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christian docu shooters

I have a student who is very christian and plans on doing missionary work after finishing school. She is interested in documentary shooting but wants to know some names of people who are chirstian documentary shooters. I’ve given all the ussual suspects already nactway, M.E. Mark, Eugene Richards, Salgado, fazal shiek, as people who do very human rigts oriented shooting but it’s really important to her they they have a chirstian focus. Anybody know where I could look for such a person or where to send her?

by doug mcgoldrick at 2006-01-18 12:06:12 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) chicago , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Unfortunately I’m an unreconstructed heathen, but was struggling to remember the name of a photojournalist I met once who was a commited Christian and came across this:


by [former member] | 18 Jan 2006 12:01 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
How do you differentiate a christian reporter from another from a graphic point of view ? Does she want to do religion-centric photography ?

by Stephan Sturges | 18 Jan 2006 16:01 | | Report spam→
I’m a bit mystified by this too. Having a ‘christian focus’, what exactly does that mean? Afraid I can’t recommend anyone as I’ve never asked another photographer what religion they are, kind of seems beside the point.

by [former member] | 18 Jan 2006 16:01 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
There was a guy from Black Star, whose name I cannot recall, that I remember as being very christian in his outlook. I remember he did a lot of stuff in the Philippines back in 2001, Abu Sayaf etc. He was American I think.

by Mikethehack | 18 Jan 2006 16:01 | | Report spam→
I think she want christian photog’s who focus on mission or aid work in there images.

by doug mcgoldrick | 18 Jan 2006 17:01 | chicago, United States | | Report spam→
Is she looking for a photographer who is Christian, or somebody who shoots Christanity as a subject? Among my personal work is documenting spirituality in Asia, which includes Christianity among other religious subjects.   

by Erik Lacson | 19 Jan 2006 00:01 (ed. Jan 19 2006) | Manila, Philippines | | Report spam→
I am a little confused as well, why the photographer him/herself should be Christian, or if Christianity is something she is passionate about covering photographically. It is my opinion that no matter what the religion of the photographer, it shouldn’t affect how they photograph/document a story. It would be hard for me to be unbiased about something if I was looking through the lens of a specific set of values and then making my pictures….just my two cents.


by Matthew Williams | 19 Jan 2006 01:01 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
I don’t want to cause trouble, Matthew, but everyone works guided to some extent by a specific set of values, religious or otherwise.  It is one’s values that determine the criteria for assessing the need to cover an issue or story in the first place.  They determine how you react to what you see, what and how you choose to photograph and the "message" you want to get across.  We all – I hope – try to be as objective as possible, but I venture that there are few, if any, who could put their hand on heart and say that their own value system does not have an impact on what they do.

That said this particular enquiry does seem a little bizarre.


by Michael Cockerham | 19 Jan 2006 04:01 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Careful everyone – recent events in Mesopotamia would suggest getting into a ‘heated discussion’ about religious motives is a really BAD idea…the smiting and the gnashing of teeth etc…not nice.

Why bizarre? C’mon people, lets have a little (dare I say it) Christian charity eh?

I’m a non-believer, and some photographers think there’s a special place in Hell for all digital photographers so I’m doomed either way…but the student is obviously sincere whether you agree with her beliefs or not.

I’m assuming she’s looking for photographers who share her beliefs. Whether that’s reflected in their photography is another matter – what’s a Christian photograph? No idea.

However, if ya type in ‘Christian Photojournalism’ into Google (thank God for Google! Er, that’s if He exists – or maybe Google is Godmy head hurts.)

you’ll come across the Evangelical Press Association who probably know what a Christian photograph is:


And a photographer who used to work for Saba – Steve Starr (maybe thats who MikeTheHack was thinking of) who’s obviously a committed Christian.


I’d say put the student in touch with those, or Christians in Photojournalism .org and you should be sorted.

(My good deed for the day…hedging my bets with St Peter…one less day in Purgatory for me, heh heh…)

by [former member] | 19 Jan 2006 06:01 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Thanks for the links Sion – it’ll give me a few more things to look at while I avoid the retouching that I am supposed to be doing!

In fairness though, I don’t think anyone’s comments were heated, and as a regular church goer myself, I am intrigued by her motivation but have no doubts as to her sincerity.  I offer her nothing but the best of luck and would be keen to see the outcome of her work.

I am more interest now in your assertion that there is a special place in hell for all digital photographers – I was under the impression that it was all photographers, full stop!  Mind you, we might not need to wait that long as I saw a statistic recently which said that at current growth rates by 2021 there will be more photographers than human beings… God help us all!

by Michael Cockerham | 19 Jan 2006 06:01 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I agree it’s confusing I’m not a christian myself but I’ve been teaching at a christian school, and to give you some perspective how’s this, say I’m playing sufjan stevens Illinios album in the darkroom they’ll say this is a really great album and I like it even more because I know he’s a christian, seems strange from the outside but that’s there thing. Thanks some much for all the help I’ve gotten so far.

by doug mcgoldrick | 19 Jan 2006 07:01 | chicago, United States | | Report spam→
In USA the Christians in Photojournalism is best bet. They have a really good seminar every year with nationally known speakers. I am not a member and haven’t been to their seminar so that’s about all I know.

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 19 Jan 2006 07:01 | Fort Worth, United States | | Report spam→
A case could easily be made that Sebastiao Salgado is one of the greatest Christian artists of our era.  His photos are heavily informed by the Bible and two millennia of religious art in the West.  Fra Angelica meets Cecil B. DeMille.

by [former member] | 19 Jan 2006 07:01 (ed. Jan 19 2006) | | Report spam→
I agree with you Preston, and I like your analogy!   After all, whether you go to church or not, whether you are Catholic, Presbyterian, or member of an evangelical sect, agnostic or atheistic, there is no escaping the profound influence of the Judaeo-Christian tradition in the West (actually, I would go so far as to say Judaeo-Christian-Islamic).  We are all members of this tradition, and its iconology  is all pervasive and pops up in photojournalism all the time.  However, of course, in this particular case, the generally, how shall I put it, "strict" interpretation of matters moral and doctrinal that is enjoined by those who call themselves "Christian" in the States (and down here too, as it happens evangelicalism is popular here) is, for me at least, rather problematic and I think might pose ethical dilemmas for the would-be Christian photojournalist.

By the way, this term objectivity crops up all the time, and while we all understand what is meant by it as a kind of loose definition of probity and unbiassed reporting, I for one cannot stand the term and dont believe in the implied criteria one bit.  There is no getting away from one’s biases, as Michael points out, and I think that the best work comes out of a very clear adherence to one’s values and principles.  In that sense, what for example the people at Agence Vu call "subjectivity" (another completely bankrupt term) is the very thing that leads you to the truth.

by Jon Anderson | 19 Jan 2006 08:01 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Salgado said somewhere that "you photograph with your ideology," which makes sense to me.  Whenever we media-handwringers ponder objectivity, it’s usually to worry about how photos are used, not how they were snapped.  You shoot what is familiar, or interesting, or challenging (or what your clients have paid for).  If your photos are not subjective, they are not interesting—rather like taxidermy.

by [former member] | 19 Jan 2006 09:01 (ed. Jan 19 2006) | | Report spam→
she might be interested in this magazine:


it is documentary work on missionaries and such….was one of the first documentary photography magazines i ever saw, seeing as how i grew up a missionary kid…..

by Kenneth Dickerman | 19 Jan 2006 18:01 | Chicago, IL, United States | | Report spam→
"A widely accepted definition of a Christian mission has been "to form a viable indigenous church-planting movement." This definition is motivated by theological analyses of the acts required to enhance God’s reputation (usually expressed as "glory" or "honor"). The motivation is said to be God’s will, plainly stated throughout the Bible, including the Old Testament.

Most missionaries promote economic development, literacy, education, health care and orphanages as well, because these all promote the glory of God. Standard Christian doctrines (the Doctrine of Love) cause most missions to give this aid without requiring conversion."

So, if she is a Christian wanting to do missionary work as a photographer it would make sense that she would want to wield her camera as a tool to promote God’s glory, and would like to educate herself on the efforts of other like minded, and like motivated photographers.

by [former member] | 20 Jan 2006 12:01 | Brooklyn, NY, United States | | Report spam→

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doug mcgoldrick, photographer doug mcgoldrick
Chicago , United States
Stephan Sturges, Student/Photographer Stephan Sturges
In Brussels , Afghanistan
Mikethehack, Freelance thril performer Mikethehack
Freelance thril performer
Way Up My Own Ass , United Kingdom
Erik Lacson, Photographer Erik Lacson
Manila , Philippines
Matthew Williams, Photojournalist Matthew Williams
Seattle, Wa , United States
Michael Cockerham, Documentalistic Bystander Michael Cockerham
Documentalistic Bystander
(Image Matters)
Cologne , Germany
John Robert Fulton Jr., Photographs John Robert Fulton Jr.
Spring Lake, Michigan , United States
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Kenneth Dickerman, Photographer Kenneth Dickerman
Nyc , United States


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