Photographer Mixes Hobby, Ministry Into Thriving Business

By Roy Maynard
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Texas.

Callynth Finney never truly left the ministry or her chosen mission field; she merely changed her focus.

After spending some years with Living Alternatives, a local Christian ministry to young, unmarried mothers-to-be, Callynth took her hobby — photography — full-time. She has now opened a studio downtown.

It’s been a journey of faith, she said. She grew up in Minnesota and came to East Texas in 2001 to work with Living Alternatives. She never intended to be a photographer, but it worked into what she was doing with the ministry.

“I started doing photography when I was pregnant with my first baby, who is now 20 years old,” she said. “That’s when I got my first real camera — a Ricoh. It was broken; it had light leaks and other problems. But that was kind of cool. It meant I had to learn more — I had to improvise.”

For several years, she focused on developing her skills.

My only desire with photography was to be a blessing to others,” Ms. Finney said. “I started doing photos for moms at Fatherheart (Living Alternatives’ home for young women), and photos for other missionaries. It was all trial and error, at first.”

But she soon sought out ways to sharpen her skills.

“Then I had some friends, some good photographers, who would critique my work,” Ms. Finney said. “I spent a lot of time reading and researching and having other professional photographers show me things.”

The transition to full-time photography was gradual, she explained.

“I did it for free at first, and then I agreed to accept some donations,” she said. “It just grew from there.”

But a few years ago, she said, it became something that “financially, our family needed to do.”

Her husband Robert is in college and is running the college ministry at Christ Church Episcopal.

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