Entries in photography (3)
I enjoy photography. It has been a hobby of mine since high school, and as the years have passed I've continued to play around behind the lens. I really enjoy finding photographers who do excellent and inspiring work, for it informs my own experimentation with taking pictures, and inspires me to keep shooting.
Enter my friend, Scot Huber.
Mr. Huber is a photographer, artist and public health educator in Boston, Massachusetts. He currently works for Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester while also operating Give and Take Pictures (go ahead, click on the link and check it out), a portrait and wedding photography business. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Gordon College.
I met Scot while leading a youth mission trip to the city of Philadelphia in 2008. At the time, Scot was a city host for The Center for Student Missions. I enjoyed discussing theology, music, baseball, and ministry during our week together. A year later, Scot stopped off at our home in De Soto, Kansas during a road trip he took across the United States. I've continued to stay in touch with Scot. He is a blessing to me.
I asked Scot a few questions about his work. Check out his response.
First, how did you get started in photography?
Photography was at most a peripheral hobby in my late teen years, but I really only took interest in it as I went off to college and eventually studied abroad in England. There one of my closest friends was a fantastic photographer and he provided a lot of inspiration towards a love of photography and photographs. After returning from that year abroad and finishing up my senior year, some folks I knew were getting engaged so I offered to do engagement photos for them. The next thing I knew they were asking me to photograph their weddings, and from there, as they say, the rest is history.
Whenever I look through your collections, particularly your wedding photography, often I find that you capture emotion, or some dimension of the person in your photography. Your photography tells a story. How does narrative inform photography? Does it? Even though an image is static, can pictures tell a story?
All images carry a message. The first inscribed images & drawings were used to record events and tell stories. Photographs should be no different. The medium has changed and the way we as a culture think about narratives and stories may have grown more complex, but the goal still remains the same: communication. It is this sharing that inspired the name for my photography business. As a photographer you have to be careful not to get too caught up in the story of the image though, as it can quickly become too complex, too confusing, or even too much about the story. Photographs must communicate something, but they also must be interesting to look at. The best photographs are ones where there is a certain amount of freedom for the viewer to slowly find his way to the message through the thrill of exploring what is presented before them. Wedding photographers, myself included, can sometimes seem restricted to a very literal documentation of the events of the day, but I think even here the photographs can find a way to creatively speak and lead toward a meaningful story.
Have your experiences as a wedding photographer broadened or deepened your appreciation of Christian marriage? What have those experiences taught you theologically?
I have been very blessed to be able to photograph numerous wonderful weddings—days not just valuable as a party or fashion event, but starting points for a new life together. I think it is difficult not to be pessimistic about the state of marriage in our country, but many of the weddings I have been to have been tangible demonstrations of the deep love and commitment two people can share. It is quite refreshing and inspiring to see. I think my own loosely sacramental theology has been challenged at various weddings I have photographed, trying to see the way God is working both inside and outside of “Christian” ceremonies. In the end though, weddings that embody values deep within the Christian tradition feel deeper and more meaningful than those with a more self-absorbed view of the world.
What are your favorite subjects to shoot? Why?
I have to say people, but that is quite broad. People are the most dynamic (and challenging), but also the most relatable. I am still trying to find my “voice” when it comes to the main direction of my photography, but the simplest way I can say it is that my favorite things to shoot are things I think will capture something about the human condition, or just say something of value. Giving a photograph to someone that is meaningful to them is one of my favorite things to do.
Lastly, where does your Christian faith intersect with your work?
My hope is that it’s deeper than an intersection, that it is the ground from which all of my work is built. Within the art world, even within the wedding photography world (especially in my geographic location), it’s not a marketable quality to be a Christian, so I often try to be more creative about the story I am telling rather than using terminology that will turn people off. I want to show what is true and celebrate what is beautiful. Of all the ways that can be done, I think I’m most successful at doing that through photography. My hope is that the kind of business I operate and the way my pictures communicate points toward something bigger than me.