Cottonwood Community

Photo Book Project

Your Story

On September 1st, 2018, just over a year ago, I bought a professional grade camera for a vacation I had planned to Southeast Asia. Completely unexpectedly, only a few months later, I found that I had become a professional photographer. I've since photographed families, models, business leaders, and individuals; built a media presence; and published a photo book. 

Just a few weeks ago, August 25th, 2019, I was sitting in church listening to a sermon by Pastor Bayless at Cottonwood Church. It was only my second time visiting the church, but a word came to me to create a photo book for the church community. After the sermon, I swallowed the idea and simply walked out, but something told me to go back and tell Pastor Bayless about the word I heard. I waited in line and then I spoke this project into existence. I had no idea if it would actually happen or what it would ultimately become, but the idea stayed in my head and heart.

Two weeks later, I brought my first photo book to church and shared my book and idea to capture 100 stories and images with the couple sitting next to me. Surprisingly, before the service started they had already enthusiastically committed to contributing to the project. I sat and worshipped through service and on the way out I had another conversation with someone who was excited to support the project. So I decided to walk outside and see what could happen. Toting my photo book and a half-baked idea, I walked around and spoke to anyone I could catch. I was shocked that every person I stopped wanted to sign up and contribute. After only 30 minutes, I went home with 8 of the total 100 people already committed to helping make this project happen. At that point, I figured I should really figure out what this project was going to be fast.

My Story

Welcome to the Cottonwood Community Photo Book Project. Thank you for offering to contribute by sharing your life and your personal story. It takes a lot of courage to be open and transparent. Please be encouraged that your story will be compiled with others to inspire and encourage readers who are living or have lived through similar life moments to yours. You never know what the person sitting next to you has endured or conquered. The goal of this project is to take a step in sharing those moments and experiences by opening doors and building community.


My goal is to interview and photograph 100 people from the Cottonwood community and publish a book that captures their deepest and most impactful moments, stories, and experiences. You’ve already taken the first step and made it this far. The next step is simple. Just be who you are and share where you’ve been and where you’re going. The pen, paper, keyboard, and camera will handle the rest.

Our Story


How can you contribute?

Share Your Story

STEP 1: Please take your time to fill out the following pre-shoot survey. If it helps, write your answers on paper or on your preferred device and simply paste them in when you are ready. And please remember the more honesty, vulnerability, depth, and detail you pour into your story the more powerful its impact will be.

STEP 2: Book your photo shoot to share your story in person and capture your story in your image for the book.

May this project and your contribution be blessed and cherished for years to come.


Darnell Kemp

This is a private project by Darnell Kemp Photography – DKSnapix and is NOT sponsored or endorsed by Cottonwood Church.


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