Advent Photo Challenge

I’m always looking for another photo challenge, and I’m excited that Ocala First United Methodist Church has developed an Advent photo challenge which begins next Sunday, November 30th.

A grown-up version of an Advent calendar, the goal is for this to be a different way to meditate into this season by participating in the Advent Photo-a-day on Instagram @ocalafirstumc.

  • Step 1 Follow Ocala First United Methodist Church on Instagram @ocalafirstumc
  • Step 2 Copy the list of words and start thinking about images that could illustrate each word
  • Step 3 Take pictures and post on Instagram using #OcalaLight
  • Step 4 Check out the photos posted and LIKE and/or COMMENT
  • Step 5 Invite others to participate


This year’s theme is “Advent 2014: the light shines in the darkness” (John 1:1-14)

We’re celebrating (remembering) that Christ came into this world. God, the light, the Word, the life came into the brokenness (the darkness) of our world—in order to redeem and heal and save it. The season of Advent reminds us to look for light in those dark places, but it also gives us the courage to look into those dark places, knowing that Christ has come and is coming again. Advent calls us to confront our darkness (and the world’s darkness) and wait for—look for, prepare for—Christ.

Remember, this isn’t an all or nothing proposition. If you miss a day, that’s ok. Post later or skip a day and post the next. And if taking photos isn’t your thing, check out the photos posted by others.

I’m getting ready for the Advent Photo Challenge! (And follow me on Instagram @mcdeea)

Having trouble reading the words in the graphic above? Here’s another, easy to read list.
Nov 30: Advent (Coming)
Dec 1: Darkness
Dec 2: Awake
Dec 3: Promise
Dec 4: Anticipate/Await
Dec 5: Hope
Dec 6: Peace
Dec 7: Beginning
Dec 8: The Word.
Dec 9: Spirit
Dec 10: Light
Dec 11: People
Dec 12: Joy
Dec 13: Good News
Dec 14: Witness
Dec 15: Preparation
Dec 16: Path/Way
Dec 17: Holy
Dec 18: Ordinary
Dec 19: Love
Dec 20: Blessed
Dec 21: Believe
Dec 22: Neighborhood
Dec 23: Welcome
Dec 24: Glory
Dec 25: Rejoice! Celebrate!


May Photo Challenge

In February I wrote about the 365 Grateful Project with a goal of taking one picture every day of something for which you’re thankful. I’ve taken at least one picture on most days, but I haven’t always organized them in such a way that they can be shared or are easily accessible. I think that’s why I’ve enjoyed the “Grateful Daily May Photo Challenge” started by Shipra Panosian Photographya friend of Emily’s.

The May Photo Challenge provides a list of topics for daily photos to be posted on Instagram. The guidelines for the challenge are pretty simple:

Starting a Grateful Daily photo challenge with some friends and we’d love for you to join in. Guidelines: 1. Follow the daily prompt and use the hashtag #grateful_daily. The hashtag is to remind us to live out what the Bible teaches… ‘In everything give thanks’ and to be grateful for the beauty in our everyday lives. 2. Camera phone images only! Images don’t have to be taken that day but must be posted on prompt day.

On May 14th, Emily shared the following for the prompt “reflection”.

Day 14: #reflection – Today is a special day for me, and there couldn’t be a more perfect focus for today’s challenge. Today is my birthday, and it’s quite humbling to take a moment and reflect on the blessings, experiences, struggles, and celebrations of this past year. I am so grateful for this life I lead. I launched my Etsy shop, I got married, switched job titles, celebrated birthdays, dealt with illnesses of those we love, found peace and frustration in owning our home, made new friends, and let go of so many strongholds. So grateful for this chance to reflect and can’t wait to celebrate tonight and this weekend with those that love me so much. #grateful_daily #day14 #birthday #publixcakesareugly #impromptuphotoshoot

emilybirthdayThe 31 topics provide variety:

  1. gift
  2. color
  3. morning
  4. mood
  5. shadow
  6. soft
  7. sky
  8. hobby
  9. close-up
  10. key
  11. motherhood
  12. hands
  13. happy
  14. reflection
  15. b & w
  16. lines
  17. vegetable
  18. wide-angle
  19. hard light
  20. grateful
  21. writing
  22. blue
  23. calm
  24. sunlight
  25. hidden
  26. jewelry
  27. homemade
  28. abstract
  29. texture
  30. hair
  31. frame

I jumped in the May Photo Challenge a little late with my first post on the 15th. I’m sure the thought behind the prompt b & w was to post a black and white picture, but that wasn’t what was on my mind.

Day 15 #blackandwhite #grateful_daily A different take on black & white. What’s better than a black and white shake at a Canes game?


And on Day 17 I posted,

Vegetables as decor on our table at Yardbird. Another great place to eat in Miami. #day17 #vegetable #grateful_daily #yardbird


It’s not too late to join that May Photo Challenge. Look for us on Instagram @mcdeea, @emilygracedesign, and @shiprapanosianphotography. And even if you don’t join the challenge, check out the photos of those participating. There are some incredibly talented photographers posting pictures daily, worth following.

I hope the photo challenge will continue beyond May. What a great way to focus on being grateful daily!