Emmaus: The Nature of the Way is a portrait of faith. It represents the dream, the talent, and the hard work of its creator, Chris Yates, a 2016 graduate of Loyola Marymount University. It portrays 22 Jesuits who are part of that university.
During his college years Chris had a lot of contact with Jesuits there, but he knew that many of his fellow students did not. So he wanted to make the Jesuits better known.
With the support of the Jesuit community rector, Fr. Alan F. Deck, S.J., Chris sent surveys to the Jesuits and began to take formal and informal portraits of them. He put together a team that saw this vast project through to a stunning product that was published last May. Chris, meanwhile, after graduating from LMU, worked for a year as a volunteer for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Chris structured his portraits around the gospel story of Jesus meeting two disciples late on Easter afternoon as they made their way from Jerusalem to their home in Emmaus.
After a title line reflecting the gospel account (for example “The Road” or “Was It Not Necessary That the Messiah Must Suffer?”), he gives a couple of autobiographical sketches taken from the surveys the Jesuits submitted and then presents a formal portrait of those who provided these sketches. After this a series of less formal portraits of these men appears, showing them gardening, cooking, playing drums, working on a computer, just relaxing.
The photography is stunning, and the whole book is a work of art. It is also clearly a labor of love.
Chris graduated from LMU with a major in screenwriting and a minor in archaeology. During his time in college,“he understood for the first time that his passion for his faith and his creativity could go hand in hand,” as he explains towards the end of the book. After his volunteer year in Chicago, he returns to Los Angeles to work as“a professional photographer and creator to represent those who are on the margins.”
Conversations is planning to have a fuller article by Yates in a future issue. Visit the website and purchase the book at his website.