To me, success in portrait photography means also volunteering and mentoring in my communities on a local level, especially when those charitable projects reach around the world.
Sometimes we forget that we're all on the same team, and that we need each other. I think the camera is a tool that can help each one of us move forward... together.
My desire is to create awareness that leads to progress we can see and be proud of, even if we don't know the struggle first-hand. Community means more than just what impacts us in our neighborhood – humanity is at stake here, and each one of us is responsible for doing our part.
I'm no expert on how to get it all done, but here we go together – let's do this deal!
Check out some of the causes I use my camera to support:
Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation
Pitt Hopkins is a very rare syndrome on the autism spectrum, and is considered an “Orphan Syndrome,” because it receives NO federal funding or economic support.
But with awareness built right here in our community, that can change.
It was an honor to work on this project as Director of Photography and Editor with good friend and video Producer / Director, Adam Ruben, Nico’s family, friends, and educators from Cornelia Elementary - especially with Mauricio (Nico's Dad) always coming through with incredible Craft Service!
Enjoy the video, keep creating awareness, and please donate to the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation.
The Spenser Sommers Foundation
The Spenser Sommers Foundation is the primary sponsor of Camp VIP, which gives an incredible summer camp experience to children undergoing therapy for cancer and blood diseases.
Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota provides a medical team who stays onsite with the kids to attend to their medical needs, which is what makes the camp unique, and lets parents be at ease while their kids are away.
I have been involved since the beginning of the organization, and today volunteer each summer to photograph the annual SSF Golf Tournament fundraising event.
The SSF also organizes volunteers like me and some of my favorite kids to feed the needy by serving with Loaves and Fishes. The SSF is quite an organization, and I'm proud to be involved.
Puerto Rico - Hurricane Relief
Puerto Rico - La Isla Del Encanto - the place I've spent so much of my time and invested so much of my heart - still needs our help. Hurricane Maria hit a while ago, but the power is out in many areas, people keep living without clean water, and grocery stores can't promise staples as simple as bread or eggs.
I'm putting together a photography based fundraising campaign to not only support Puerto Ricans who have moved to Minnesota after the hurricanes, but also send money back to the island to help their relatives who still don't have roofs over their heads, electricity, or potable water.
I'll let you know the best way to donate to support our local push. Stay tuned. . .