Yesterday, I read a post called, “Dear Lonely Mom of Older Kids.” And it totally struck a chord. The writer wrote about the struggle that comes as our children get older and the adjustments that we as parents make. She also talked about the contrast of snapping photos of our babies and toddlers to share on Facebook, as opposed to trying to get pictures of our now middle schoolers that they will approve of. And that was totally something that got me thinking…
Jeremy and I have been working in Youth Ministry for the past almost twelve years. And from the very beginning, years before my photography passion developed into a business, I was clicking away. I remember thinking, what better way to record our ministry, as it was happening, then through the lens of our brand new, Sony Digital 3.2 Megapixel camera (bought with some of our wedding money).
And so, I shot away. I took pictures of our leaders and students and our events. And I’m so glad that I did, because so many things would change over the years. For example, who knew, that a few years after this picture was taken, Sports Plus would close their doors and be demolished to make way for a Whole Foods? I should also note, that our friend Harley, who was a youth group leader at the time, is now a doctor and Amy who was a student in our youth group is now a teacher assistant at Christian’s school.
In those early years, I took hundreds and hundreds of pictures. And somewhere on my hard drives and backup hard drives, I still have most all of them. Including these gems, of our friend Ryan. He’s an actor, in New York City now, and if he ever needs head shots from when he was in high school, he’ll know where to find them.
As time went one, my camera equipment improved vastly, and I still continued to love taking pictures of our amazing youth group students in all sorts of fun locations.
It was also fun to capture them in various sporting events as well. This is one of my favorite pictures of our friend John Caprari, who is now married and coming back to Long Island this summer to be an intern at our church. Oh, and this is after he and his wife take a six week tour of Africa, where they hope to do missions someday.
We have been incredibly blessed to have worked with so many amazing students over the years.
And through it all, I’ve had my camera out, making siblings stop for sibling pictures,
And capturing groups of friends through the years. And I’m so glad that I did. Because even though it gets harder as our kids get older to be able to capture them on camera, it’s still such an important time of life. And thankfully, for me, none of them seem to mind it too much.
Which brings me to last night. We had our Thursday night Youth Group.
Which is open for all Jr. and Sr. High students, every Thursday, from 7:00pm-9:00pm.
And in between catching up with a few conversations with friends
I clicked away. And I thought of the parents of these amazing kids. And how even though they are big now, it’s still so good to be able to capture their wonderful kids in pictures.
Again, they don’t seem to mind too much.
Which is why I do it.
I remember reading this John Wesley quote… about doing all the good you can to as many people as you can, as much as you can and so on (not a direct quote, but you get the point).
And I thought, that as much as I can, I think I will keep taking all of the pictures that I can.
Of the amazing teens that we get to hang out with every week.
Because maybe that will get to make a small difference to them and to their parents. It’s something that I can do, and something that God has given me a passion to do. And today, I just want to encourage you to find what it is that you can do, and to do all the good that you can do with it.