Faith and Photography: How God shows up in my life and my business - livhettingaphotography.com

Faith and Photography: How God shows up in my life and my business

I have never been quiet about my faith as a Christian. However I haven’t taken the time here on my website to explain why my relationship with Christ is so important, or how that plays into my business, and interactions with clients. Today I want to share with you how I bring my faith and photography together, and how that helps me serve you better on your wedding day. 

My Relationship with Christ

I spend time each day immersing myself in God's Word, learning how to better marry my faith and photography.

Before I tell you all about how I see God working in my business, I want to share with you a bit about my personal relationship with God. Raised in a Christian household, educated through a Christian school, and involved in many, many Christian activities, one could say I grew up in a Christian bubble. In many ways I was very sheltered. Within that space, I felt a pull to leave that safety. I felt called to serve God’s people outside of my comfort zone.

My first mission trip was to Bolivia in grade 11. In Bolivia I experienced a culture so radically different than my own. The people I got to fellowship with lived much more simply and without many of the daily luxuries we take for granted. They were filled with so much joy despite not having all of these extras. That first trip impacted me deeply and I felt God calling me to continue with missions. The summer after I graduated I spent time working in children’s ministries, where I helped lead kids to Christ, and prepared to head out on my next great adventure, all around the world. 

My Time Around the World

Having the opportunity to serve with YWAM has changed my life forever. Now I get to spend my time focusing on my faith and photography.

On this trip with YWAM, I expected to have huge God moments and big breakthroughs. That didn’t happen. Instead, throughout this time I experienced lots of little moments that I had to reflect on and see the impact they made in my life over time. In YWAM’s Australia Discipleship Training School (DTS) I studied and learned, and was told time and again that my voice would be a powerful tool for God. I was terrified by that notion to be honest. I couldn’t understand how my voice, quiet and meek could bring glory to God.

After Australia, I went with the same group to Nepal and India. Our time there was spent in frequent prayer wherever we went. On the train, in shops full of idols, everywhere we went, we lead with worship and prayer. We worked with children and I taught them Bible stories. Our group even had the opportunity to do a prayer walk in the red light district, where we were able to do more kid’s ministries. Being in these places was a challenge, and being in constant prayer for these people was powerful.

Called Back to ministry

Returning home after that trip, I felt a continued pull to ministry and worked in more kid’s camps while starting my wedding photography business. Before I started booking too much, I felt called to go back to YWAM, and stepped into a leadership role working on their media team. This leadership position felt a lot more comfortable for me than what I had been doing before. 

After four months on the media team I was home again. I continued to build my photography business, but knew that I wasn’t done with mission work. Finally, this last fall I had the opportunity to go to Switzerland and complete a Biblical Core Course, before travelling to Greece, Egypt and Turkey, where I saw the Bible come alive before me. Seeing the places where these ancient stories took place contextualized it all for me. Suddenly the Bible felt like one big love story that God had given to his people. I felt a new understanding of my God. 

Now, back home in Canada, I am focusing on my business. Wedding and elopement photography can be a mission field just like any other. Maybe not in the ways that we typically think of mission work, but in ways unique to me and my voice. I get to come into contact with countless people every year, every wedding season, and show them the light of Christ shining through me. They get to see the way that God works through me and my business, and the art I am able to create with Him as my foundation. My faith and photography are forever intertwined.

As an Alberta elopement photographer, I love getting to pray over my couple's as they start their new life together. It's a unique opportunity for me to bring my faith and photography together.

My Mission

If you’ve looked around my website, you have probably seen a verse pop up; Colossians 3:23. It reads “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”. I’ve made this my mission statement in my business because I believe that it has been a powerful force behind my ability to work and serve clients. This verse is a daily reminder that the work that I do is not just for my clients. It is a way for me to honour God, and his creation. It reminds me to do my best work in everything that I do, and pushes me to see your vision as clearly as possible when photographing your elopement. I view myself as a co-creator with God in the art that I create for you. With that as my motivation, I am always striving towards excellence and delivering the best experience and photos to you that I can.

My faith and my relationship with Christ play into every aspect of my life, including the way that I approach working with couples. I spend time in prayer for my couples before every wedding and elopement. This is a special opportunity for me to ask for blessings over their marriage. I always pray that their day goes smoothly as well. Additionally, I start every day immersing myself in the Word. This is time I use to humble myself before God and hand my business over to him. My business is for him to use in his service, and not for my own means. Reminding myself of this each day renews my heart to serve.  

Leave No Trace (LNT)

This earthly home that has been so lovingly created for us is a place that I see God so constantly and beautifully. The beauty that there is in nature and in our environment is why I love photographing elopements, particularly adventure elopements so much. Part of seeing the beauty in nature, is wanting to protect it from harm. There is so much working against the environment, and I work hard to do what I can to help keep it healthy. LNT is an incredible organization that works to minimize the effects that we have on the remaining natural areas left around the world. They offer courses specifically for photographers to help us learn how we can best care for the planet, and these spaces. Going through the course and getting certified through them is another way that I am working to protect God’s amazing creation, and continue to serve clients.

The time that I get to spend in nature is time that I get to spend close to God. Getting to do that, while documenting precious and sacred moments for you is a gift. Every adventure elopement I am part of is an honor. Help me protect beautiful home we’ve been given! Check out LNT here to learn more.

Giving Back

I donate 10% of my earnings from photography each year. This isn’t for attention, or to brag about the good I’m doing. I do this to help God’s people. Jesus commands us to love all people, to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, love even strangers, clothe the naked, look after the sick, and visit the imprisoned. When we serve the poor, we are serving Jesus Himself. Did you know that approximately 2.6 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day? That’s crazy!! That’s less then what most of us spend to buy our daily cup of coffee. It is OUR responsibility to end poverty. 

Giving back is an opportunity each month for me to give to organizations that are working to serve Christ. It’s a chance to further God’s kingdom. Two organizations that I regularly give to are Food for the Hungry and Youth With a Mission (YWAM). These are both organizations close to my heart, that you should know about too! I encourage you to learn more about them and considering giving if you are able.

Food for the Hungry

If the name didn’t give it away, Food for the Hungry puts food in the hands of those who need it. What I love about their work however, is that they don’t just funnel resources into a community for a time. They don’t walk away, leaving people with a supply that runs out, without solving any problems. Before their teams leave they make sure that there are real and sustainable practices in place. They have taken the idea of ‘teaching a man to fish’ to heart, empowering the people they help. 

Youth With a Mission

God has given me a heart for missions, and groups like YWAM. They inspire me to treat my business as a mission field, incorporating my faith and photography.

YWAM holds a special place in my heart. My time serving with them has left me forever changed and with a new understanding of God and His people. Their core tenets are evangelism, training, and mercy ministry. They spread the Gospel, through evangelism. Their DTS programs train up disciples. They are an example of Christ’s mercy and grace in the lives of those who need it. 

Below is a video I put together from my time with YWAM.


At first glance, it may not make sense, the intersections between faith and photography. However, I can’t see how it would be possible to separate the two. My faith is integral to who I am and comes with me wherever I go. I wear it on my heart, and on my sleeve. My hope is that now you can know me a little better. Maybe even through me, know my God a little better.

While my faith is integrated into every part of my life, know that it is not exclusionary. You do not need to be a Christian to have me photograph your elopement. I respect you and your beliefs, and hope that you can respect me in the same way. We don’t have to agree about God to agree that we are both valuable, important, and worthy of love and respect. Know that I value you, wherever you’re at.

If you have questions about my faith, my God, or my business, please reach out here! I can’t wait to know you better too.

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2/04/2022

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heyyy!!

I’m your elopement hype girl and a photographer for the goofball lovers + those who want to make their wedding day an adventure. I’m also the owner of a converted camper van and love exploring the outdoors. You’ll find my heart on this blog. Whether it’s documenting my real life couples or giving my brides + grooms the tips + tricks they need to plan their best elopement, I’ve poured my heart out for you here. 

I'm Liv Hettinga

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Faith and Photography: How God shows up in my life and my business

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"Liv is extremely talented and great to work with! She gave us enough direction in our shoots to know what to do but still left tons of room for candid, genuine moments. Nothing beats seeing real smiles and laughter in your photos! She was more than willing to collaborate and go for some sillier ideas, and was always super encouraging. She's an incredibly sweet person and we felt very comfortable to be ourselves around her. Liv's talent is beyond just the technical knowledge, she really has an artist eye for beautiful photos. Her editing style is perfect, not too dark or light but still brings personality with the warm tones she adds. I HIGHLY recommend working with Liv!!"

- Cassie + Matt

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