This photo surprised me.
When I placed my camera in the hands of a young girl who had never even held one before, I was not expecting to see such a beautiful moment so perfectly captured.
When my team and I first arrived in the tribes of Southern Ethiopia, we were amazed by the beauty of the culture. But as a photographer, I felt I couldn’t just pull out my camera and begin taking photos, I wanted to build relationships with God’s people first. I didn’t want the barrier of tourist stereotypes. However, while playing with a group of kids on the last day, I heard the Lord telling me to pull out my camera. Before taking the first photo, I asked God to show me what He saw in His children. The kids loved being photographed, they giggled so much that it was hard to get them to stand still.
Soon, I noticed a girl who had a sincere interest in my camera. She studied intently as I took portraits. We couldn’t speak to each other, hand gestures were our only communication. I put my camera in her hands and showed her how to use it. She was fascinated with the fact that you could capture a simple moment in the blink of an eye. I taught her how to use the rim in manual focus. She noticed the changes every time she moved the rim from left to right. After many shots, her skills improved. I let her take some time to figure things on her own. While she explored, I hung out with the other kids. After she returned the camera, I found this photo in focus. I now have the privilege to look back on this moment she captured. I thank God for pushing me out of my comfort zone. Had I not taken out my camera, she would not have discovered her natural ability in photography.
A camera can close relationships if you are not wise, yet just as quickly, it can build bridges to ones you wouldn’t expect. That day, I realized how fascinating our Creator has made us, with the ability we have to learn new things, discover talents, create with our imaginations, and inspire people. All to glorify God’s Kingdom.
Not only will I remember the child in the photo. I will also remember the girl behind the camera.
Written by Alisa Hoodikoff, USA
Photo Editing: Alisa Hoodikoff