This past weekend, I had the opportunity to serve as the official photographer for my first major event. Mind you, I don’t claim to be a photographer. I own a camera. For my birthday, my wife got me (us) an additional lens. I’m very much a novice. But I’ve taken a liking to the hobby and developed a bit of raw skill (see yesterday’s post, Raw Material and Raw Potential), so she decided she would invest in my happiness (sidebar: invest in the dreams of your significant other. It will pay off tenfold in you all’s collective joy.)
Anyway, I digress. This weekend, I was able to shoot Berean Community Center‘s Abolition Day service at Shaw University. The Community Center, a branch from my church, The Berean Experience (also known as Berean Baptist Church), had North Carolina NAACP president Rev. Dr. William Barber as the keynote speaker (you may recall him from this video at the 2016 Democratic National Convention), United States Congressional Black Caucus chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield as the master of ceremonies, and Supreme Court of North Carolina Justice-elect the Honorable Mike Morgan speak on the historical perspective of the event. All in all, it was a powerful celebration of black freedom, black excellence, and America’s bite at the apple of redemption. And I was there for it all. From the private meeting of these and other names that are known locally and nationally to capturing moments from angels that everyone else was unable to see, I was present and ready. Why? Because I was asked to serve. I had no idea when we got the camera that I would fall in love with the attention to detail required to shoot a manual shot and get it just right but I’m glad I did. My hobby allows me to serve in church on Sundays, keeping me both engaged and active, but it also is opening doors for me to meet people who have changed the social fabric of our nation and communities. That is important to me.
During his time at the pulpit, Justice-elect Morgan said, “When you find yourself surrounded by excellence, it can’t help but become a part of you.” The funny thing is, you never know what it is that will put you in the room with greatness so be open to more than one avenue to success.
Make professional development a priority.