The ink that spells “LIVING” down the interior of his left arm serves as a permanent glimpse into the way Austin Bell chooses to experience the world. Some are called to stay, and some are called to go. Bell is going - going to more than 21 countries in less than four months next fall.
Bell, a sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia, is a photographer and videographer. He first discovered the art growing up with his family on the 268 Generation Passion World Tour, where he spent time shadowing Jeremy Cowart and his assistant.
“I basically spent all the world tour with Jeremy’s assistant watching him shoot,” said Bell. “I kinda fell in love with how much he could capture at the click of a shutter, and just the emotions and stories he had the ability to tell.”
Starting this August, Bell will travel throughout Asia and Africa shooting content for boutique hotels and non-profit organizations. After initially being contacted by a hotel marketing representative in Bali, Bell decided to turn the job into a lifestyle. He shared his itinerary with travel destinations across the continent and decided to officially leave Auburn after an outpour of positive results.
Bell’s list of destinations includes Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, South Africa, India and Egypt. The videographer plans to capture a broad spectrum of events to build his portfolio, including festivals and concerts. Bell hopes to use the trip to discover what he truly wants to pursue shooting in the future, assuming he survives his adventures.
“I’m definitely the person who could die there,” said Bell, laughing. “I look at things and decide ‘Oh, I want that shot,’ and nothing else matters at that point. I’m going to be in situations where anyone else would say ‘don’t go down that alley’ and I’ll already be down there getting the shot.”
View Austin's work on Instagram - Austin Bell
The hotel work will pay Bell’s way across the world as he shoots for non-profit organizations and various missions. Bell’s shoots are strategically scheduled to allow time for work with institutions such as International Justice Mission, Operation Mobilization and Ravi Zacharias.
Bell’s passion will take him to dangerous places in the fall. The work is so serious he has to sign confidentiality contracts about what he shoots, but he is excitedly expectant about what is to come.
“I’m going to be doing a good mix of stuff that has intense meaning and eternal value,” said Bell. “I’ll also just be creating incredible content. That’s my heartbeat — I want to truly tell people’s stories and do it in a creative and really visual way.”
Bell was initially enrolled at the University of Georgia but realized God’s clear call for him to attend Auburn. Always living life on the edge, he woke up one Monday morning at 5 a.m. to drive from Atlanta to Auburn for an 8 a.m. class. Bell is studying visual media, but plans to permanently leave school and return to the field after coming home for Christmas.
Bell’s favorite verse is Matthew 5:15-16, which calls Christians to live unashamed as a light on the top of a hill. The videographer is certainly a light-bearer for the Kingdom of God.
“That’s why I want to do it. I want to get really good, so I can get to the top of a creative career as a Christian,” said Bell. “I want to use it as a ministry and get insanely good at what I do, and do it with Jesus on my side.”
To learn more, please visit Austin Bell Photography.
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