Can photography be used for ministry?  Alvin Ing and Andy Ly of Epping Church believe so, and now, so do their students. 

From 25 May – 23 June, 16 students participated in Alvin and Andy’s photography course.  Because this is the second year the course is running, many of the students were reviewing the basics and honing more advanced skills.  To complement classroom instruction, students visited locations like Sydney Vivid Festival, Wall’s Lookout in the Blue Mountains, Bouddi National Park and Somersby Falls.  Andy and Alvin see these outings as a feature of the course. “The highlights were undoubtedly the 3 field trips to Vivid Sydney, Blue Mountains and The Central Coast. We are proud that all the participants not only improved their technical skills and craft, but also developed their art, with a very impressive display of creativity and vision.”

Brothers-in-law Alvin and Andy have more than family ties that connect them; they also have a love for photography.  This interest started when Alvin’s daughter was in high school.  During her enrolment, a photography teacher at her school sent out an e-mail inviting parents and community members to participate in a semester of photography to learn the basics.  Alvin and Andy decided to join; this decision changed their lives and their interests.  While both Andy and Alvin have professions outside of photography – Alvin as an Associate Professor of Medicine, a Senior Thoracic Physician, as well as the Chair of Thoracic Medicine at the Sydney Adventist Hospital and Andy as an IT Professional –  their interest in photography has expanded and now many years later, they have formed the company Light and Motion Photography.

What’s unique about the course is that all proceeds go towards the Epping Mission Project, which is supporting International Children’s Care in Cambodia. Funds raised are supporting a Library Project at the Light of Hope Children’s Village, a Medical Clinics Program in the province of Kompong Thom, and a Microfinance project in Phnom Penh, which helps women in developing their own business enterprise to support their families. Participants donated a minimum of $200 each to enrol.

As Andy and Alvin explained, “Our focus was on composition, the use of light, and how lessons from the art world might help us develop their application in photography. We also spent a session on understanding how to convey emotion in our images, and techniques to communicate with a visual medium.”  For the students, it was a great time to learn, to donate to a worthy cause, to meet church members from around the Conference and to welcome people from outside of the church into a community focused around shared interests. What unique gift does your church have that can be used for ministry?

Do you love photography?  Do you have a camera you want to learn how to use? Are you interested in developing your photography skills?  Alvin Ing is teaching a photography session at this year’s INSPIRE program, 2 – 5 October.  For more information about the class, e-mail Rachel at rachelaitken {at}  To learn more about Light & Motion Photography, visit

Contributed by Rachel Lemons Aitken, Communications Coordinator at Greater Sydney Conference.