Earlier in the year, I worked with the inspiring team at Spur Projects to shoot a video for their latest campaign, “Better If You’re Around“. The video takes a look at the life choices of a young man with the hope to encourage young people to take the first step in talking about depression. It was an honour to work with such a solid and motivated team, shooting over just two days in locations all over Brisbane. I’m so pleased to see that the video has making the rounds online and was even played on Channel 10 News last night. I’m humbled to have been able to be a part of it. Please take the time to watch and share this video as well as support the campaign through Pozible. For more information on taking the first steps towards starting that “tough conversation” visit: www.softenthefckup.com
Producer – Lee Crockford
Director – Leah Sanderson
Assistant Director – Chrissie Nowland
Cinematographer – Mark Lobo
Lighting – Hamish Clift
Hair and Makeup – Gemma Elaine
When Will – The Trouble with Templeton
Special Thanks – Damon Klotz, Ehon Chan, Sabrina, Angela and Michael Foulds-Cook, Melinda Carey, & the pensioners whose names we never learnt…
Earlier in the month, I photographed friend and freelance journalist, Andrew McMillen with his seven year long, well nurtured head of dreadlocks. I did a simple portrait of him in the lead up to shaving them off in support of the Leukaemia Foundation and I also photographed him after a very close cutthroat razor shave for a “before and after” series. Here are a few images from the shoot. I can hardly recognise him anymore.
You can read his thoughts on his experience with dreads and hair as a social object, here.
For the last few months, working towards making Help Portrait happen again in Brisbane has probably been my biggest focus. It was actually also my last shoot of the year for which I’m thankful for as it was probably the most rewarding. Help Portrait is a day where photographers, makeup artists, editors, printers and assistants come together to use their skills to brighten the day of those in need. It’s an event in it’s second year that is currently held in over 300 locations around the world. The idea is so simple and can be replicated across many industries, the greatest example of that being Homeless Connect, held biannually here in Brisbane. The Help Portrait movement and many others like it, brings the realisation that there is always a new way to help others directly using the skills you have, it’s often just a matter of finding the best way to do it. For photographers, I think Help Portrait is one of these ways.
Thanks to the help of the team from last year as well as quite a few more keen and very generous professional and budding photographers, volunteers, printers, editors and makeup artist, we once again had a great day shooting portraits for people from three local charities. We worked with Lifeline – Disability Services, Red Cross and Wesley Mission this year and despite not everyone we invited able to make it due to the rain, still managed to give people something great to smile about. I’d like to thank the team, everyone who donated towards the cause to make it happen as well as Santa who showed up towards the end of the day! Please get in touch if you are keen to get involved in any shape or form next year. Here are a few behind the scenes shots.
After the success of a small event held in Brisbane last year, giving portraits to the children and families of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Help Portrait Brisbane have been busy planning an event on a much larger scale.
On December 5th a group of local Brisbane photographers, assistants, editors, makeup artists, printers and volunteers will be participating in Help Portrait, a global movement of people who are using their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those in need this holiday season. In a collaboration with Lifeline – Disability Services, Red Cross and Wesley Mission, the team will be giving free portraits and prints to the people of these charities. Since the event last year, I’ve been inspired to organise a number of different “Help Portrait” styled events, providing portraits to people with disability, terminal illness and the homeless. The power of something as simple as having a portrait taken always seems to bring a bit of happiness to their days, particularly to those that don’t have the opportunity to do so.
But we need your help. Through donations collected by the public we hope to also provide professional printing on site to give to the guests on the day. We’re hoping to cover a few inevitable costs that go into such events, such as printing paper, ink, snacks for guests and venue expenses. If you can spare a few dollars, it would go a long way in giving someone a beautiful portrait and making sure events like this can continue to run in the future.
How can you help?
Click “ChipIn!” below, or follow this link to help us fund the cause! Any donation large or small is appreciated!
MORE ON HELP PORTRAIT:
Initiated in 2009 by a call-out by American photographer, Jeremy Cowart, Brisbane’s collective of Help Portrait photographers hope to establish an ongoing community of hobbyist to professional photographers interested in not just the act of ‘taking’ but also in ‘giving photos’.
Early this month, Brisbane hosted it’s very own community run TED event or “TEDx“. It was one of the most inspiring local events I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. Modeled after the Long beach based annual TED conferences, the day included talks from a diverse range of prolific thinkers and doers. Co-hosted and organised by Paul Fairweather and Carl Lindgren, with the help of a number of sponsors and volunteers, the day was buzzing with inspired conversation and the ‘spirit’ of TED. As a photographic sponsor, I had the honour of shooting some inspiring speakers and captured some great moments in the lead up to the event. A massive thanks and congrats to the organisers and everyone involved. Here are some of my favourite shots from TEDxBrisbane. More images can be found on the TEDxBrisbane flickr page .
And finally, I’d like to share the first TED talk that introduced me to these “ideas worth spreading”, soon after they started releasing the TED talks online. It was Jeff Han’s presentation on multi-touch technology. From touch pads on laptops to the Apple iPad, it’s crazy how within 5 years of this talk, it has become so common place. As Jeff says, this technology will “Change the way we interact with machines from this point on”, and it has.
Over 8,000 photographers and volunteers in 42 countries held Help Portrait events on the 12th of December this year. Among those 715 locations which held the photo shoots, 2 were organised for Brisbane. I worked with a group of amazing Brisbane photographers along with the Starlight foundation to provide sick children and their families with beautifully printed and framed portraits.
The day was eye opening, challenging and exceptional, with just 5 photographers and 3 starlight volunteers, we set up in 2 spaces at the hospital and also visited those unable to come to us. There were a few issues with printing, but we still achieved our main goal, which was to give the kids and their families beautiful portraits and a fun experience through photography. The children were thrilled to be a part of a photo shoot and the grateful looks on the faces of their parents told a story in itself.
I’d like to thank the photographers, family, friends, and everyone who helped and showed support, whether it was through donations or just spreading the word through twitter, you made the day amazing for some very needy children and their families. With our fund raising efforts, we ended up raising over $900 to cover costs and the remainder was donated directly to the Starlight Foundation.
I’d also like to mention the great efforts of another group of fine photographers who made another Help Portrait happen for Vital Connection. With all the interest shown through the Brisbane Help Portrait page and emails received, I have no doubt Help Portrait in Brisbane will only be getting bigger and more frequent. We’d be interested in getting the ball rolling on the next help portrait, so if you have any ideas for future events, as well as potential suppliers, please let me know. I’d really like to see a lot of small groups of photographers getting out there, giving portraits, and doing their thing!
Time lapse video from one of the Help Portrait locations:
Whether it be through story telling, print donations for art auctions or charity event coverage, there are quite a few ways a photographer can dedicate their time and skills towards a greater good. Upon hearing about Help Portrait through photographer Elleni Toumpas, along with Brisbane photographers Adam West, Toby Scott and Ian Henderson, we decided to discover new and more direct ways to give, rather than just “take” pictures. In major cities around the world, photographers are coming together to donate their time, equipment and expertise to giving to those less fortunate as a part of the Help Portrait movement. Although Help Portrait shoots will be happening across the globe on December 12 this year, we have all agreed and are planning towards carrying out these shoots on a more regular basis.
In support of hospitalised and seriously ill children, Help Portrait Brisbane will be working with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to take portraits with the kids and their families and give them professional prints from the day.
Want to help out?
While our time and equipment are all covered, we still need to raise the money to give prints to the children and families of Starlight! So we are aiming to raise $500 to give them something nice to keep. If you can spare just $5-10, or even more to help us reach our goal it would be greatly appreciated. You can use the widget above to donate, or visit the Help Portrait ChipIn page here: http://helpportrait.chipin.com/help-portrait-brisbane
While we’ve reached the number of photographers needed to help the children at the Starlight Foundation, there are still so many more people out there that could do with a portrait to brighten their day! So if you are a photographer and want to take part in Help Portrait this year, it’s not too late! Check out the Help Portrait website, on how to get involved and get something started. The local Brisbane site can be found here: http://community.help-portrait.com/group/brisbane . There are still so many people who want to get involved, team up and make something amazing happen!
In support of the Inspire Foundation and to help raise funds and awareness for the prevention of suicide and improvement of mental health and well being in men, the “Man Book” was launched today. Put together by the very inspiring Mark Pollard and Gavin Heaton, the book titled The Perfect Gift for a Man – 30 Stories about Reinventing Manhood, focuses on the stories of 30 contributors on topics such as respect, fragility and loss. Although I didn’t manage to write anything for the book, I was honoured to play a part through my contribution as a photographer. 2 images, destined to spend the rest of their lives on my hard drive, were given life and purpose again through use on the front cover and within the book! For more information on the book, head to theperfectgiftforaman.com.au or you can support the Inspire Foundation by buying an
Every year, cities around the world participate in “Global Illumination” to raise awareness of Breast Cancer, through the bold pink lighting of buildings, monuments and well known landmarks. Affecting 1 in 8 women, including those in my own family, breast cancer is a disease that touches so many of us in one way or another. This year, in support of the Breast Cancer Month and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, I got behind the Brisbane Global Illumination Cocktail Party as their photographer. It was a night full of entertainment with hosts Camilla Severi from b105 and Lidia Box “Brisbane’s Leading Gender Illusionist”, fire twirlers, a 12 piece soul band (SoulZu), auctions and an after party at Cloudland.
In February this year Brisbane “Tweeps”, along with thousands of other users of online social media community Twitter, from over 200 cities around the world, came together to help raise over $390,000 AU for Charity:Water. Following the success of the International event, September 10-13th 2009, now marks the dates set for Twestival Local, where Twitter communities will be holding events to support their local causes.
On September 11th 2009, Brisbane Twestival will be helping to raise funds for the Inspire Foundation, who through a number of programs, support young people through the prevention of youth suicide and improvement of mental health and well being. Twestival will be held at Joshua Levi Galleries, a great supporter of local artists and musicians, where I have showed my work before. The night will showcase local bands and acts, raffles and also an art auction to which I am donating one of my framed photographs (above + below). So please come along, have a few drinks, listen to some great bands, buy some artwork and help support the Inspire Foundation!
This Tuesday, over 175 cities around the world will be hosting ‘Twestivals’ in an effort to help raise money and awareness for charity: water, a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. The event will bring together the world’s online Twitter “micro-blogging” communities for an evening of music, art and entertainment. Brisbane will be hosting their very own Twestival this Thursday the 12th February at 6.30pm at Metro Arts in the city. For those interested, be sure to check out the Brisbane Twestival Website, where you can donate and also buy tickets to the event. There will be live bands and entertainment as well as a live auction for which I have donated the two images below. Hope to see you there!