harnessing the power of photography for good

Posts tagged “portraits

Update and a few Photos from Our Summer in Oaxaca!

AILmf cooking2015-119

We have been so busy serving and photographing all over San Diego and Mexico, we have neglected updating our site. We apologize for lack of new content and we will be updating what we have been  doing in last 6 months and share more about our fun crazy summer!   For now, here are a few photos from our recent trip to Oaxaca with Adventures in Life Ministry.  We will explain more about what God did soon…

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In Oaxaca, Serving with Adventures in Life Ministry

Brotherjoe is in Oaxaca once again, photographing Summer Camp at Pastor Chable’s.  He will be there till August 4th, then he will spend the next week in Guadalajara photographing camp there.

There is no internet at the camp, but when possible, photos will be posted on our Facebook,  https://www.facebook.com/MISSIONfocusedPhotography and on the Adventures in Life FB page, https://www.facebook.com/AdventuresInLife

This was the great team of folks who were serving the kids at the camp this past week.  Please keep brotherjoe in prayer…Thanks

team group


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…


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!


A Truly Special “Prom” Night!

Mark, Trevor, Terry and brotherjoe at A Night to Remember…I think

MISSION focused joined the photographers at Eastlake Church on Friday evening for A Night to Remember.  Eastlake Church brings together special needs teen-agers for “Prom Night.”   A chance for them to experience what other kids their age are doing this time of year…going to the Prom.

The evenings honored guests are pampered…with make up artists and hair stylists making them look extra nice, they get their photo taken in a studio that is set up and then it’s off to the Prom in a stretch limo!

Once they arrive, their family and friends are there acting at “paparazzi” on the red carpet…

This is the 2nd year we have helped with this great event!  What a blessing and honor to help with this great evening.  Praise God for the folks at Eastlake Church for this wonderful event.

You can view more photos from A Night to Remember HERE


Oaxaca 2012 :: Long Short Term Friendships

Dave Miller shared over at his blog Notes from Dave, about the Power of Photography

Dave Miller talking with Jaime about how the make textiles on the looms

Yes, Dave does share about MISSION focused and our relationship with Adventures in Life, but why I’m sharing this again is to follow up with some photos that I was able to take for Jaime.  Read Dave’s post HERE and this will all make more sense.  Continuing the friendship…

Jaime and his son

When talking with Jaime I asked what his son’s name was.  He said they did not give him a name yet…they were waiting to see his personality in order to find a name that fit.  Plus, it’s not like he won’t respond to you just because he doesn’t have an official name.  Makes sense to me.

After taking these photos we had a few photos printed up for Jaime and his wife and Dave and I delivered them.  The family was blessed almost as much as we were.  Jaime asked how much money we wanted for taking the photos, we told him nothing.  We do this because we love Jesus and want to serve our friends in Mexico.

The relationship that began many years ago with Doug and Julian (Jaime’s Dad)…using photography, again,to continue the relationship!

Praise God!

You can see more photos from Adventures in Life HERE.