Thursday, August 2, 2012

Interview with Photographer, Kate Fies

Welcome to Thursday Interviews. Have you ever wanted to use your unique talent for Christ - but couldn't figure out a way to do so? Today's interview may give you some ideas! It's my pleasure to introduce photographer, Kate Fies.

Maria: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us today, Kate! Tell us a bit about yourself:

Kate: I’m really excited to be here and share a few of my adventures with everyone!
I’m married to an awesome guy, Chris, and we just passed our 10 year anniversary last week -- definitely doesn’t feel that long! No kids yet, but we do have one terribly spoiled Chihuahua puppy named Daisy Mae, who is my little sweetheart.

We started deputation (fund raising) back in October of 2011 for Voice in the Villages (more on that later)
and are usually traveling all over on the weekends, which is a pretty amazing adventure in itself.

Right now, I’m working full time (coolest job ever, by the way, at a local police department) so deputation has been a bit of a challenge with the schedule, but the Lord has worked it all out to fit perfectly.

I love to travel and see new places (although sometimes I’m reallllly ready to get out of the car), love to read and love, love, love photography … have learned to always bring the camera along cause there are so many things to see!

Louvre Museum in Paris at dusk

Maria: It sounds like you stay very busy! Have you always had a passion for photography?

Kate: I’ve always been around photography – my dad is the main influence there, but my passion for it did not really grow until I was in my 20’s.

Maria: What is the funniest thing that happened while on a shoot?

Kate: Well, two of my girlfriends were sweet enough to be my models one night in a vintage-style outdoor session and I had this great idea – let’s use sparklers!! I had about 12 boxes of them and figured I should use them, since they’d been in my prop box for ages, so toward the end of the session, out they came and we had a blast … LITERALLY.

The girls had been lighting one or two sparklers at a time and apparently, I was concentrating more on the photos themselves than I was listening to my girlfriend’s question (which turned out to be ‘Do you want these lit all at once?’).

In retrospect, probably not such a great idea to light that many sparklers at once... (Do you know how much smoke those things put out????)  So, after the initial shock wore off and we realized we didn’t just light the field and barn on fire (big relief!!!), we started laughing. Thankfully, no eyebrows were singed in the making of those photos…

Maria: That must have been quite a sight! The pictures are fantastic by the way! And now for a more serious questions - How has your relationship with Jesus Christ impacted your business?

Kate: Photography just confirms God’s wonderful grace and love toward us, as humans. Seeing the details of the world through a lens puts me in awe that the Creator of the earth would want to use me in His plans to spread the Gospel. Chris and I have been privileged to shoot prayer card photos for several of our friends and what an awesome thing to be involved in their ministries, even with something as small as a photo.

Maria: What an amazing way to use your talent for the Lord! What is the most important lesson you've learned as a photographer?

Kate: I would say being flexible. It's pretty impossible to control every single aspect of a session and it can be extremely frustrating to expect things to go exactly like you planned and then they don't even come close.

Maria: I can imagine! What goals do you have for your photography business in the future?

Kate: I would love for the business to eventually grow and become my primary occupation, but for the moment, I'll settle for my website launch, this coming Saturday, August 4th and setting up new clients for the fall/winter season.

Maria: Sounds exciting! Changing gears somewhat, let's talk about Voice in the Villages. Did you ever think you'd be a missionary's wife?

Kate: I had hoped so when I was in college, but wasn't entirely certain. I knew my main responsibility would be to follow and support my future husband 100%, wherever that took us.

Maria: Explain the mission of Voice in the Villages:

Kate: Voice in the Villages (VITV) is an incredibly unique ministry - a totally different approach to missions! VITV was conceived in 2011 by our Pastor, Austin Gardner, as a way to maximize the impact of a missionary. Basically, it's an opportunity to work with missionaries who are already on the field, assisting them in training leaders who themselves will go plant churches, some in the areas where a traditional missionary would not or could not go. VITV is focused on four main issus:

*Location  - 47% of the world's population lives in rural areas. They live far from most missionary work, with takes place in the larger cities.

*Literacy - of the 47% that live in rural areas, 90% are illiterate, meaning that they cannot learn via the normal process of reading.

*Language - while most countries now have adopted trade languages, the uneducated portions of the world still only speak local or tribal languages.

*Lack of Sound Bible Materials - there are few materials available based on sound Bible doctrine. Most stem from Charismatic, Jehovah's Witness and Mormon materials, to name a few.

Imagine having your picture taken and seeing what you look like for the first time!

VITV is currently focused on the country of Burkina Faso, West Africa, where we are working with veteran missionaries Keith and Rebecca Shumaker. We're able to be involved with their ministry already by providing materials to be translated into the native language, raising the funds to send one of the men to language school, and raising funds to send MP3 players to be used to share the Gospel with those who are illiterate.

The MP3 players are a pretty awesome tool - they are being loaded with teaching materials, sermons, etc. and given to the preacher boys who then take them into the villages. So far, we have had one person profess Christ, and several come visit the church, as a result of listening to the MP3 players.

Eventually, VITV will be expanded into several countries, using similar methods. We are currently based in the states, but may eventually be living on the field, depending on the ministry's growth and needs.

Maria: Wow! What a neat ministry. And I love hearing how God has already begun using it! What final words of wisdom would you like to leave with our readers?

Kate: Be open to change - be flexible...we don't know exactly how God will work in our lives and it could be entirely different from what we want, expect or desire. I never thought I'd be where I am today, but it's been an awesome adventure and I'm excited to see what He has for us next.

Maria: It's been a pleasure hosting you today, Kate!

You can connect with Kate on her brand new website and Facebook page: (live on August 4th)
Facebook page: Kate Fies Photography -!/pages/Kate-Fies-Photography/303471626368492

And learn more about Voice in the Villages:

And now, an important announcement: The winner of last week's drawing for Keli Gwyn's debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California IS...Miss Kallie!! A special thank you to all who entered the contest.


  1. I'm sitting here with my mouth open. I had one of those moments and I just HAD to share with you.

    Firstly, I have a close friend who also shares a passion for photography and has been such a wonderful blessing to me and my family. She is amazing and I was just blessed when I read about your love for photography and using it as an outreach for the Lord.

    Second, I know the Shumakers and their Pastor!! Such a small world. I still stand in awe of how God works.

    Have a great rest of the week and a fabulous weekend, Maria.
    And Kate, you and your husband are in my prayers. I've been in your shoes and traveling on deputation is not easy.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad you commented - how neat that you just happen to know the Shumakers and Pastor Gardner! I'm always amazed at the way God puts us together.

      I know Kate and Chris will be thankful for your prayers! Hope your weekend is wonderful, too. Hugs and God bless! :)

  2. Thank you Maria and Kate for sharing this testimony. Hearing what God is doing with VITV makes my heart so excited and increases my desire to be a strong testimony. We are praying for oyu and Chris and will definitely tell others about your website.

    :) Samantha Voorhis

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. So good to have you stop by and comment, Sam! I know Kate & Chris appreciate your prayers, both for them and the VITV ministry as a whole. Have a truly blessed week! Hugs!

  3. Enjoyed reading this blog post :)


    1. Thanks for stopping by Kristen! Glad you enjoyed the post - God bless!

  4. I love love love that last picture! The one in the village...great interview and beautiful pictures ladies:) Have a blessed weekend!

    1. Hi Susan! That picture gives a look at some of the lives being reached with the gospel through Voice in the Villages. I'm excited about their current work in Burkina Faso! Hope you have a fabulous weekend & God bless!:)

  5. This was awesome! Thanks for posting Mrs. Maria! And thanks for sharing this with us Kathy! Love all the pictures! :)

    -Lori Bassham

    1. So good to see you, Lori! It was a joy featuring Kathy! Such a talented lady. I look forward to exploring her website when it goes live tomorrow! Have a fantastic weekend. Hugs & God bless!

  6. Maria,
    So glad you introduced us to Kate! Enjoyed the pictures and learning more about her. :)

    Hope you all have a wonderful week!

    1. Hi Karen - Glad you enjoyed the interview! Kate's website is live now, so if you're interested in browsing through more of her work, head over to:
      Have a blessed week, my friend!