Today was a long and exciting day down in Roseville, CA. I remember waking up around 2:00 A.M to get ready to go to the chapel. I got dressed and got my camera ready. After my brother Randy and everyone else got ready we headed down towards the chapel. I believe we left the hotel around 2:45 A.M and got to the chapel at about 3:00 A.M. When we got there it was still pitch black, but the scan officers were already there and even some brethren too! It was nice to see a great amount of people come early with us as well. My brother and bro Ronnie were helping coordinate the scan officers. I was taking pictures of whatever I could. It was so dark, however, that it was difficult to get any decent shots. I wanted to get shots of people going in and the scan officers doing their thing. During this early morning session from 3:00 A.M to about 5:30 A.M it was fairly easy going. I met one of the scan officers named Angel from Fresno. He seemed like a nice kid trying to do his best to help the rest of the scan efforts. Not much else really happened during this time. There were even some parts during this time where I found myself pacing the area waiting for something interesting to photograph.
When it was about 5:00 A.M things started to pick up. I remember seeing brother Seraphim come around this time; it’s always nice to see fellow HI brethren around. Also around this time a lot of the other choir members came but they could not go inside until later. This gave me a chance to take shots of them standing near the front of the chapel. At about 5:30 A.M the other inctv members started coming in. I remember meeting a sister from Mountain View named Francesca. She was pretty and also an inctv officer. We also met up with Macy, JP, and that one other sister. We all waited a bit for IJ and the rest of the crew since it was difficult to get inside. But eventually one of the nicer scan members helped us get inside. But for some reason, the scan guy who gave us a hard time still gave me a hard time to get inside. Oh well, eventually we all got inside and we met up inside the meet up room down one of the halls. Inside I saw an old friend from Monterrey. It blew my mind to see Jumay after ten or so years! We quickly caught up before our meeting began. For my meeting I met up with the other photographers (Jeff, Noel, Nelson, bro Joseph, and the other bro) and sis Joanne. During our quick meeting sis Joanne gave us instructions on how to set our cameras while also helping me set up my camera. We also got our assignments during this short meeting. I was to be assigned the basement area during the sermon and anywhere beforehand. After this short meeting, the bigger meeting started and we got final instructions before we prayed. After the prayer all of us photographers went outside and started. Jeff coordinated with me to make sure that we got a good idea on how we will cover the basement. We went to the basement and Jeff gave the laydown on how the basement would be covered. Afterwards, we went on our separate ways to get shots of the brethren and surrounding. By now it must have been 6:00 A.M with the officers prayer around 7:30 A.M. I believe my first few shots were candid shots of brethren. It was also around this time when I met bro Aldrin of Sacramento/Guam! He’s the brother of bro Harold which was very interesting. He was also working at the translator booth. I let Jeff know that the translators were outside since we thought that the translators would be inside. I then went back to the translator booth and Aldrin helped get me a translator. Afterwards I headed inside the tent. At this time the tent was full of the bem students and a few others. I got to say hi to a few of them, particularly Edmund and AJ. It was legit seeing them since I would have a hard time later saying hi after the event. The shots I got inside the tent were of the rows that I found full. I remember at one particular occasion I took a shot of a full row and a sister says “oh that’s a good shot”. I replied “yeah it is! are you inctv too?” I asked because she noticed the kind of shot I was getting was lining up the row of brethren. The sister said no but I’m sure she knows a thing or two about church photography. Afterwards, when I left the tent area I headed up towards the chapel since I noticed it packed full of brethren already. I got a shot of the brothers side that was full. Around this time I got to talk to bro IJ for a bit about inctv in both the Colorado region and California region. Afterwards we went on our way. I think I went down by the parking area to see if I could get some interesting shots of the brethren coming in. I remember actually going up to a van with brethren coming out and I recognized one of the sisters as sis Dimple. It was interesting and also I noticed a drone floating about. It was interesting but why would you need a drone flying about? It was then around this time where we had to go to our spots since it was almost he officer’s prayer. Jeff and I met inside the basement and he took his position up near the front of the sister’s side while I got up near the front on the brother’s side. We both got a few shots of the brethren.
By 7:30 A.M everyone was anxious for the prayer to start. It was not until around 7:45-8:00 A.M when they announced that there would be a thirty-minute break. In the interim I took the opportunity to get some shots outside of the scan trying to put up a banner. During this time I also saw bro Rod ad Ferdie! It was very cool to see them again and I almost thought that we were all back in HI 2011-2013. Afterwards, I also went to the portable bathroom area since I actually needed to use the bathroom. It was kind of funny because the lines for those bathrooms were incredibly long. I mean they were Disney Land long, at least for the brother’s side. The sister’s side not too much. I took shots of the lines since I thought they would be interesting and could be used to show a lot of brethren lining up for the chapel dedication. The brother’s were kind of laughing when I took the pictures. The sister’s line actually got into a group when I took a picture. It almost astonished me that they did so. Afterwards, I went back inside to the basement where we waited the thirty minutes. During this thirty-minute wait I got to talk to Jeff about photography and how he got into it. It was a very interesting story and my favorite part was when he showed me the different camera lenses and settings. It astonished what a difference lenses could make! The higher end lenses were weighty and had a greater depth than the stock lenses I used. The full-manual lenses also freaked me out. Especially since my camera did not have the screen viewfinder. Because of this, with the full-manual lenses, when I adjust the focus on the lenses I could not see the difference it made in my regular viewfinder! After this talk about photography they announced that there was going to be another 10-15 minute break. I believe around this time Jeff went outside to get more shots. Before he went at this point he offered to me some of his lenses. It was incredibly appreciable but I don’t think I’m ready to handle expensive equipment. Eventually, Jeff came by and let me know what I should take shots before the prayer and head out to the tent since the tent needed more people to cover it. And so we did. But before I went to the tent we still had a bit of time to wait before the prayer began. At one interesting occasion a bunch of scan started gathering outside to block our windows from looking out. Presumably it’s so that we could not see our executive minister walk inside. Ok, at this moment I was sitting on a small ledge right next to the windows. Out of nowhere when the brethren noticed the scan lining up they all ganged up on the windows. This effectively blocked me to the window area which was awkward since I was facing the crowd that was inches away from me while the crowd was facing the window. At one point one of the older brothers knocked on the window to get the attention of the scan to move. It was incredibly awkward with tensions higher then they should be. Eventually, the scan moved indoors to move the crowd out of the way. This also meant that I had to move as well. I got out of my spot and stood at the end of the line of the scan. At this point the brother who knocked on the window also stood right in front of the line of the scan. Oh well, can’t keep everyone’s curiosity at bay. At this point the officer’s prayer began promptly. It must have been 8:45-9:00 A.M when it did begin. When it did, I got my shots of every row singing the hymnals. I then joined in on the prayer. Afterwards, I left for the tent. Inside the tent I decided to wait until the sermon began. It was odd since my fellow colleagues were getting shots all over the place inside the tent. As far as I know we were to get the first five minutes of the sermon. I waited until the right time and got my shots in of different angles of the crowd and the TV with our executive minister on it. After the five minutes were over I listened to the sermon from the brother’s side of the tent near the side opening of the tent. By this point I was tremendously tired and so tempted to just side down and “close my eyes”. But I decided to stand and listen. It was kind of funny cause I actually still dozed off while standing. But since I was standing I immediately woke up since I felt like I was falling over every time I dozed off standing. I think the lesson ended sometime around 11:30 A.M.
Afterwards was the presentations. I got a chair and slept as much as I could before the first performance. All the bem students did the first performance. I distinctly remember seeing Edmund, AJ, Larry, Saaj, and DJ sing. I felt bad for not seeing Francis sing since he was at the other end. The performance was very good and sounded, as it should for essentially a hundred-man choir. The next performance was the gospel choir, which sang an interesting song. I felt bad for the first girl who sang since the mic didn’t work well at first. But after the first mishap the rest of the performance went well. The next performance was by the youth of Roseville I believe. They performance went well as well also. After all the performances was the meet and greet rush. I actually wanted to get out beforehand to get some shots. However, the exit was jam-packed and I was unable to get out. It was funny since the only time I saw our executive minister was through the screen of someone’s smartphone lol! Oh well, afterwards I was able to get out and take some shots. I then headed up to the front of the chapel where I met up with Jeff and a few of the others and we discussed what we should do next. We then remembered we got twenty minutes to take candid and organized group shots of the brethren. And so we did. I tried organizing a few group shots and they went well. Most of the group shots I took were candid. Basically, I waited for a group picture to form and then I would take a sneak shot at the group. I got these types of shots both inside and outside of the chapel. I remember also going inside the sanctuary to get these types of shots. After the sanctuary shots I went back outside to get more shots. While outside I heard that the scan officers were meeting for a final prayer. Hearing this I jumped on the opportunity to follow them to get those shots. When I entered the chapel I bumped into sis Salve and her mom from Guam! It was amazing since I did not expect to see them there! I then had to go downstairs for the scan prayer and meeting. I got some good shots in and after the prayer I was able to get the group shot of the scan. After this I then headed upstairs to get more shots before heading to the tent again. Inside the tent I saw that they were doing the performances again. This time I got to see Francis sing along with the rest of the bem students. After their performance I went on over to see whom I could say hi to since I knew I was going to leave soon. I saw Larry and sat next to him and we quickly caught up on old times. DJ then joined us also and for a second I thought we were all in Guam. Then my brother came by and also Edmund too. My brother let me know that we were leaving soon. We got some group pictures in thankfully so they exist somewhere out there. I then had to part ways with my bros. I headed back to the sanctuary to give my card to sis Joanne. We got to catch up again since we last met a few weeks previous at Corpus Christi. Also, while sis Joanne got the pictures from my card I said by to Jumay. We joked about how we would meet again in another ten years lol! Hopefully it won’t be that long until we meet again. We were also able to take a picture as well. Afterwards, I got my card back from sis Joanne and said my farewell to Noel and Nelson as well.
When I left the sanctuary and saw Aaron Cunanan! When I saw him it freaken me out since I did not see him since HI! We quickly caught up on old times and he let me know that Jason was nearby. He gave Jason a call and we found out that Jason was just outside. I think it must have been about ten years as well before I saw Jason previously. We caught up on old times right away before I had to head out. Overall, the experience helping out INCTV and seeing the dedication in Roseville was amazing. I can’t wait for the next dedication!