Wednesday, August 29, 2012


my friend, former student and now colleague, Grace

Yesterday one of my former students, Grace, now on staff with InterVarsity, posted this as her status update on Facebook:
"writing up a church presentation and remembering the impact InterVarsity made in my walk with Christ - thankful to Laura M. Li who met with me almost 6 years ago to explain the Gospel message which led to me rededicating my life to Jesus."
How awesome is that?

I can't tell you how encouraging it is to be credited for helping a student rededicate her life to Christ. This is my raison d'etre. :) This is why I continue to devote my life to serving Christ through InterVarsity's ministry. We're truly in the business of changing lives, and I am so honored to be a part of it!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Seriously, how fun is my job?

Urbana 12 shirt that I designed

Welcome in 20 languages shirt that I designed
Bethany, Jane, Gisella, Drew, and Justin modeling all of our shirts.
Fun thing #1: Designing shirts that students and staff can wear to help promote InterVarsity.

Fun thing #2: Doing a photo shoot with all the interns wearing these shirts.

Fun thing #3: Compositing all the images together to make it look like they were standing side by side when in reality I took individual shots.

My job kind of rocks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

8 shoots in 11 Days

As I mentioned in my video update, this summer I've been learning photography. In the span of two weeks in June and July, I coordinated and shot eight separate shoots for various groups and events! It has been a huge learning curve but also very fun. I've enjoyed spending time away from my computer and having some more hands on work where I get to interact with people.

Here's a sample of some of those photo shoots and my thoughts on the experience. (Click on collage to view larger.)
Orientation for New Staff - group shot and portraits
The group shot involved me climbing up on a twelve-foot ladder and shouting out to the group as I was taking pictures. The ladder didn't scare me so much, but having 150 people staring at me did!

We also provided time for new staff to get a professional photo taken while they toured our office. These photos will be used in their communication to donors and potential donors. Together with Matt and Jane (an intern), we photographed over 120 portraits! It took a lot of energy to make this process go quickly and smoothly. While I wasn't taking photos, I was holding up a mirror for people waiting in line to check their hair and teeth. :)

Chapter Builders - group shot and portraits
This cohort of staff are being trained to build chapters (InterVarsity groups that already exist and have potential for growth in size, particularly through evangelism and missional activities). These photos will be used as they communicate to donors about this strategic ministry.

The guy in maroon might look familiar. It's Fred Bailey, my old boss from Great Lakes East!

Campus "Student" Photo Shoot
We recruited a group of young new staff to pose as students and get a variety of shots around campus. We will use these photos in national communication materials such as brochures, receipt inserts, and web articles.

The challenge was to create scenes in which these staff could look like they were doing student things, such as Bible study, conversation, looking thoughtful, or just having fun. However, this was a really great group of staff and they were very natural in front of the camera!

Chapter Planters - group shot and portraits
This group of staff are being trained to plant brand new chapters on campuses where there are no existing InterVarsity ministries. Each planter has a coach, so I had to take both portraits and double or triple portraits. The most challenging part of this shoot was that it was 105º and extremely humid that afternoon! In addition to the energy it took to corral a large group of staff, the extreme heat meant that I was pretty much dripping in sweat for the whole hour!