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The Art of Shooting Short-Term

Using video to make the most of your mission trips.

Roughly one and a half million Americans go on short-term mission trips each year, and I would guess about one million digital cameras and camcorders go along for the ride. More and more churches are using video to help the entire congregation participate in these overseas trips. The entire congregation can't go to Mexico, but a video can do a lot to help church members understand and appreciate a developing partnership in Tijuana.

Often a member from the church media team gets recruited to record the experience for the congregation back home. These videographers need to think as much about how they will shoot as what they will shoot. It's not just about what they put on tape but how they do it.

What follows are three scenarios, loosely based on personal experience. I have learned the hard way that there is a cost to focusing solely on the technicalities of shooting overseas and ignoring the art of cross-cultural communication. Each of these stories shows how shooting in a missions context ...

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