I've grown up in church. Born into a Christian home. But never have I been familiar with an event called "Fine Arts." It's a HUGE competition that the churches of the Assemblies of God hold every year where thousands of teens use their gifts and compete against the best in the District and the best in the Nation. This was my first and last year competing in the Photography, Traditional category and I won both at Districts and Nationals!
Background: I have been attending Assemblies of God churches all my life because my father has a pastoral license under the Assemblies of God. One summer, we had been church spotting and none have exceeded the vision Evangel Temple Assembly of God has for this city and it’s people. Each service is just so anointed; you can feel the presence of God move in the room. It’s breathtaking really. (For those of you who don’t believe in God or Jesus Christ, don’t worry I’m not about to preach. I have a reason for this story.)
One day I attend the youth and young adult service and they announced of a Fine Arts showcase to be held this upcoming evening. Never having heard of the event “Fine Arts,” I attend the showcase. Several teams of middle school age, high school, and college both solo and individual put on skits, dramas, human videos, and spoken sermons, and so much more. I’ve never seen such passion in this type of drama. These kids really show their love for Christ in every move and every note they sing or play. I was inspired to join. Luckily for Districts, I had just made the age limit; college age only includes ages 18-23. Unfortunately, come Nationals (6 months from Districts) I will be 24 and will not be able to compete in the next year. So, I was determined to make this year count.
Each year, Fine Arts has an annual theme. This year’s theme was “Compelled by Love.” In the Kappa Tau (college age) Art Division – Photography – Traditional (wow that’s a mouthful!), the rules were that each entry be only 35mm film, one image, single frame, and single exposure. I’m already addicted to Lomography’s ingenious design called “multiple exposure” and they tell me I can only do singles?! I didn’t know what to do. I took out my trusty Lomo Fisheye 2 white camera and brainstormed. “What compels me by His love? What can I portray that symbolizes God’s love for me?” Then it hit me – a sunrise. It’s beautiful. It’s breathtaking. It’s calming. Just like His love for me. So, I woke up 4am to head out to the beach, luckily the sun rises on our coast, and boom. Shot taken. Problem was, this was three days until the photo needed to be submitted! Yipes! So, I’m in a rush. Driving around every film processing store who will process this in the same day. This wasn’t slide film or anything rare. So luckily, one-hour photo places are (kinda) reliable. Still not done! I need to frame this baby and add all the info on a little name tag in the back (i.e., name, church name, title of photo, short description) and all that jazz. Finally, I had it done and sent off to the Nationals.
Being this is my last year, I wasn’t able to attend National Fine Arts in Phoenix, AZ because I had just recently been accepted into Nursing school. But no doubt for sure, I watched the announcing of the winners that fortunately was streamed live via webcast until 2 am EST. My category just had to be the very last announcement. (facepalm) Here they go. This is it….“And this year’s winner of the 2011 National Fine Arts Kappa Tau, Photography, Traditional category is…….ME!!!!” asdfghjkl;aaaaaahhhh!!! I’m jumping. I’m screaming. I’m flippin out, all on my lonesome, at home while my family is at National Fine Arts accepting my award on stage! wahooooo! Our church, Evangel Temple Assembly of God only took home three first place trophies that week and I’m honored and so blessed to have been one of them in my first time competing. Thanks Lomography for your 10 prophecies and allowing me to be creative in my photography!
Sadly, as I said I will not be competing next year, but you can be sure I’m going with my camera(s) to document my whole trip and possible see an article with a similar story in the future. cough cough. hint hint.
thanks for reading and God bless!
Note: here’s the link to their homepage if you wanna compete in the upcoming year! you don’t have to attend church to join. anyone, who lives in the assigned district can compete. hope to see you at Nationals! http://faf.ag.org/