In 2013 I will be celebrating my first ten-years as a full-time, professional travel photographer. There have been many things to be grateful for in that time and I’ve lost count of the number of extraordinary adventures I’ve enjoyed.
However, one aspect of my work which has consistently brought great happiness has been the hospitality, generosity and grace which I have encountered wherever I have taken my camera. No matter what impression of today’s world you might have from watching the evening news and reading the newspapers, my own experience is that the spirit of a shared and common humanity is well and truly alive – people are, by nature, positive, generous and welcoming.
I’ve been treated with respect, compassion and kindness on all of my travels and I think an anniversary is an appropriate time to offer something tangible in return.
This is my first step towards that goal.
31 Inspiring Quotes Desktop Wallpapers Pack
Each desktop wallpaper features one of my favourite images and has been lovingly re-processed by me with the text quotes added by a design professional, creating what I hope are a series of carefully crafted and inspiring images, beautiful enough to grace any computer screen.
Th pack is available for a donation to “Seedlight”, my new Creative Photo Charity – suggested donation is $24.99 but you may pay as much or as little as you like. The pack also includes a Photoshop PSD file with the text quotes, ready for you to add your own images to create a custom desktop wallpaper.
Creative Photo Charity
Seedlight has a simple mission statement:
“We aim to bring tangible benefits to local communities by encouraging children’s creativity.”
“From the chai seller’s daughter in India to street children in Ethiopia, children love to take their own photos”
Children love to use cameras. They enjoy seeing the results in the LCD screen. They love to share the images with their family and friends. Having watched children use my cameras, I have seen the delight and sense of responsibility it brings them. I’ve also seen growing confidence in children who are given permission and encouraged to create. Children in under-priveledged communities are not necessarily unhappy but they are often required to work in order to support their families and they do not always have the opportunity to play and to use their creative skills and imagination as much as we might wish.
I probably can’t change the world but my expectations are, I hope, realistic and I’ve seen that it’s possible to change one person’s life dramatically, through simple actions. I’m going to take basic and easy-to-use cameras into communities and teach a small number of children how to use them. Equipped with the means and the skills, the children will be encouraged and assisted to document their lives, photographing their families, their schools, their friends and their daily activities. In liaison with schools, orphanages and community project leaders, my aim is to encourage and assist the children to create a visual documentary of their environment.
At the end of the project, the children, community leaders and I will collaborate to edit and process the images into a cohesive collection. The images will then be collated into a book or as content for an exhibition. The book will be published or the exhibition launched with the purpose of raising sufficient funds to feed back into the children’s community, providing a vital piece of equipment, perhaps a clean water filtration system, medical supplies, clothing, food – you know, the basics!
Not only will the children involved have had an opportunity to document their own story, their sense of ownership and awareness will have increased and their confidence will have grown. They will be able to see the direct benefit of their work. Surplus funds will be used to fund the next project, and so the cycle will begin again.
That’s my goal.
Nepal, India, Cambodia, Ethiopia… whatever the location, children’s enchantment with photography is universal
I’ll be liaising closely with NGO professionals and local community leaders and will be looking to recruit experts to assist. However, more than anything I’m inspired by the community of workers who I met in Delhi recently. With no official organisation, no logo, no web site and nothing more than a healthy desire to benefit those less fortunate than themselves, this group has been providing food and healthcare to hundreds of homeless people in Delhi every day, 365 days a year for 20 years. You won’t have heard of them but they’re on the streets of Old Delhi every morning.
The first goal is to raise sufficient funds to purchase six Fujifilm Instant Cameras and 42 packs of Instant Films, enough for six children to take ten photographs of their community every day for a week. I’ve used a Fujifilm Instant camera for many months now and if I could only keep one camera, it would be this one. It’s easy to use (point-and-shoot), has big buttons for small fingers and produces instant results. It’s plastic but rugged, has a built-in flash and shows the number of prints remaining on a rear-facing screen.
Fujifilm instant camera and instant film pack
What can you do?
For now, I’m hoping to spread the word so there are two things you can do to help.
If you would like to make a donation then just amend the value in the Shopping Cart for the amount you would like to contribute. A pack of two instant films costs $16 and a new Fujifilm Instant Camera costs $190. Everyone making a donation at this initial stage will have their name and a url link of their choice included on the project’s “Founding Donors” page of the project web site as soon as it goes online.
2. Please share the link to this post on your Facebook page, on your Twitter feed and on your blog.
Thanks for reading this far. In a world of ever-decreasing attention spans, you can pat yourself on the back. I’m grateful for any support that will help kickstart this creative photography project and your attention, sponsorship and support is really appreciated.
For now, I hope that you will enjoy the desktop wallpapers and I look forward to posting updates on this project in the near future.