REACH Community Development Donor Luncheon

November 13th, 2009

REACH-0030When I left corporate life in June 2007, I made a proclamation of sorts. In my farewell letter I wrote, “… it’s time to simplify and live my values. Focus on having and sharing experiences rather than making money and buying stuff. Biking instead of driving. Taking pictures. Gardening. Raising chickens. Playing with the dogs. Writing letters. Learning new tricks. Climbing rocks. Volunteering. And yes, smelling the roses.”

By November of that year I had covered the list and then some, with the exception of volunteering… Somehow I hadn’t found (made) the time, and wasn’t quite sure who I wanted to work with. That all changed one night while throwing darts at a pub with my husband. A few folks were playing darts next to us, and before long we were getting schooled by a couple of AmeriCorps Vista volunteers.  Turns out one of them had just moved to Portland to work with REACH Community Development.  REACH is Portland non-profit that provides affordable housing, free home repairs for senior and disabled homeowners, and programs to help residents “stay in their housing, raise their standard of living and connect to local resources and opportunities.”

Before long he learned I was a photographer, and I kid you not, his next words were, “Ever do any pro bono work?”  At this point in my young career as a photographer, it seemed ALL I did was pro bono work. But my own words echoed in my head, reminding me of my values and I agreed to shoot an upcoming Community Builders event.

I have been volunteering for REACH ever since, shooting various events and work days throughout the year and sponsoring the 2008 and 2009 Paint & Repair-a-thon. This year, however, marked my first commissioned projects for REACH, and will culminate next week at the REACH Annual Donor Lunch. Each year they do a slideshow or video presentation, and I am honored they asked me to work on the piece this year. Even more exciting for me is the fact that my husband composed and performed a beautiful piano piece for the soundtrack.

As I don’t want to take away from next week’s event, I will wait to post the presentation.  In the mean time, do check out REACH’s website, and if you’re so inclined, sign up as a volunteer or donor.  It will be time/money well spent.  The best part by far, though, is meeting the people who’s lives are directly impacted by REACH’s programs.  The stories are inspiring, moving, and some are nothing short of astounding.


Why I shoot: the joys of photography

October 9th, 2009

A quick thought just popped into my head about how much I enjoy proving to people that they are photogenic… not models, of course, but every day people… I started with friends and family and quickly learned that with the right lighting and angles, people truly are transformed. But the real fun comes with showing them the shot, right on the camera and seeing their faces light up. That is some powerful stuff, seeing someone change the way they see themselves right before your eyes. They also know that since they’re seeing it right after it was shot that no manipulation has taken place…

The other real joy comes with “seeing” the minutiae and finding beauty in the mundane, both of which have been greatly enhanced by my beloved macro lens, the AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED. The katydid shots below are a prime example.


Drumming Katydid

October 7th, 2009
Drumming Katydid (Meconema Thalassinum)

Drumming Katydid (Meconema Thalassinum)

Well, once again I’ve let being busy get in the way of my blogging.  This has to be a quickie, as I have an appointment to get to…  Short version:  I found a drumming katydid (Meconema Thalassinum) on the ceiling of our front porch the other day.  I brought her in and made a cozy mason jar condo for her and went to plotting how best to capture her likeness.

The next day I let her out and she immediately took to the gorgeous bouquet of flowers my husband had brought home.  Wind and lack of colorful flowers marred our outdoor shoot, but the images in the kitchen window light turned out great.  More to come – I’ll post a link when I get the gallery up on PhotoShelter.

In the mean time, there are lots of other new galleries posted!

EXIF:  Nikon D700 | 1/250 s | f/9.0 | ISO 320 | Nikon AF-S Micro VR 105mm f/2.8


Robot chick, shunned

August 7th, 2009

A chirping toy chick proves unpopular with our hens and dogs…

 

 


The photographer’s dilemma: participate or photograph?

July 7th, 2009