions leave a comment and we will get back to you.


FREE Audio Book :: Knowing God by J.I.Packer

Today is the last day to get this classic FREE from ChristianAudio.com

Christian Audio is offering Knowing God by J.I.Packer, as this months free audio book!    Narrated by Simon Vance, this is a classic book all should have read.  Now you can listen to the book as you read!  Go to ChristianAudio.com to learn more and get your free audio book!

A lifelong pursuit of knowing God should embody the Christian’s existence. According to eminent theologian J.I. Packer, however, Christians have become enchanted by modern skepticism and have joined the “gigantic conspiracy of misdirection” by failing to put first things first. Knowing God aims to redirect our attention to the simple, deep truth that to know God is to love His Word.

What began as a number of consecutive articles angled for “honest, no-nonsense readers who were fed up with facile Christian verbiage” in 1973, Knowing God has become a contemporary classic by creating “small studies out of great subjects.” Each chapter is so specific in focus (covering topics such as the trinity, election, God’s wrath, and God’s sovereignty), that each succeeding chapter’s theology seems to rival the next, until one’s mind is so expanded that one’s entire view of God has changed.

Author Elizabeth Eliot wrote that amid the lofty content Packer “puts the hay where the sheep can reach it–plainly shows us ordinary folks what it means to know God.” Having rescued us from the individual hunches of our ultra-tolerant theological age, Packer points the reader to the true character of God with his theological competence and compassionate heart. The lazy and faint-hearted should be warned about this timeless work–God is magnified, the sinner is humbled, and the saint encouraged.


Photopeeps is Back!

Christmas has come and gone but the Gift of Christ still keeps on giving for

those who still seek HIM!  

If you didn’t know, it was snowing this past Christmas at the Rock.  Great photo Cyndy!

We like to have fun and 2012 is gonna be fun.

We will be meeting this Wednesday, January 11th in Rm 353 at the Rock, 7pm.  All are welcome!

Since we haven’t met since last year before Christmas, this Wednesday is gonna be a sharing night. Hopefully all y’all have been taking lots of photos during our break because we want you to bring your five(5) favorite photos that you want to share with the class.

Being the 1st gathering of the new year and the fact that we like to have fun, we will have some snacks for y’all as well.  Feel free to bring some snacks, soda or steak to share with the class and come learn about all the fun we’re gonna have in 2012.

Any questions feel free to email us MISSION.focused@yahoo.com or leave a comment at the end of this post and we will get back to you.


Thanksgiving at the San Diego Rescue Mission

The San Diego Rescue Mission held their annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the homeless on Saturday.  It’s always a blessing to serve at the mission.  Unfortunately there were lots of folks who came this year…thankfully the rescue mission is there on the front lines helping those in need.  You can see more photos from this year along with past photos HERE.