Man, it’s dark in here.

That’s all I could think as the lights went down and the music started. I knew it wouldn’t stay that way — there were too many lights scattered about the stage and in the rafters for that — but I couldn’t help myself. Want to have some fun? Put a camera in a photographer’s hands, flip the light switch and watch them start to sweat. Hard to take pictures with no light.

But it can be just as hard to take pictures with too much light. That was me at the beginning of the Stephen Curtis Chapman Concert last Thursday night at Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church here in Knoxville. I was asked to take photos at the concert, which I thought would be no big deal. I’ve taken photos at musical events at the church many times, and while it’s always challenging, it’s usually managable.

Thursday was a whole different experience. After a few seconds of total darkness, the stage suddenly was literally sorrounded with light. It was coming from everywhere — the back of the stage, the ceiling, the floor, the sides. Everywhere and in all colors. And just as shooting in the dark can be near impossible, so can trying to shoot from what seemed like the inside of a light bulb. I spend the evening constantly trying to compensate.

But it was a lot of fun. Champan is obviously in his element on stage, and capturing his exuberance was a joy. Plus, his son’s band, Caleb, was the opening act, and one of CHBC’s own, Scott Mills, was the lead guitarist (He’s the one below in the glasses and beard). Champan’s wife, Mary Beth, spoke about the recent loss of their daughter, adoption and what it’s like to be the wife of Steven Curtis Chapman.

It was the first time I’ve gotten a chance to shoot a real concert, but it’s certainly something I’d like to try again. Here’s what I got. Enjoy.