Not Just Another Day of the Week

Pre-service, worship set, offering, message, net, post-service. Every creative department in ministry has these particular time cues mapped out in their minds, in any order, when service days arrive. What’s floating around that timeline could be sermon graphics, announcement slides, or setting up an eye-catching photo wall with that month’s theme. Still, the most-visited thought often is, “How are we capturing tonight?”

How DO you capture a service? Let me rephrase that: how do you accurately re-create WOW-moments from throughout the night? There’s no foolproof way for a service to be captured via film or photographs. There are, however, ways to make it easier for you, as either the faithful servant-volunteer or the patient creative leader guiding your team.

To the photographers and videographers: those most often distinguished by their black attire. One of the most significant factors of student ministry is STUDENTS! Thumbing through Instagram, seeing a candid snapshot of yourself with your squad, and remembering that moment, is a great feeling no doubt. Still, since this is about students, being conscious that you’re photographing their smiles, laughter, and even shock is vital.

Also, I know approaching a student and asking to take their photo can be very intimidating. You risk being ignored or being told “No,” but you’ll never know unless you try! Personally, it took me the majority of these three years being a creative volunteer for me to muster the gumption to get a group of students to pose for me. Still, the more you do something, the easier it gets. So, if you have a particular shot you want to capture, step out and make it happen.

All of us have probably taken an art class, whether it was mandatory or out of sheer enjoyment. What every art class has in common are the Principles of Design: Balance, Repetition, Contrast, and Unity, to name a few. Marrying these simple “rules” to that night’s photography and videography can drastically improve the framework of how it’s captured. Taking time to remember these before you click the shutter or press record can determine a well-composed shot from a couple dozen blurry, underexposed captures. Try going into the night with this mentality: I am only going to take 15 photos. Focus on your settings, both physically and technically.

Capturing a service isn’t nearly as difficult as splitting an atom. It can be as natural as breathing. It requires practice, confidence, and a particular amount of trust that you can preserve the night’s moments.