God goes through all the trouble to fill fields with purple flowers, but we often pass by without noticing. That's a serious offense against the Almighty, according to novelist Alice Walker in The Color Purple. Photojournalists notice the flowers, purple and otherwise. Did photographs of the World Trade Center stir you emotionally the day after 9/11? What about the snapshots from inside Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison? A wordsmith, Allan Ginsberg, the 1960s Beat-era poet, famously said: "Whoever controls the media—the images—controls the culture." New technology, from cell-phone cameras to internet photo galleries, has given still photography a fresh boost. Christians in Photojournalism, begun 20 years ago as a support group, believes Christians should develop visual literacy. Photojournalists gather each year at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to fellowship, swap stories, and debate professional issues. Denise McGill interviewed five of the top Christian photographers to ask them about their work. Each day this week we will feature a photojournalist and his/her work.

Joanna Pinneo started traveling early in her career and incorporated her worldview into a signature photographic style. "What I became known for was intimacy," she explains. She documented Palestinians during one major assignment. At the time, an editor told her, "Just be fair and cover everyday life." The result, published in 1992, put a human face on an explosive issue.

Pinneo says photojournalists are privileged to be allowed into people's lives. "God has chosen us to be communicators," she says. "If we see people, or even touch them, it's kind of like touching the hem of Jesus' robe."

Based in Longmont, Colorado, Pinneo is one of the nation's top magazine ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.