On Monday about 150 people from my community came together to help people in Coney Island, NY struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy by preparing 10,000 ready-made meals. This all started Wednesday when I made a phone call to Chris who is the senior graphic designer at Alliant Studios. After we had chatted about the soft launch of my new website he told me that the president of the studio, Kevin Frank, who wanted to talk to me about something. Kevin gets on the phone and goes on to tell me about his morning and how his basement was now dry after Hurricane Sandy, the sun was shining, and he was drinking his morning coffee less than 48 hours after the storm blew through the DC area. He shared with me that he just “didn’t feel right” that so many people in NY and NJ were struggling and here in DC life was back to normal. He then went on to tell me that he was going to do something about it and work with some of his clients to make it happen. Story continued below.
|Fairfax Community Church donated the space complete with tons of windows for natural light–hallelujah! God kicked in some sunshine and fall colors.|
|Some of the generous folks who made this happen. From left: Cat Blakley of Pie Sisters, John Natolly, Owner/operator of the Chick-fil-A at Fairfax Circle, Kevin Frank, President of Alliant Studios, and Alli Blakley of Pie Sisters.|
There’s something you should know about Kevin at this point in the story. First, he likes to dream. Second, he has a strong grasp of the big picture. Lastly, he likes his client relationships to go beyond the project. These are just a few of the reasons I hired Alliant to do my website and branding. You’ll notice my new logo watermarked in these photos.
Kevin and the team at Alliant reached out to some of their clients and found a way to make this happen. It is very cool how he partnered with all of his clients to make it happen. Check it out:
1. Kevin calls Ron at Generosity Feeds, an organization that mobilizes volunteers to make ready-made meals for children in need. Ron tells Kevin that each meal will cost about $1 and that it will take 150 volunteers about 2 hours to prepare 10,000 meals. Great organization, get involved!
2. Next, Kevin calls John who is Owner and Operator at the Chick-fil-A at Fairfax Circle. John agrees to provide snacks before and then feed all the volunteers afterward.
3. Kevin then calls the sisters in Georgetown. No, not the Nuns–but that would have been cool–but Alli, Bear, and Cat Blakely who started Pie Sisters a few years ago. They offered to bring amazing “cuppie” pies (individual size) for everyone.
4. Later, Kevin calls the Pope. But I don’t know where that conversation went. Yes, I am kidding.
Somewhere between Wednesday and Monday about 150 people connected to all of these companies and organizations singed up to volunteer 2 hours of their day and donate 2000 bottles of water, propane stoves, and propane tanks. What did I do in all of this you ask? Take some photos and video and pitch the story to my colleagues at some of the largest news outlets in the country. They didn’t bite but WUSA Channel 9 did show up after the festivities and I was able to hand off my footage to them. I have posted a few of my favorite photos from the event below and the WUSA video is embedded below. This event appears after the 2:30 mark in the video.
Cute kids with a shirt that matches the message are bound to be photographed.
|Ron Klabunde, CEO of Generosity Feeds preps the volunteers.|
|Many little hands contributed as Fairfax County Schools were out for the day. These girls were killing it!|
|These are the crazy awesome folks at Alliant Studios in front of the 10,000 ready-made meals. They took most of the day out of the office to make this event happen.|
I went to the premiere of feature film “Seal Team 6: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden” at the Newseum a few days ago. I walked in and they asked me “are you press” and I paused and finally answered “no.” This was one of the first times since I left USA TODAY that I haven’t gone to an event where I wasn’t there to work. I think it’s going to take a while to retrain my brain and to respond as a “normal” civilian human and not as part of the press. It sure was nice to relax and enjoy the film and fantastic heavy h’orderves. Think lobster corndog! I did manage to take a picture while I was there.
I would like to invite you to help us fund raise to build a house for a woman in Haiti who lost her home in the earthquake and is living in a tent city. Below is a brief summary about the woman we met and details about how to get involved:
Our experience in Haiti can’t be summed up in a few quick sentences. Hopefully some of the photos below will illuminate what we experienced. This journey was one of contradictions. It was difficult yet encouraging, sorrowful yet joyful, hot and steamy and still sticky at night! We went there with a group of 25 other Americans for one week to listen to Haitian people tell us their stories, pray for those who wanted it, play with children in the largest tent city in Port Au Prince, and do small things like bring gifts to kids in three different orphanages. That is really the Cliff’s Notes of the Cliff’s Notes version of our trip there.
During our visit to the tent city we met 54 year-old Presume Yves Rose who was watching her neighbors baby in her 10×10 dirt floored tent. We learned that Presume’s home crumbled during the devastating earthquake of 2010 and she’s been living in the country’s largest tent city ever since with her 23 year-old daughter, Riche Santhia. After a little asking we learned that she already owns land for a house but lacks the resources to have a new home built. Since our visit there, we have been in contact with one of the translators from our team, Pierre Duclair, (You can friend him on Facebook!) who is a local pastor in the area. We told him about our desire to build Presume a home and he has offered to oversee our project.
We are reaching out to friends and family to help us raise $700 dollars to build Presume’s home. Do you want to help? Before you commit, we want to be completely up-front about the risks that may be involved. There are a lot of ways our fundraising efforts could go wrong (since we’re dependent on our local contact) but in many ways it could be more effective than giving to a larger, vetted organization. On the positive side we know a charity is not taking a large percentage of our donation for their overhead. And we know the money will go directly towards this project. I’ve tried to ask the right questions as I go about this to make sure our money goes directly towards Presume’s home. However, there is no way to be completely certain and this is the risk we run, myself included as I will be giving towards this as well. I do feel good about having Pierre handle this for us. We trust him. We spent our entire week with him as well as some other Haitians who helped our team as translators and we were impressed with how he treated us, the kids we played with, and his peers. He is a kind man with a big heart to love people like he says God has loved him.
Here’s how you can get involved!
1. Donate via PayPal. Send to garretthubbard at gmail. (Paypal will a 3% transaction fee)
2. We’ll send you an email to confirm receipt of payment.
3. Stay abreast of donation tallies and the latest developments on this blog.
1) Raise $700 and wire transfer it to Pierre who will hire locals to build the home in about a month’s time. (He has committed to taking photos of the project so we can see the work being done.)
2) We’ll post all updates here.
3) At the end we’ll share photos and do a final recap here.
-Every dollar that comes in will go back out. We will not be taking money out of any of these donations for ourselves.
-We are not a not for profit 501(c)3 entity. Therefore, your donations are not tax deductible.
-Even with as much as we’ve prepared and planned, we all could get scammed on this. If you are uncomfortable with this risk, please don’t give.
-If we raise more than $700 for this project the remaining money will be given to support another project like this in Haiti. If Peirre does not find other people who want help getting out of the tent city then we will be giving the money to David’s Hope which seeks to bring sustainable development and life change to people in Eburru, Kenya. It was started by many of our friends and spearheaded by Jeff Trexel in the basement of our house. Our connections to David’s Hope continues with of our friends, Kevin Wiley, whom many of you know has been involved with David’s Hope for three years now and has gone over there to volunteer and use his gifts of photography to help the people of Eburru, Kenya. More info here. www.davidshope.org.
It’s not every day that 1.8 million people get to see your work. Many thanks to USA TODAY for publishing one of my favorite photos of one of the coolest brides, Cory Coffee McGee in a story about wedding insurance. She was quoted in the article. Cory is also the bride of my dear friend and talented filmmaker Stephen McGee. Happy Valentines Day Stephen and Cory!
Many thanks to the McGee’s for allowing me to allow USA TODAY to publish this photo from their wedding. Thank you also to News Photo editor Tim Leohrke of USA TODAY.
I shot this at a county fair when I lived in Naples, Fl back in 2006. It’s of one of those spinning swing sets that gets disassembled and reassembled at every stop across the country by semi-disgruntled carnival folk.
Tech spec’s:Canon 1D Mark II. ISO: 50. Aperture: 22. Shutter: 5 seconds.
3. The pan shutter drag + flash
Level of difficulty 8 (on a scale of 1 – 10)
How: Set the shutter speed to around 1/4-1/20 of a second with your camera’s shutter priority mode. Next, make sure your exposure without the flash is more than 1 1/3 stops underexposed around your subjects (use your exposure compensation button). This way your flash freezes the action and keeps your subjects sharp while allowing the background to blur. Then set your flash on second-curtain and set its exposure compensation based on the brightness of the ambient light. I do all of this with my flash on TTL. In this photo my flash was on my camera and pointed at the ceiling with my fill card extended. For the above photo I knew the foreground/background was dark so I set my exposure compensation for -1 1/3 stops. Then I told my flash to expose for about -1/3 or -2/3 because a camera will try and light up the whole room thus overexposing the subjects in the foreground. Like I said, this one isn’t quite as easy and just takes some practice.
Canon 5D. ISO 1600. Aperture: 2.8. Shutter 1/10 of a second
As a visual storyteller I want you to feel connected to every story that I tell, just as if you were there. I’ve been thinking about how to better do this for my wedding clients and I was reminded of what a friend of mine, who is a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist, said “I don’t care how I reach you, only that I do.” This means embracing new tools beyond the still photograph and look at what is on the leading edge of storytelling for photojournalists. This means motion, sound, and most importantly this means story. So I’ve combined the poignancy of the still image and the intimacy of video to tell Jeremy and Meghan’s wedding story. I see this as the future for all who consider themselves a wedding storyteller. I’m ready for the future and I’m loving it.
Today is my bride’s birthday. I did a few special things to serve her including breakfast in bed. Oh, and a fun gift!
A fashionable gift for my wife. She loved them. The best part is that someone else in the world in need of shoes will also get a pair. Tom’s Shoes 1 for 1 program is a business model that blesses others. Love it!
Sometimes I get to ride my bike. Sometimes I get to ride my bike with friends. Ryan is one such friend. Sometimes I rock the HD GoPro camera and mount it various places during my ride. Sometimes the camera catches a crash. This is one such time. Enjoy!