Day Six: Durban to Johannesburg

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with

Pretty much any time your day begins at 4:30 AM you’re already waking up with a deficit in quality of life. Somewhere between the lack of sleep, minimal creative contribution, and an absence of normalcy I started to come undone today.

I did, however, manage to get a jumping photo of one of the entrepreneurs we were shooting, so that helped a little.

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with

Overall it wasn’t a bad day, but it lacked that spark of vitality that we’ve experienced most other days. Normally we have very clear ideas of what we want for each shoot before we get there, but 3 of the 5 shoots today stumped us. Many of the stories so far have been very tangible and visual, like the woman who started a daycare (called a creche) or the dude who runs an upholstery shop. The majority of today’s stories, however, were much more abstract as we tried to convey the heart or mentality of an individual rather than their showing the work of their hands.

I shot fewer pictures today than I have any other day so far. That’s partly because I had less time with a couple people than I’m used to, but also because everything started to look familiar. Unfortunately that means I have a very limited pool of shareable pictures for this post, and I’ve got no BTS photos to add to the mix. I’ll do better tomorrow.

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 3.17.12 AM

Anyway, our time in Durban came to an end today, and we just barely slid across the finish line before the buzzer. We soaked up every minute of time, and even though almost nothing went as planned everything worked out exactly as it should be. We seriously could not have orchestrated everything on our own. It was obvious there were others praying for us, so thank you!

Our final shoot in Durban was located in the airport, specifically beyond the security checkpoint. It was the fist time I’ve shot photos at an airport and not been paranoid that I was going to get kicked out. As soon as I packed up my gear I hear them announce the final boarding for our flight, and Jedd and I couldn’t help but laugh at how perfectly everything came together.

After a short flight to Johannesburg we reunited with more of the team and immediately set off for another shoot. Finally at dinner we met up with Janelle and the kids, and the whole team was back together. The last two days were a long, drawn out penalty kill. Now we’re back to full strength, and already I can sense a positive shift happening (see what I did there? ;)

I managed to leave my itinerary at the hotel in Durban, but the good news is that it’s completely outdated anyway. My point is that I’m not really sure what the plan is for tomorrow, but I know I’ll be snapping some photos. Gotta get some sleep now. Here’s a few misc pics from today. Thanks for reading!

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with

4 thoughts on “Day Six: Durban to Johannesburg

  1. Keep doing it Stephen; you will be back with Lacey soon enough. God is using you to shed perspective and light. The few weeks in light of eternity…less than a click of the shutter.
    Isn’t 4:30 a great time of the day?! I’ll grant you it feels better if you got some rest on the other end though.

  2. Isn’t it neat to see how God is in all the details. This trip is huge in so many ways. Can hardly wait to see more photos and hear you tell of it in person. Sounds like you are getting a little tired. Rest where you can. Sending hugs and prayers up on your behalf.

    • “A little tired,” more like completely exhausted. I literally fell asleep on the job twice while we were in Durban. Michelle even got a picture of it. I’ve got some BTS photos still to share…

  3. Oh, not sure you ever got my text but the Parker’s were interested in following this blog but weren’t sure how to get on it last I knew.

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