Meet Storyteller Stephanie Simmons

[photo above is of the seminary night classes that share the space with a school]

Jorge Quintana is a seminary student that storyteller Stephanie Simmons was given to tell his story.

See the story she captured here.

Stephanie has lots of positive energy. She is always smiling.

Stephanie Simmons. Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/400, Focal Length = 35]

What I admired the most about Stephanie was her focus. She wanted to learn.

[X-E3, XF55-200mm ƒ/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 5000, ƒ/7.1, 1/100, Focal Length = 300]

When I talked to her about her story before she did the interview I could tell she had listened to the subjects. I could tell she cared for them and being sure she would stay true to the story.

[X-E3, XF18-55mm ƒ/2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 6400, ƒ/7.1, 1/100, Focal Length = 36]

Now I love to watch people and just observe them. I noticed Stephanie would be on the edges of the group participating but also listening.

[NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 12800, ƒ/4, 1/200, Focal Length = 24]

When the instructors were meeting each night to see who might need more help the next day on their stories, we all talked about how Stephanie welcomed ideas and was so eager to learn.

If you want to learn how to tell a missions story like Stephanie join us this June in Romania with Storytellers Abroad.

Meet Storyteller Jay York

Jay York working on his story for the Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 32000, ƒ/6.3, 1/200, Focal Length = 24]

I have known Jay York for years. We met at the Southwestern Photojournalism Seminar in Fort Worth, Texas. Jay was using his vacations to photograph for the ABWE.

Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/800, Focal Length = 35]

Many years ago photographers volunteered their time to help ABWE missionaries by taking photos of work around the world that went into a database. During the film years missionaries would have to go to Harrisburg, PA offices and look through all the 35mm slides and get copies to use in their slide shows that they showed to churches and supporters when they were on furlough.

Jay York and translator Andrea Carhuachîn. Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 51200, ƒ/4, 1/200, Focal Length = 62]

During our week in Lima, Peru Jay worked on a story about Elvira Cuevas Bolívar. Here is the package that Jay produced.

Jay worked methodically not only in being sure he understood Elvira’s story, which is much bigger than told in this package, but to work with three instructors Pat Davison, James Dockery and myself.

Jay York’s Story on Elvira Cuevas with Andrea Carhuachîn serving as translator. Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 2200, ƒ/4, 1/200, Focal Length = 24]

Jay wanted to understand every aspect of the storytelling process.

Elvira Cuevas – Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 4500, ƒ/4.5, 1/200, Focal Length = 68]

Just a couple months before the trip Jay switched camera systems to the Fuji mirrorless system. Jay shot most of this project on the Fuji X-T3.

Jay York with Elvira Cuevas and her son Chris. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 100, ƒ/4.5, 1/200, Focal Length = 68]

If you want to learn how to tell a missions story like Jay join us this June in Romania with Storytellers Abroad.

Meet Storyteller Josh Hart

Josh Hart Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0 , ISO 28800, ƒ/4, 1/200, Focal Length = 24]

Mr. Positivity is how I would describe Josh Hart. He was the first person to introduce himself to me when I first met the group in Lima, Peru. He was eager to learn and had a wonderful smile.

We spent time sitting by his computer and talking about his story on Darwin and Azucena Diaz. He went out and interviewed them and then the next day I was able to go with Josh as he spent more time getting B-Roll.

In film and television production, B-roll, B roll, B-reel or B reel is supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot. 

Here is the story that Josh produced during his week in Lima, Peru.

Josh Hart’s story on Darwin & Vanessa Diaz. He is a teacher at the Iglesia Evangelica Bautista “Las Flores” in San Juan de Lurigancho area of Lima, Peru. To the left is ABWE missionary Jon Stone who teaches at the seminary. During our time in Lima Jon was a translator, driver, food coordinator and more for the Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/640, Focal Length = 28]

Each student had time with their subjects at a meal with everyone when we arrived. The the following day they hung out with them again getting to know them better.

Josh Hart’s story on Darwin & Vanessa Diaz. Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/640, Focal Length = 28]

Josh loves technology and shot his interviews in 4k. If you are not a geek that just means he shot them video with a very high resolution camera. This way he could shoot the couple side by side and then just zoom in on one person at a time. This made it possible to shoot with one camera but get some variety our of the interview.

While working together shooting his B-Roll I just hung back and watched. Since he had told me what he was wanting to capture I would just add suggestion when he ran out of ideas.

Josh Hart’s story on Darwin & Vanessa Diaz. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/640, Focal Length = 28]

The one thing I was helping with Josh on was how to put into words his direction to the couple and translator what he needed next. He could tell them he needed them to walk in a direction, but he was having a hard time to tell them what they should be thinking about when they were being filmed.

“We are capturing you when you come to the church and have to take the taxi and unlock the building. I need you to do this a few times so I can film you from your front, back and side. Just do what you do every day when you make this trip.”

[NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/640, Focal Length = 28]

“I want to capture the two of you doing a bible study together that you talked about in the interview. Find a passage you guys have been working on together. I need you both to talk back and forth.”

If you want to learn how to tell a missions story like Josh join us this June in Romania with Storytellers Abroad.