EMMANUEL AFOLABI

worship through photography // worship from the perspective of a young artist 

I was born in Nigeria and moved to New York when I was 13 years old to join my parents who have been here for over 15 years now. Coming from a country with very little diversity opened my eyes to seeing the world differently. It has also exposed me to meeting new people because New York is so diverse.

Photography is something that happened to me when I was sixteen. I had just finished high school; it started with just a capture from my camera phone. Since then I had to go about capturing everything that stood out to me. I would see all of the beautiful and sometimes surprising moments and immediately take out my phone to capture the moment. After that I had a drive for capturing people and places in New York City.  To me photography is a way of seeing life in a different perspective; it also exposes you to meeting new people. It's an entirely fun experience, and now I have been slowly carving my living out of it. Being a photographer has allowed me to see more of this city. After shooting for a while, I start to get a feel for the place. I’m starting to know the city really well. I love that there’s always something going on, somewhere to explore, people to connect with. It never stops.

I found C3 Brooklyn on Instagram back in 2013. I loved their photos, so I decided to browse their website to see if there was more. I signed up for one of the Sunday services, and that next Sunday I came to C3 Brooklyn and loved the environment. Everyone was so welcoming. I started going to C3 Brooklyn and decided to keep on going because I felt like I was developing a deeper relationship with God. I was growing more and more in Christ every day. 

I remember volunteering to be a photographer for the Temple Project. This project made me more interested in the church and photography used to inspire others. Serving, to me, is about volunteering freely and allowing God to use me through photography and videography. I now study my Bible every day. I can’t leave the house without first praying and reading devotionals. There's this joy and confidence that I feel every day as I worship and find my identity in Christ, and it can’t be replaced. I serve as a photographer for C3 Brooklyn because I know it was a calling for me to serve. Worship is not about me; it’s about allowing God to use me and the gift he gave me to photograph in church so others can be touched and inspired by these images.

// Emmanuel Afolabi