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TEAMS: Capturing a special Christmas moment

TEAMS is a monthly series that celebrates the talent and impact of various groups at Hoboken Grace.

Hoboken Grace’s photo team has worked bar crowds, citywide 1Day projects and epic Easter egg hunts.

But this month they’ll take on their biggest project yet, taking portraits for hundreds of families who may not have many professional family photos.

“They might not have an opportunity like this, so to be able to give them that for Christmas, it’s special,” says Jeremy, Hoboken Grace’s creative media producer.

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The team will shoot the portraits at the Hoboken Christmas Exchange distribution day on Saturday, December 19, at 301 Garden. But there are many logistical challenges that the team isn’t used to: a studio setup, with proper lighting, for example, and a printing system so each family can take their portrait home.

“It’s the biggest thing that our photo team has taken on,” Jeremy says.

The team hopes to give each family a high-quality portrait that they can be proud of, and something that they’ll always remember the day by, says Al, who leads the photo team. It’s also an opportunity to get more engaged with the families who will be receiving gifts.

“We wanted to reach more families in need within our community,” Jeremy says. When the Hoboken Christmas Gift Exchange was announced, the photo team thought that would be the perfect opportunity.

While the portrait setup is by far the team’s biggest project yet, it’s just one way members have dreamed bigger this year. They held a photo walk in late summer, inviting people to tour the city through the lens of a camera. In the fall they launched Portraits, a joint project with the writing team that captures stories in our community through photos.

“Al is constantly trying to figure out what’s next, how we can love people through photo,” Jeremy says.

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And then there are the photos themselves – hundreds and hundreds from Sunday services and dozens of events – which have increased Hoboken Grace’s presence on social media and often serve as a first impression to website visitors. One goal is to expand and organize an already massive archive.

The team itself has grown, doubling in size this year. There are now eight photographers involved, and training workshops are held in addition to team meetings.

“It’s all been very new. It happened very fast,” says Jeremy, adding that the photos posted on social media have helped spark interest.

The family portrait project later this month is another opportunity for the team to expand their reach, Al and Jeremy say. They hope it’s the first of many bigger projects, especially once they perfect a studio setup and figure out how to replicate it for other scenarios.

“It will be cool to see what’s next,” Jeremy says.

photo2The Photo Team

Mission: Capturing the story of the Hoboken Grace community in real, honest, engaging imagery.

The commitment: On average, taking photos twice a month, usually for one Sunday and one event.

How you can join or find out more information: Email photos@hobokengrace.com.

Want to learn more about serving on a team at Hoboken Grace? You can attend Intro to Impact after service on the first Sunday of every month.

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