You might have seen the Uncover books – eyewitness accounts of Jesus Christ written by Mark, Luke and John with questions and comments to reflect on, designed with a contemporary readership in mind, printed on quality silk paper stock. What stands out to me especially is the tasteful black and white photos in each chapter of the book. The photos complement the narrative and also create an atmosphere. (There are also accompanying videos, incredibly well-made, online.) Uncover books are produced by UCCF: The Christian Unions – hundreds of university Christian Unions across Britain.
Friends International (who support international students in the UK) have been working with UCCF to translate the brilliant Uncover Mark into Mandarin Chinese. One of the Friends International staff workers got in touch with me before the summer, asking if I was interested in producing a set of photos to use in the Chinese version of Uncover Mark, with a Chinese model, for the new Chinese readership.
(Enough of the background story.) This was my first photo assignment for a non-wedding purpose. I was nervous about delivering a satisfying result but it was too fun an opportunity to pass up. Summer turned out to be way busier than I expected. So the photoshoot materialised only at the very end of August.
The photos tell of a story like this:
‘It was 7:51 a.m. on Friday [in] the middle of the morning rush hour. … No one knew it, but the fiddler standing outside the Metro was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made.’
Of the 1,097 people who passed by Joshua Bell that morning, only seven paused, even briefly, to listen. How often do you think we miss the significance of what is in front of us? What can prevent us from seeing things the way they really are?
My model is the brave, multi-talented and humble Henry. Standing in the middle of Northumberland Street with a violin must have felt horribly exposed, especially with my long zoom lens, meaning sometimes the photographer was a long way away from him. The passers-by must have been wondering what this crazy guy was doing there. But Henry was not (visibly) bothered at all. And Henry has been part of our church family for many years now, serving in the music ministry obviously, but he also preaches and MCs events upfront and is equally willing and joyful in serving behind the sound desk. So it was a joy to work with him on this photo project. Also a special thank you to Anna our assistant during the photoshoot, who was completely willing and cheerful! (Can you tell where we took the photos? I think it’s pretty obvious!)
So here are the final photos, in line with the black and white photos in the existing Uncover Mark.
Thank you Kahfoon for the opportunity and may God use the photography gift that he gives me for his Kingdom and glory :)