Photographer

Volunteering by Brea Persing

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Being a photographer with a focus on nonprofits and NGOs, I have been asked multiple times if I’d be willing to photograph for free. Well, no. I am running a business and need to pay bill just like you do. But on occasion, I have been known to trade services and/or do pro bono work for something I am very passionate about. 

When it comes to pro bono work, I’ll only take on 1-2 per year and with certain requirements and restrictions of the type of work, country and duration of the project. Plus it has to be something that goes along with my convictions and such. I am not interested in unethical storytelling and using people, so I am very careful as to the type of assignments I will take. 

Since moving back from overseas, I have been trying to figure out where I was going to settle when it came to churches. There was the church I grew up in, but I wasn’t sure if that is where I wanted to hang my hat. I started seeking out other churches to see where I wanted to land. There was one I really liked, but it was a 45 minute drive. I didn’t want to do that. But as I was doing that, I started to appreciate the church I grew up in and not feel like I had to go there because of growing up there and my family still going there, but wanted to.

With that, I wanted to wait some time before I dug in and got involved with ministry things at the church. But then I saw it…the church was looking to expand its photography team and add new people. It was time and so I jumped in with both feet. This is the one place where I will volunteer my time without many conditions. It’s been exhausting, but also very rewarding. I wasn’t sure if they were going to like my style of photography, but they did. And at this point, I wasn’t as good in low light situations, but it’s given me the opportunity to work on that to the point that I feel more comfortable in low light situations now. I also didn’t want to be in front of people, or be intrusive (one of the reason’s I haven’t been as eager to capture weddings), but I have learned to get over it…wearing back really helps with that! It’s been a time of stretching and learning, which is always great. One should always aspire to be a continual learner in every area of life.

I am glad I decided to take the step and get involved and use my talent to help those who stood with me while I was overseas, prayed for and encouraged me for so many years.

Here are some of my favorite shots to date:

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A group of visiting Kenyan pastors took over worship

A group of visiting Kenyan pastors took over worship

A group of visiting Kenyan pastors took over worship

A group of visiting Kenyan pastors took over worship

Baby Dedication

Baby Dedication

Baby Dedication

Baby Dedication

"The Paper" Article by Brea Persing

ON THE JOB  — Brea Persing, Goshen, stands on the sand dunes of Morocco zooming in on a string of camels in the distance. Persing is a photographer who partners with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs to raise awareness for their cause. She also works with businesses in the travel and hospitality industry and teams up with individuals who want a vacation photographer. (Photo Provided)

ON THE JOB — Brea Persing, Goshen, stands on the sand dunes of Morocco zooming in on a string of camels in the distance. Persing is a photographer who partners with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs to raise awareness for their cause. She also works with businesses in the travel and hospitality industry and teams up with individuals who want a vacation photographer. (Photo Provided)

Article originally published on February 20, 2019 by “The-Papers” of Milford, Indiana and written by Laurie Lechlitner.

Photographer tells people's stories around the globe

    “I love observing other cultures,” stated Brea Persing, Goshen. “I enjoy sharing people’s stories across the globe. And I want to continue to use my photography skills to raise awareness . . . to make a difference around the world.”

    Persing has been a photography buff since she was a child. “I started taking photos on my parents’ film camera. My first digital camera was a little Canon PowerShot. I’ve always tried to capture the beauty around me. I love taking candid shots of people. I enjoy capturing colors and textures like old, rustic barns. And I really like taking closeups and showing the uniqueness I see everywhere.”

    Living overseas for the past 6 ½ years, Persing was a photojournalist and graphic designer. “I worked for a nonprofit organization for ten years and really enjoyed it.” She’s lived in Italy, Spain and West Asia.

    Whether she’s photographing a line of camels traveling through the sand dunes in Morocco or shooting in the city of Taipei, Taiwan, she wants to tell a story. “Actually, photographing people in Morocco was probably my most challenging assignment. Many people do not like to have their picture taken. I learned early that a photographer traveling in another country needs to understand and respect the culture and the wishes of the locals. Sometimes, just simply asking the person if you can photograph them, while smiling, is all that is needed. But if they say no, you need to respect their decision.”

    Her favorite residence was Verona, Italy. “I lived close to the downtown area. The city was very beautiful. I frequented the city shops and made very good friends there.”

    Another place she loved was Spain. “In the town of Málaga, I had a great view of the mountains right outside my window. I enjoyed walking around downtown, hanging out with friends at the port and buying fresh meat, fish and produce at the most amazing food market in town.”

    Now that Persing is back in Goshen, she longs to continue to travel with her camera. Though she no longer works for one nonprofit exclusively, her focus hasn’t changed much, “I partner with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs worldwide to help them share their stories and raise awareness for their cause.”

    She doesn’t just stick with travel photography for nonprofits though. She also works with for-profit businesses in the travel and hospitality industry. And even more fun, she is a personal vacation photographer. “It’s a photographer that goes on vacation with you and your loved ones so you can enjoy all of the moments and memories you’re making without having to worry about capturing them yourself, or editing any of the photos afterwards!”

    With a smile, she remarked, “I see myself as adventurous and a risk taker. Traveling around the world, especially to a few places I’ve been, is not for the faint of heart. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

    Besides photographing her parents’ dogs, her hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, scuba diving and eating tacos. “I love trying new things and seeing new places.” While relaxing, she enjoys watching movies, playing cards, and hanging out with friends.

    “Every person and place has a story. And I enjoy capturing them.” Check out her Instagram: @photos.by.brea and website: www.breapersing.com.


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REVISION TO ORIGINAL POST: This was not a part of the original article, but I was so excited to see the article in print, I thought I would add the photo of me with the ink on paper here! :)