The parish photographers' group was started in 2012 with just 3 members. Prior to that all parish events were photographed ad hoc largely by parishioners. Since then the group has been blessed to have about 20 members from all walks of life. It has adopted a systematic, professional process of shooting and editing images.
Today all major parish events are covered by this group.), There are currently about 12,000 images collected from the last 3 years alone in the Holy Family Church flickr pages.
The group meets for parish shoots, and also organises in-parish workshops on topics such as event photography, editing software and travel photography. Fellowship revolves around going out to shoot local events for fun, simple "makan" (eating) sessions, and there have been more than a few photo trips out of the country!
As members of the group come together to serve a practical need of the parish out of a common love for photography, a charisma has emerged resembling that of a small community of friends who even pray for each other.
Membership is always open, and we do realise that the Lord of Light, Jesus Christ himself, can use hobbies to draw one and all to him in powerful, personal ways.
Memorable events usually centre on the photo workshops we give. It is open to all, and we sometimes find ourselves welcoming non-Catholic attendees. In these workshops, participants get to try each others' equipment (half the fun in photography), learn about the practical aspects of shooting as a team in church, post-production editing, travel photography or simply to view images taken on a photo trip.
Recently we had the opportunity to work with photo volunteers from other parishes at the 12-church rite of Election, held in our parish. We were in truth delighted to meet them, and even handed them our official vests to wear during the event. I suppose we were drawn together by the technical difficulties of the shoot, and to this day some of them still participate on our whatsapp chats whenever we have a fun shoot to organise.
Given this gift of being a community of friends, we hope to share this with those who are interested in photography in the parish. No obligation to shoot for the parish of course, and we welcome all. 1 Peter 4:10 say "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace."
It's the path most of us in the group have ended up walking: what started out as a solo hobby eventually culminated in a desire to love and serve others in more capacities than just photography. We thank God for this and many other blessings.