Category Archives: Travel

Street Soccer


During my two weeks in India, I was able to take two afternoons to myself to walk the city and make photos. A short-term trip doesn’t allow much time for building relationships, learning stories and developing images that tell those stories in ways others can connect to. Throughout the whole trip, whenever I had an opportunity, I would be snapping pictures and grabbing street shots as we were traveling to various sites. These two afternoons allowed me to slow down a little bit, but not much. As I was walking down one alley to get back to a street I had spotted earlier in the day, I came across a group of boys playing soccer. Two bricks in the middle of the street marked their goals, and the ball they used was closer in size to a tennis ball than a regulation soccer ball. I started taking pictures, but after a minute or two, the boy who was clearly the leader of the group picked up the ball and came over to me. I was worried they were going to be upset, or that they would start asking questions I wouldn’t be able to answer adequately through our language barrier. Then he smiled at me, dropped the ball at my feet, and said “play.” He didn’t have to ask twice. I slung my camera onto my back and jumped into the game. My athletic abilities have never been anything to write home about, and this instance was no exception. I tried hard, but my clumsy feet struggled to hang on to the tiny ball. I got a few good shots in, thanks more to the generosity of my opponents than to my own footwork, but I couldn’t ever get past the quick feet of the goal keeper. He managed to block every shot I sent in from a distance and steal the ball from under my feet whenever I got too close, all the while throwing in sharp dance moves worthy of a Michael Jackson or Usher music video. We drew more than a few strange looks from passersby, and upset a handful of drivers making their way through the alley we were obstructing, but none of that really mattered in the midst of our excitement. It was a good game at the end of a good day.







Another Look at India


I spent a minute flipping through my pictures from India again, and I picked out a few that didn’t catch my eye the first time around. Enjoy these today, and I’ll add a few more tomorrow. To see the rest of my pictures from India, click here.

As a side note, if you haven’t seen my new website at (the only available domain name I could come up with after an hour long search; I’m open to suggestions) check it out. If you happen to need someone (or know someone who needs someone) to take wedding photos, engagement pictures, family portraits, make a killer album for your next big party or cover an upcoming event in North Carolina or Virginia, give me a call.






India, Live










Obscure India









Colorful India

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Cloud City






So, I’m going to India.

Several weeks ago, I was presented with the opportunity to be a part of Campbell University’s first official mission team sent to India. After much prayer and discussion, Kristen and I decided I should take advantage of this unique opportunity for ministry, spiritual growth and education. I am very excited; I know God will do great things with and through our team. The trip is quickly approaching, however, and a few things still have to be worked out. 1,825 things, to be exact. I am responsible for raising $2,500 towards the expenses of our mission team, and there is still a good ways to go. Oh yeah, and I need to get this together within the next three weeks or so.

If you are able to help with this effort, in any way whatsoever, it would be much appreciated. I have setup a secure PayPal account that allows you to easily make a contribution to this mission opportunity using your check card or any other major credit card. Donations can be tax deductible, but contact me first so I can be sure your donation goes through the proper channels.

I look forward to sharing more information with you as we continue to prepare for the trip. You can bet photos and stories from India will be popping up on the blog during and after the trip. In the mean time, here is an excerpt from a letter I sent out to a few close friends.

Thank you all for your prayers and support as we prepare for this mission, as we travel and as we serve others in the name of Christ in India.

In December, I have the opportunity to participate in a unique experience: a mission trip to Kolkata, India. This will be the first time a mission team of Campbell students will travel to India. The majority of our time will be spent in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), working with the Missionaries of Charity — the society of aid workers founded by Mother Teresa in response to Christ’s call to carry his gospel, and his love, to the poorest of the poor in our world. Our team will minister alongside the Missionaries of Charity, assisting them as they care for orphans, the sick, the dying and those with special needs. We will also participate in “as you go” ministry, providing food and a word of prayer for the poor on the streets of Kolkata, Delhi, and Agra as we move through India.

First of all, I ask for your prayerful support of our endeavors. Pray for our team as we prepare to travel to India. Pray that Christ would give us open minds and open hearts, that we will be able to recognize the specific opportunities he has called us to as we seek to minister to his hurting children in India. Pray for us during the days that we are in the country (Dec. 27 to Jan. 7) that we would not be overwhelmed or discouraged by the needs that come before us, but that we would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to listen as only he can, to speak a word of truth and encouragement to the ones who need to hear it, and, most of all, to demonstrate the love of Christ in all we do. Pray for the brothers and sisters that oversee the mission houses in India. Pray that they would be strong and courageous as they go about their work, especially during the hard days. Pray that they would not be lured into feelings of complacency or despair by the nature of their work, but that they would be alert and sensitive to the movement of the Spirit in their lives as well. Additionally, if you feel led to contribute financially to this mission trip, checks can be made payable to Campbell University and given to me or sent directly to the school.

I look forward to partnering with you in this endeavor, as we seek to share Christ’s love with those in need.

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Parting Views of Summer








Last weekend Kristen, Samuel and I piled into the car, slipped onto I-40 and headed west. Our friends Sam and Heather had moved to Asheville a few months earlier, and we were long overdue for a visit. We arrived Saturday afternoon and proceeded to the Pisgah National Forest for a late picnic lunch. Once our burgers were gone, we let Sam and Samuel splash around in the stream a bit before we moved a little further into the forest. When we got to Looking Glass Falls, a few rays from the late afternoon sun managed to pierce the summer foliage, casting a brilliant rainbow that seemed to dance in and out of the mist on the water’s surface. A fairly large crowd had gathered to take in the sight, and several people decided to wade out into the pool at the base of the waterfall. Not bad for Samuel’s first mountain-top experience.








Finding a Rhythm

A few weeks ago, some of my high school buddies and I met up early on a Saturday morning in Lillington, NC. Our purpose, of course, was to celebrate the final weekend of bachelorhood of one of our own — my friend James Wallace. Our mission was to paddle as far up the Cape Fear River as we could before lunch, at which point we would drift back down towards our starting point and head off for additional bachelor weekend activities.

It was a great day to be on the river. The week before had been scorching hot — one of the hottest on record — but amazingly, we had just enough cloud cover to keep the sun from beating down on us, but not so much that it ever felt overcast or got unbearably humid. The water was cool, but certainly not the biting cold I am used to in mountain streams. We saw only two other boats on the river the whole day, giving us freedom to shout at each other from hundreds of yards away, goof off and pretty much do whatever we felt like the moment called for.

It was great to get to hang out with my friends again. It had been years since we had all been together for more than a passing moment, and while we had a tentative schedule in mind, we really had no firm agenda for the day.

It had been a while since I had done any paddling, and it took me a few minutes to get comfortable in my kayak. I didn’t mind taking it slow at first though, because I had a great view of my friends Craig and James Alverson trying to figure out how to maneuver their canoe up river. Eventually they got it together, but it took some effort. (Remember, you want to paddle in the same direction as your partner, and the back of the boat always needs to follow the front.) James Wallace took to it right away and started paddling in circles around the rest of us as we got a feel for the water.

Paddling is one of those things that you can’t really teach somebody how to do. You just have to do it. You have to find your own rhythm — in and out, left to right, up and down, back and forth, again and again. The way you grip your oar, the angle you push against the water, the time you put between strokes, all are things you have to figure out for yourself, and the only way to figure out what works for you is to get in the boat and try. At the same time, what works for you in one situation may not work in the next. On any successful paddling trip, there are times when you have to fight the current and pull your boat upstream, there are times when you can row along with the current and make tremendous progress, there are times when you have to navigate rapids and focus on keeping your boat as stable as you can, and there are times when you just need to let go and drift for a while.

Being on the river also gave me a chance to clear my mind and process some of the things that have been going on in my life over the past few months. I enrolled in graduate school after accepting a call to prepare for ministry. I left a job that I had worked hard to get, and that had seemed so important to me only a year before. I became a father.

Then I began to think about all of the things going on my friends’ lives. Really, although we all started from the same place just a few years ago, we are all at very different points in our lives now. Craig and I are working through grad school. James Alverson just graduated from college and is trying to build a career in the radio industry. Justin is excited about finishing up his work at N.C. State. I am a father. James Wallace is about to be a husband. We’ve all taken different paths, but aren’t they all, at the same time, right paths?

It’s so easy to get caught up with the details of life. It’s easy to start comparing your progress and your work to other people’s. It is easy to get in such a comfortable, predictable pattern of paddling that you don’t even notice the river has changed completely. It is easy to think that, in order to be successful, you just need to mimic what someone else is doing — especially if he’s the guy that always seems to be paddling circles around everyone else — but chances are, what he’s doing is what works best for him, and it isn’t going to do the same thing for you.

You have to find your own rhythm. It’s important to know which direction on the river your heading. It’s great to share the journey with your friends. But as far as the actual work of paddling goes, it’s up to you to put the oar in the water and see what you can do.