Rev. Emily Lin
I had the chance to set up a portrait shoot with Rev. Emily Lin while shooting an editorial series on urban religious leaders in Oakland, CA. She is the lead pastor at Chinese Community United Methodist Church, a prominent fixture in Oakland’s China Town. I enjoyed our shoot, using visual cues to illustrate Emily’s place, role, and person.
The church has a courtyard borrowing its design from Buddhist architecture. The space – where this photo was taken – is strangely peaceful, with the hectic streets of China Town buzzing emphatically just beyond a circular gate. The forms behind Emily are elements of the church’s entrance, including a verse from the Biblical book of John. The mix of urban brick, clerical collar, and Chinese text combine to hint at Emily’s blended narrative.