Iron Sharpening Iron: The Power of Seeking Partnerships

Caption: This is the groundbreaking ceremony for Tech Square, where the partnership of city government, state government, nonprofits, and businesses came together to help create a Conference center for Georgia Tech. L/R John Milsaps, Lt Governor Mark Taylor, Mayor Bill Campbell, Wayne Clough, Susan Mendheim, CEO & Pres. of Midtown Alliance, & Buck Stith.


In our personal lives and business ventures, pursuing growth and success often leads us to continuous improvement. To embark on this journey, we must surround ourselves with individuals and businesses that challenge and inspire us to reach new heights. This notion of seeking partnerships with those better than us is akin to iron sharpening iron. This age-old proverb encapsulates the transformative power of collaboration and mutual growth. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of seeking out these valuable partnerships and their myriad benefits to our personal and professional lives.

Gwendolyn Sisto completed 73 kilos in the Clean-&-Jerk lift, and 139 kilos for the Olympic Trials held at the Ferst Center on the Campus of Georgia Tech on May 16, 2008.
  1. Embracing the Growth Mindset:

The fundamental principle of embracing a growth mindset lies at the heart of seeking partnerships. By recognizing that there is always room for improvement, we open ourselves to new possibilities and opportunities. Partnerships with individuals and businesses that excel in areas where we may fall short enable us to learn from their experiences, skills, and perspectives. This exposure encourages personal and professional development, fostering an environment of continuous learning and growth.

The Atlanta-based German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States hosted the Unification Conference, a historic meeting of President George Bush, the 41st president of the United States of America, former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr. Helmut Kohl, and former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, at the Georgia World Congress Center. The three world leaders discussed their perspectives on the global impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany, along with their visions for transatlantic partnership, leadership, and prosperity.
  1. Broadening Perspectives:

Collaborating with people and businesses with different backgrounds, experiences, and expertise expands our horizons. It allows us to see challenges and opportunities through diverse lenses, providing fresh insights and alternative approaches. When we engage with those who are better than us, we gain access to a wealth of knowledge and perspectives that can help us overcome obstacles and propel us forward. This diversity of thought enhances our problem-solving abilities and equips us to navigate complex situations more easily.

Islamic Speakers Bureau Of Atlanta’s 20th Anniversary Gala: The ISB annual gala is a community-wide gathering of remarkable leaders in every part of our society, from business to civil rights, from education to the arts. More than 400 leaders from Atlanta attend the ISB Gala to celebrate the ISB’s efforts to battle bigotry through education and engagement.
  1. Challenging the Status Quo:

Partnerships with individuals and businesses that surpass our current capabilities challenge us to step out of our comfort zones and push the boundaries of our potential. As we interact with those who are better than us, we are motivated to set higher standards and strive for excellence. Their accomplishments are a source of inspiration, driving us to continually raise the bar and reach for new levels of achievement. This healthy competition nurtures innovation, encourages creativity, and fuels our progress toward success.

College Football Hall of Fame’s First 100 at the Grand Opening of the Chick-fil-A Restaurant.
  1. Leveraging Complementary Skills:

No individual or business is proficient in every aspect of their field. Seeking partnerships with those who excel in areas where we may have limitations enables us to leverage complementary skills and resources. By pooling our strengths, we create synergistic relationships that foster collaborative problem-solving and mutual success. This strategic alliance allows us to achieve outcomes that would be difficult or impossible to accomplish on our own.

Bob Goff is a New York Times bestselling author of Love Does; Everybody, Always; Dream Big; Live in Grace, Walk in Love; Undistracted, as well as the children’s titles Love Does for Kids; Everybody, Always for Kids, and Dream Big for Kids. Bob is crowd-surfing at Chick-fil-A’s Annual meeting.
  1. Building a Supportive Network:

Partnerships go beyond professional collaboration—they create a network of support and encouragement. Surrounding ourselves with like-minded individuals and businesses dedicated to growth and success fosters community and camaraderie. We can rely on these connections for advice, feedback, and mentorship, further amplifying our personal and professional development. The shared experiences and mutual support in these partnerships provide a valuable safety net and a source of motivation during challenging times.

Candice Mays & Ebenezer Abolarin


In our personal lives and business endeavors, seeking partnerships with individuals and businesses better than us is essential for success. Embracing the growth mindset, broadening our perspectives, challenging the status quo, leveraging complementary skills, and building a supportive network are the key benefits that these partnerships bring. As we forge these connections, we embark on a transformative journey where iron sharpens iron and achieves extraordinary results together. So, let us embrace the power of partnerships and unlock our true potential for growth and success.

Exploring the Distinctions: Fine Art Photography vs. Communications Photography

Introduction: Photography is a powerful medium for capturing moments, conveying stories, and evoking emotions. Two prominent genres have emerged within the realm of photography: Fine Art Photography and Communications Photography, which includes photojournalism and documentary work. While both forms utilize the same tool—the camera—to create impactful visuals, there are distinct differences in their purpose, approach, and execution. This blog post delves into the main contrasts between Fine Art Photography and Communications Photography to better understand their unique characteristics.

Fine Art Photography: Embracing Creativity and Personal Expression Fine Art Photography is a genre that emphasizes the photographer’s creative vision and personal expression. It often revolves around capturing aesthetically pleasing and visually compelling images. Fine art photographers aim to convey emotions, concepts, or abstract ideas through their work. The primary objective is to produce pictures considered artworks in their own right. Fine art photographs are often displayed in galleries and museums or sold as prints to collectors.

Tulips in our backyard

Critical Characteristics of Fine Art Photography:

  1. Emphasis on Creativity: Fine art photographers prioritize artistic vision, experimenting with various techniques, composition styles, and post-processing methods to create unique and visually captivating images.
  2. Subjectivity: The interpretation of fine art photographs is left to the viewer’s imagination, allowing for personal connections and individual narratives.
  3. Non-literal Representation: Fine art photography often employs symbolism, metaphors, or abstract elements to convey ideas or evoke emotions, going beyond a straightforward depiction of reality.
  4. Autonomy and Independence: Fine art photographers can pursue personal projects and explore their creative interests without external constraints.
John Kevin Cash served the community as a firefighter for the Roswell Fire Department and the McDonough Fire Department.

Communications Photography: Capturing Reality and Telling Stories Communications Photography encompasses photojournalism and documentary work, focusing on capturing real-life events, moments, and stories. Unlike fine art photography, the primary objective here is to inform, educate, and document rather than purely aesthetic pursuits. Communications photographers play a crucial role in sharing important social, political, and cultural narratives, exposing the truth, and raising awareness through visual storytelling.

Tom Murphy, the longest speaker of the Georgia House, is honored by a private service. Atlanta, Friday, Dec 21, 2007. (AP Photo/Stanley Leary)

Critical Characteristics of Communications Photography:

  1. Objective Representation: Communications photographers strive to present an accurate and unbiased depiction of events and subjects. They aim to capture the essence of reality without manipulation or significant alterations.
  2. Storytelling and Context: Communications photography goes beyond individual images, often requiring a series of photographs to tell a complete story or convey a specific message. The context and narrative are paramount.
  3. Time Sensitivity: Communications photographers work under tight deadlines, aiming to capture and deliver relevant and timely images, documenting the unfolding events in real-time.
  4. Ethical Considerations: Photojournalists and documentary photographers adhere to strict ethical guidelines prioritizing the truth, respecting subjects, and minimizing harm or manipulation.
Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition hold a fifth-anniversary anti-war rally and march to the Army recruiting station at Midtown Place across from City Hall East, Atlanta, Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2008. The grandmothers arrested Monday, Mar. 17, at the recruiting center hold a news conference before the march. (AP Photo/Stanley Leary)

Conclusion: Fine Art Photography and Communications Photography, including photojournalism and documentary work, offer distinct approaches to capturing and interpreting the world through the lens of a camera. While Fine Art Photography explores creative expression and individual vision, Communications Photography focuses on truthful documentation, storytelling, and conveying essential narratives. Both genres contribute significantly to the rich tapestry of photography, offering diverse perspectives and engaging viewers in different ways. By understanding the main differences between these genres, we can appreciate the unique qualities they bring to visual storytelling and artistic representation.

Unlocking the Power of Metadata: Why Hiring a Photographer Who Crafts Captions and Keywords Matters

Introduction: In the vast world of photography, not all photographers understand the actual value of metadata. But fear not! As a dedicated and passionate photographer, I am here to highlight the often-overlooked aspect of captions and keywords in the metadata. Today, we’ll explore why hiring a photographer who goes the extra mile to create captivating captions and metadata that genuinely adds value for clients and their customers is crucial. Join me on this journey as we unlock the power of metadata in photography.

1. Enhanced Discoverability: Captions and keywords act as digital signposts, guiding potential viewers to your images. When you hire a photographer who diligently includes relevant information in metadata, your photos become more discoverable across various platforms. Whether it’s search engines, stock photo websites, or social media platforms, embedding descriptive text ensures your images stand out from the crowd and attract the right audience.

For example, consider breathtaking landscape photos. With carefully crafted captions such as “Majestic Sunset Over [Location]” or “Dramatic Cliffs at [Location],” your images provide potential customers with a glimpse of their context, enticing them to explore further.

2. SEO Benefits: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital in driving organic traffic to websites. By incorporating captions and keywords into metadata, photographers can improve search engine rankings and increase the chances of their clients’ images appearing in relevant search results. This enhanced visibility can significantly benefit businesses and individuals looking to promote their work online.

Picture a client’s business brewing exquisite macchiatos. By adding captions like “Velvety Macchiato Bliss” or keywords such as “artisan coffee,” “handcrafted espresso,” or “flavorful espresso art,” you heighten the chances of attracting coffee aficionados who are searching for those specific terms.

3. Storytelling and Emotional Engagement: Captions offer a unique opportunity to tell a compelling story and engage viewers emotionally. When accompanied by well-crafted captions, photographs become more than just visual representations – they become potent narratives that evoke feelings, memories, and curiosity. By investing in a photographer who excels at creating captions, clients can captivate their audience and leave a lasting impact.

Imagine a skilled photographer capturing the profound journey of a young boy undergoing a leg bone graft surgery at the Hôpital Baptiste Biblique in Tsiko, Togo, West Africa. By incorporating captions like “Renewing Hope – A Life-Changing Leg Graft” or “A Brave Battle for Mobility,” the photographer captures the visual intensity and invites viewers to connect with the emotional resilience and compassion unfolding within the surgical theater.

4. Intellectual Property Protection: Metadata plays a crucial role in safeguarding photographers’ intellectual property rights. By embedding copyright information and authorship details into metadata, photographers ensure their work is correctly attributed, preventing unauthorized use or infringement. This step becomes essential for clients who rely on their images for branding, advertising, or commercial purposes.

For instance, including copyright information such as “© [Year] [Your Name]” in metadata can protect your images, deter potential misuse, and ensure that your creative endeavors are appropriately credited and respected.

Conclusion: In conclusion, including captions and keywords in metadata is an essential aspect of photography that adds tremendous value for clients and their customers. Hiring a photographer who recognizes this importance and goes the extra mile to craft compelling captions and metadata can make a significant difference in your visual assets’ discoverability, engagement, and protection.

So, whether you’re a business looking to showcase your products, an individual sharing your art, or a photographer seeking to enhance your work, remember that the impact of well-crafted metadata extends far beyond the visual realm. It offers an opportunity to connect with your audience, stand out from the crowd, and ensure your creative endeavors are respected.

Embrace the power of metadata and unlock the true potential of your visual storytelling.

Preserving Memories: Celebrating Steve Dull’s Remarkable Journey at Chick-fil-A

Life is a tapestry woven with significant moments, and one such moment is the retirement of our esteemed colleague, Steve Dull. Steve is embarking on a new chapter of his life after 23 years of unwavering dedication as the Executive Director of Quality & LEAN Strategy at Chick-fil-A Inc. As we bid farewell to a true leader and friend, it is essential to honor his legacy by capturing the essence of his journey through the lens of photography.

Steve Dull has left an indelible mark on the organization’s quality initiatives and LEAN strategies throughout his tenure at Chick-fil-A. His commitment to excellence and unwavering focus on improving processes have shaped the company’s success and reputation. With great admiration, we celebrate his remarkable contributions, both professionally and personally.

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As Steve embraced retirement, he expressed a desire to capture timeless moments with his beloved family against the backdrop of the iconic Chick-fil-A support center. These strategic locations hold a deep significance, representing the values and essence of Chick-fil-A’s culture.

The first stop on this photographic journey would be the Statue of Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A. Sitting next to Truett on a bench symbolizes the visionary leadership and entrepreneurial spirit that Steve has embodied throughout his career. A picture capturing Steve and his family in the presence of this iconic figure will serve as a reminder of his profound impact on the organization.

Moving forward, the set for Chick-fil-A’s commercials themed around “It’s about the little things…” serves as the perfect backdrop for another memorable photograph. This setting represents the heart and soul of the company, where Steve’s dedication to delivering exceptional customer experiences and attention to detail has truly shone. As he poses with his family, the image will encapsulate the essence of his role in fostering a culture of excellence.

No tribute to Steve’s journey would be complete without a photo in the presence of the statue of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. This powerful symbol speaks volumes about Steve’s servant leadership and commitment to caring for others. Standing beside his family, this image will remind us of the importance of humility, compassion, and selflessness in our personal and professional lives.

To truly capture the spirit of Chick-fil-A and Steve’s connection to the company, a picture in the front entrance lobby with the Chick-fil-A logo is a must. This snapshot will serve as a visual representation of the years of dedication and hard work that Steve has devoted to the organization. It will stand as a testament to his unwavering commitment to upholding the values that Chick-fil-A holds dear.

Of course, no photographic journey at Chick-fil-A would be complete without including the iconic cows. A picture with Steve and his family in front of the Chick-fil-A billboard, adorned with the endearing bovine mascots, will be a lighthearted and memorable addition. It will capture the joy, humor, and warmth that have been an integral part of Steve’s journey.

Photographs have the incredible power to freeze time, evoke emotions, and encapsulate the essence of our experiences. As Steve Dull transitions into retirement, these images will serve as a timeless reminder of his invaluable contributions and his profound impact on Chick-fil-A.

In celebrating Steve’s retirement, let us recognize the significance of capturing milestone events. Whether it’s a retirement, a wedding, or any other significant moment, these photographs become treasured keepsakes for future generations. They tell stories of dedication, love, and the remarkable journeys we have embarked upon.

So, as we bid farewell to Steve Dull, let us take a moment to reflect on the power of photography and its ability to immortalize the chapters of our lives. May these captured memories serve as a testament to the transformative influence of remarkable individuals like Steve and inspire us to create our lasting legacies.

Congratulations, Steve, on your retirement, and thank you for your countless contributions to Chick-fil-A. May your next chapter be filled with joy, fulfillment, and new adventures.

Preserving Memories: The Importance of Capturing Milestone Events in Our Lives

Life is a series of moments that shape our journey and define who we are. These milestones hold a special place in our hearts, from the joyous celebrations to the bittersweet farewells. While memories fade with time, one powerful tool can freeze these cherished moments in time—photography. Through the lens of a camera, we can capture the essence of an event, preserving it for future generations to relish and cherish.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending and photographing my good friend Mark Miller’s retirement party at Chick-fil-A, where he dedicated an astounding 44.5 years of his life. Mark’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable, and being able to document this significant milestone was an honor. However, beyond the professional accolades and achievements, the personal connections and familial bonds make these events truly unforgettable.

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Mark Miller is not only a retired corporate leader but also an international best-selling author and a passionate communicator. His writing journey began two decades ago when he collaborated with Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager, to create The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do. With over 1,000,000 books in print, Mark’s influence has reached countless individuals across the globe.

In addition to his writing endeavors, Mark has traveled extensively, teaching and inspiring leaders in numerous countries. His experiences have taken him to some of Earth’s most remote and awe-inspiring places. As a dedicated photographer, he has captured the beauty of Antarctica, Everest Base Camp, the jungles of Rwanda, and the Galapagos Islands. Behind the lens, Mark has found a way to immortalize the wonders of our world, sharing his unique perspective with others.

However, Mark has nurtured a loving family amidst his professional accomplishments and adventurous endeavors. Married to his high school sweetheart, Donna, for over 35 years, their bond is a testament to the enduring power of love. Together, they have raised two sons, Justin and David, and have been blessed with three remarkable grandchildren.

Mark Miller’s Retirement Celebration 44.5 years of Service to Chick-fil-A

When documenting milestone events, it is crucial to recognize that it is not only the central figure of the occasion that deserves attention but also the relationships and connections that surround them. In Mark’s case, capturing the joyous moments with his friends and family, especially his beloved grandchildren, holds immeasurable value. These direct interactions and heartfelt exchanges speak volumes about the impact a person has had on the lives of those around them.

As we navigate through life, our memories may fade, and the details of events become blurred. That is why photography becomes an invaluable asset—a window into the past, offering us a glimpse of the emotions and experiences we hold dear. Photographs can transport us back in time, evoking the laughter, tears, and tender moments that define the milestones in our lives.

Mark Miller’s Retirement Celebration 44.5 years of Service to Chick-fil-A

So, remember to capture more than just the formalities, whether it’s a retirement party, a wedding, graduation, or any significant event. Seek to encapsulate the essence of the occasion, the people, and the relationships that make it truly special. The smiles, tears of joy, and embraces shared with loved ones deserve a place in our family’s history.

In the age of smartphones and digital cameras, it has become easier than ever to document our lives through photographs. Take advantage of this accessibility, and don’t hesitate to capture those precious moments. Share the stories behind the pictures, pass them down through generations, and let the images speak for themselves.

As Mark Miller embarks on a new chapter of his life, he can look back on his retirement party with fondness and gratitude, knowing that the memories captured through the lens will forever be etched in his family’s history. Let us all remember the power of photography and its ability to preserve our most cherished moments. After all, the memories we capture today will become the legacy we leave behind tomorrow.

Unveiling the Heartfelt Story of Edson Coelho and His Family: A Workshop Participant’s Masterpiece

Welcome back to our blog! Today, we have a special treat for you as we share a captivating video created during the Storytellers Abroad Multimedia Missions Workshop. Julián Gutierrez, a talented participant from Colombia studying film studies in Texas, produced a remarkable story about Edson Coelho and his family. Julián’s connection to the subject matter and passion for understanding Edson’s ministry make this video a masterpiece.

The Heartfelt Story of Edson Coelho and His Family: In this powerful video, Julián takes us on a journey into the lives of Edson and his family, showcasing their impactful work in ministry. With his remarkable filmmaking skills, Julian captures the essence of Edson’s story, bringing to light their profound impact on their community.

Through Julián’s lens, we gain insight into Edson and his family’s challenges, sacrifices, and triumphs as they devote their lives to serving others. The video offers a glimpse into the heart and soul of Edson’s ministry, painting a vivid picture of the dedication, compassion, and love that permeate their every endeavor.

This is Julián with Edson, his wife, and son

Julián’s Connection: This video’s connection to the subject matter is even more remarkable. Coming from a family that runs a similar ministry in Colombia, Julián truly understands the passion and commitment that drive Edson and his family. His deep understanding allows him to capture the nuances of their story with authenticity and empathy, creating a profoundly moving piece of art.

The Voiceover by Julián Himself: To enhance the storytelling experience, Julián provides a heartfelt voiceover throughout the video. His voice guides us through the narrative, weaving together the visuals and the emotions, enabling us to connect on a deeper level with Edson’s journey. Julián’s genuine passion and empathy shine through in his voiceover, amplifying the story’s impact and leaving a lasting impression on the viewers.

Sharing the Video: We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share this incredible video with you. It not only showcases the talents of Julián as a filmmaker but also highlights the power of storytelling in conveying the essence of a meaningful ministry. We encourage you to watch the video and experience the profound impact that Edson and his family are making in their community.

Here is the Portuguese Version with English Subtitles

Conclusion: Julián Gutierrez’s video on Edson and his family is a testament to the power of storytelling and its transformative impact on conveying a heartfelt message. Julián brings Edson’s story to life through his expert filmmaking skills and personal connection to the subject matter, captivating our hearts and minds. We are grateful for the opportunity to share this extraordinary work with you and hope it inspires you to embrace the power of storytelling in your endeavors.

Thank you for joining us on this journey, and we look forward to sharing more inspiring stories with you in the future.

The Strength of Christian Faith in Entrepreneurship: Finding Peace through Service, Skill-sharing, and Obedience to Christ’s Teachings

Entrepreneurship is a challenging path that requires unwavering determination, resilience, and steadfast commitment. Amid the business world’s uncertainties, entrepreneurs who anchor their ventures in a deep Christian faith find unique strength and guidance. In this blog post, we will explore how the teachings of Christ empower entrepreneurs, emphasizing servant leadership, selflessness, skill-sharing, and obedience to Christ’s instructions.

  1. Finding Peace through Prayer and Trust:

A prayer is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs, not as a guarantee of immediate results but as a means to find inner peace and guidance. By lifting their worries, fears, and uncertainties to a higher power, entrepreneurs can focus on what they can control and trust that God will guide their steps. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Stanley Leary is photographing in the village of Garango, Burkina Faso. (Photo By: Shawn Hendricks)
  1. Embracing Servant Leadership:

The core of the Christian faith lies in the teachings of Jesus Christ, who exemplified servant leadership. Entrepreneurs can draw strength from this example by adopting a mindset focused on serving others rather than solely pursuing personal gain. Jesus said in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” By placing the needs of employees, customers, and the community at the forefront, entrepreneurs can build meaningful relationships and contribute positively to society.

  1. Cultivating Selflessness and Generosity:

Christian entrepreneurs are called to be selfless in their endeavors. Instead of solely focusing on taking, they are encouraged to consider how they can give back to their communities and positively impact them. This can manifest in various ways, such as creating job opportunities, supporting local initiatives, or using their skills and resources to address social issues. Proverbs 11:25 states, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” By actively seeking opportunities to give, entrepreneurs contribute to the greater good and find fulfillment and purpose beyond financial success.

Storytellers Abroad Multimedia Missions Workshop in Togo, West Africa
  1. Skill-sharing, Collaboration, and Obedience:

In addition to serving others, the Christian faith encourages entrepreneurs to share their skills and knowledge with others. Instead of hoarding expertise or ideas, they are called to foster a collaborative mindset, recognizing that proper growth and innovation often arise through collective effort. Philippians 2:3-4 teaches, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his interests but also to the interests of others.” By actively participating in open dialogue, mentoring, and skill-sharing, Christian entrepreneurs create a culture that values the development of others, fostering an environment conducive to growth and innovation.


Christian faith provides entrepreneurs with profound strength and guidance amidst the challenges of entrepreneurship. By embracing the teachings of Christ and prioritizing values such as servant leadership, selflessness, skill-sharing, and obedience to His instructions, entrepreneurs can find peace, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose in their journey. Through prayer and trust, they discover tranquility beyond immediate outcomes, entrusting their paths to God. By obediently following the example of Christ and His teachings, entrepreneurs experience personal growth and create a positive impact on their businesses, communities, and the world at large.

Exploring the Magic of Drone Photography: Capturing the Essence of Different Times of Day

In the world of photography, timing can be everything. The perfect moment can transform an ordinary scene into something extraordinary. As a passionate drone photographer, I recently had an eye-opening experience that reminded me of the power of shooting at different times of the day. Yesterday, while flying my trusty drone, I was once again captivated by how the changing light throughout the day can dramatically alter a photograph’s mood and overall feel. Join me as I share my reflections on this remarkable journey and explore the magic of capturing images at various times of the day.

Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. [DJI Air 2S, Mode = Normal, ISO 150, 1/240, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]
  1. The Golden Hour: Dawn and Dusk There’s a reason why photographers refer to the hours after sunrise and before sunset as the “golden hour.” During this magical time, the sun casts a warm and soft light that adds a touch of enchantment to any subject. As I flew my drone in the early morning, I was greeted by breathtaking hues of pink and orange, casting long, cinematic shadows across the landscape. The serene calmness of dawn combined with the ethereal light creates a surreal atmosphere that can’t be replicated later in the day. Similarly, during the evening golden hour, the low-angle light bathes everything in a warm glow, bringing out rich tones and textures and creating a sense of tranquility.
  2. Chasing Shadows: Midday Drama While midday might be considered a less conventional time for photography due to the harsh light and strong shadows, it also offers unique opportunities for creative exploration. As I flew my drone during this time, I noticed how the sunlight created bold contrasts and played with textures. Shadows became an integral part of the composition, adding depth and drama to the images. By embracing the harsh light, I discovered that certain subjects, such as architectural structures or urban landscapes, can come alive unexpectedly. Experimenting with angles and compositions allowed me to capture intriguing patterns and shapes, resulting in a visually striking series of photographs.
  3. Nighttime Wonders: City Lights and Starry Skies As daylight fades away, a new world emerges, and the cityscape transforms into a dazzling tapestry of lights. Shooting with my drone at night opened up a realm of possibilities for capturing the magic of urban environments. The vibrant city lights, gleaming reflections, and moving car trails created an electrifying ambiance. Utilizing long exposures and experimenting with different camera settings, I could capture the mesmerizing trails of light painting the night sky. Furthermore, venturing beyond the city lights, I found myself in awe of the captivating beauty of the starry night, capturing the serene stillness of the universe above.
  4. Weather and Seasons: Nature’s Paintbrush Beyond the time of day, weather conditions and changing seasons also play a crucial role in drone photography. Each season, from the misty mornings of autumn to the vibrant colors of spring, adds its unique touch to the landscape. Rainy days can create moody, atmospheric shots, while stormy skies and dramatic cloud formations can add a sense of dynamism and power to the scene. I captured nature’s ever-changing moods by venturing into different weather conditions, showcasing its diverse and breathtaking beauty.
DJI Air 2S Drone footage of Alpharetta Hwy & where Holcomb Bridge Road and Crossville Road change names in Roswell, Georgia. [DJI Air 2S, Mode = Manual, ISO 370, 1/15, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 22)]

Conclusion: As drone photographers, we can capture the world from new perspectives and explore the nuances of time and light. Shooting at different times of the day allows us to unlock the full potential of our subjects, unveiling their inherent beauty and character. Whether it’s the soft golden hues of dawn, the captivating play of shadows during midday, or the luminous city lights at night, each moment offers a unique opportunity for creativity and self-expression. So, the next time you take your drone to the sky.

The Transformative Power of Storytelling: Engaging Hearts and Minds


Welcome to our blog, where we dive into the incredible impact storytelling can have on connecting with your audience on a deeper level. In this post, we’ll share insights from our recent experience hosting the Storytellers Abroad Multimedia Missions Workshop in Brazil, highlighting the importance of crafting compelling narratives that engage both the heart and the head of your listeners.

You are crafting Stories That Resonate:

One crucial lesson we learned during the workshop was the significance of starting with the audience when shaping your story. By understanding who your listeners are, you can create a narrative that truly resonates with them, evoking genuine emotions and capturing their attention. During our time in Brazil, you allowed us to share stories of individuals profoundly impacted by missionaries, inspiring action and making a difference in the lives of others.

Storytellers Abroad Brazil

The Elements of an Impactful Story:

To ensure our stories were compelling, we delved into the individuals’ lives, asking thought-provoking questions and understanding each element necessary for a captivating narrative. We discovered that incorporating the following elements creates narratives that genuinely resonate with your audience:

  1. Introduction: Introduce your characters and set the stage for the story.
  2. Conflict: Present the challenges or obstacles that your characters face.
  3. Development: Show the journey of personal growth or transformation your characters undergo.
  4. Resolution: Provide a satisfying answer to the conflict, demonstrating the positive outcomes or lessons learned.
  5. Call to Action: Engage your audience by clearly communicating what you want them to do or how they can get involved.
Storytellers Abroad Brazil

The Importance of Clarity and Coherence:

It’s crucial to emphasize that if any of these storytelling elements are not transparent or effectively conveyed, the audience will likely be lost along the storyline. A well-crafted narrative should guide the listeners through a seamless journey, capturing their attention and maintaining their engagement from beginning to end. Without a clear understanding of the characters, conflicts, development, and resolution, the audience may become disoriented and disconnected from the story’s purpose. As a result, the call to action will be brushed aside, hindering the desired impact and potential outcomes.

Storytellers Abroad Brazil

Embrace the Power of Storytelling:

We encourage you to embrace the power of storytelling in your endeavors. Whether you are presenting a new product, seeking support for a cause, or sharing your journey, stories can captivate and connect people profoundly. By incorporating the essential elements of storytelling and ensuring clarity and coherence, you can effectively engage your audience, leaving them inspired, informed, and motivated to take action.

Connect with Us:

Please get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more about storytelling or explore how we can help you craft compelling narratives for your business or organization. We would be delighted to assist you in your storytelling journey.

Thank you for reading, and we look forward to witnessing the transformative power of your stories.

Finding Relaxation in the Joy of Photography: My Vacation Time Adventure

Vacation time is often associated with relaxation, unwinding, and stepping away from the daily grind. As a photographer, it’s tempting to believe that vacation means putting the camera down and focusing solely on leisure activities. However, I’ve discovered that my passion for photography can intertwine seamlessly with my vacation experiences, allowing me to relax while doing what I love. In this blog, I’ll share my recent vacation adventure at Emerald Isle, North Carolina, where I embraced the art of capturing moments, both planned and serendipitous, and found true joy in my craft.

Air 2S Drone Emerald Isle Leary Reunion 2023

A Different Approach to Vacation Photography:

As a photographer, getting caught up in work and the pursuit of perfection is easy. However, I wanted to approach this vacation with a different mindset. I viewed it as an opportunity to capture moments of joy, love, and togetherness rather than focusing on technicalities or professional expectations. It was a chance to explore my creativity without constraints.

The Aerial Perspective:

One of the highlights of my vacation was using my drone to capture breathtaking shots of our family reunion at Emerald Isle. The aerial perspective offered a unique and mesmerizing view of the beach and our loved ones. It allowed me to document the coastline’s vastness, the ocean’s vibrant colors, and the beautiful landscapes surrounding us. The drone became a tool to create art while immersing myself in the vacation ambiance.

Emerald Isle Leary Reunion 2023

The Nikon Z9 Experience:

While the drone provided a great perspective, I also took the time to indulge in my passion for traditional photography. Armed with my trusty Nikon Z9 cameras, I photographed the pristine beaches, capturing their natural beauty at different times of the day. The calming sound of waves crashing against the shore and the warm golden light during sunrise and sunset provided the perfect backdrop for my artistic exploration.

Emerald Isle Leary Reunion 2023

Serendipitous Family Moments:

Amidst the scenic beauty of Emerald Isle, I made sure to be present and capture serendipitous moments of joy and connection within my family. I sought to freeze these fleeting moments, whether it was an impromptu sandcastle-building competition, a laughter-filled volleyball match, or a peaceful walk along the shore. These candid shots reminded me of the true essence of vacation—to create lasting memories and bonds with loved ones.

Family Photo Emerald Isle Leary Reunion 2023

Family Photos and Absent Loved Ones:

Every year, I make it a tradition to take our family photos. These images serve as a testament to our unity, growth, and the love we share. However, this year, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgia and longing as I captured these moments without our children, Nelson, Taylor, and Chelle. While they couldn’t join us physically, their presence was felt in spirit, and the family photos reminded us of their importance in our lives.

Family Photo Emerald Isle Leary Reunion 2023

Photographing for Joy:

In conclusion, my vacation experience at Emerald Isle taught me that doing what you love for a career doesn’t mean you have to put the camera down to relax. Instead, it’s about finding joy in photography without the pressures of deadlines or clients. It’s about immersing yourself in the beauty of your surroundings, capturing serendipitous moments, and cherishing the time spent with loved ones.

Photography, for me, has always been a source of relaxation and inspiration. By embracing a different approach during my vacation, I could unwind and recharge while doing what I love most. It reminded me of the power of photography to create meaningful connections and capture the beauty of life’s simplest pleasures.

So, the next time you embark on a vacation, don’t hesitate to pick up your camera and let your passion guide you. Find the balance between capturing memories and living in the moment, and you’ll discover a new level of relaxation and joy in your craft.

Navigating the Storytelling Skies: Essential Checkpoints for Every Narrative

Caption: Jamile and Marcio are the owners of this bar located in Porto Alegre, Brazil. George Haines, who was one of the students, told their story.

Yesterday we had the final showing of the students of the Storytellers Abroad Multimedia Missions Workshop to Brazil, sharing their work with the home office of the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism or ABWE. We had a lot of new staff and coaches on this trip. Sometimes the most challenging part of doing a workshop is screening the participants. Usually, we get one that looks OK on paper, but once on the field, we discover they lack some basic skills. When this happens, we spend a little more time helping them.

However, the narrative storyline is the most significant struggle for every student over the years of doing this workshop. Running a close second is students not understanding the people they have been assigned have already been vetted, and we had some idea of the storyline that connects them to the ABWE missionary.

The workshop participant cannot just create their own story. Too many think their creativity is the whole project. There is a client with a purpose for you being assigned a person and their story. Otherwise, they are not giving you access to these people.

The weakest videos produced at each workshop usually lack a clear storyline. Unfortunately, in every workshop, we also get people with lots of experience who, while technically proficient and even create some great visual content, don’t have a clear storyline; their video misses the purpose for which we are doing this workshop.

The purpose of the workshop is to produce videos that have strong storylines of people who the missionaries have impacted on the field. The call to action is asking the audience to help them continue this work by giving, supporting someone else to go, and praying.

While many videos met these goals, we always have those that miss the mark. This blog post reminds the storyteller how vital those key elements are to helping guide an audience.

Introduction: Much like skilled pilots rely on checkpoints to maintain their course during a flight, storytellers have their guiding points to ensure their narratives stay on track. If a Pilot misses a checkpoint, they rarely reach their destination.

These storytelling checkpoints are crucial markers, providing smooth plot development, character evolution, conflict resolution, and audience engagement. This blog post will explore the various checkpoints that can elevate storytelling to new heights, including crisis, mentorship, tasks, resolution, and more. The storyteller must know these so while structuring the story can be sure the audience understands why they are being told the story and what the connection for these missionaries is to the Hero. Miss that point, and there is no clear “Call To Action.”

  1. Ordinary Time Checkpoint: Establishing the Hero’s Pre-Crisis Life Before diving into the story’s heart, it’s essential to swiftly establish what life was like for our Hero before the crisis struck.
  2. Crisis Checkpoint: A Turbulent Beginning Every compelling story requires an inciting incident or crisis checkpoint that sets the wheels in motion. This initial turbulence captures the audience’s attention and establishes the central conflict of the narrative. Whether it’s a personal tragedy, a sudden change of circumstances, or an external threat, the crisis checkpoint propels the protagonist on their journey, sparking a desire for change.
  3. Mentor/Resource Checkpoint: Guiding Lights Along the Way In storytelling, mentors or resources act as guiding lights, providing wisdom, assistance, or special knowledge to the protagonist. This checkpoint introduces a character who imparts valuable lessons, supports the Hero during their trials, and helps them acquire the necessary skills to overcome challenges. The mentor/resource checkpoint can be a pivotal moment that shapes the protagonist’s growth and prepares them for the future.
  4. Assignment Checkpoint: Overcoming the Crisis Following the mentor or resource checkpoint, the Hero receives an assignment that pushes them to overcome their crisis. This assignment is a turning point in the story, propelling the Hero forward on their journey.
  5. Actions Checkpoint: Navigating Obstacles Stories are woven with a series of tasks or challenge/s the protagonist must face. These checkpoints test the Hero’s mettle, showcase their strengths, and reveal their vulnerabilities. Each task checkpoint brings the protagonist closer to their ultimate goal, offering opportunities for character development and building suspense. From physical feats to emotional hurdles, these checkpoints make the journey more engaging and allow the audience to connect with the protagonist’s struggle.
  6. Resolution Checkpoint: Reaching the Destination Every story needs a resolution checkpoint, where the conflict is resolved and loose ends are tied up. This final checkpoint often brings the audience a sense of closure and satisfaction, allowing them to witness the protagonist’s growth and the culmination of their efforts. The resolution checkpoint may contain a climactic showdown, an emotional breakthrough, or a realization that changes everything. It provides a cathartic experience, leaving the audience with a sense of fulfillment.
  7. Call to Action for Missions/Nonprofit/Business Checkpoint: After experiencing this story, the audience should identify with the Hero’s crisis. Then, we typically ask the audience to support the mentor/missionary/nonprofit for missions and nonprofit work, enabling them to help more people like the Hero.

Conclusion: Just as pilots rely on checkpoints to stay on course, storytellers harness the power of narrative checkpoints to create engaging and memorable stories. From the initial crisis to the final resolution and from the guiding mentors to the emotional twists and turns, these checkpoints ensure that the story develops smoothly and captivates the audience’s imagination. By effectively utilizing these storytelling checkpoints, writers can navigate their narratives to new heights, leaving a lasting impact on their readers or viewers. So, fellow storytellers, remember to plot your course, check your checkpoints, and let your stories take flight!