Browsing Tag


CARE: Share Your Heart

Click Here for the Photo Gallery.

CARE is an amazing organization that I have been fortunate to intern at since August. †What does CARE do? †Here’s our mission statement:

Our mission is to serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world. Drawing strength from our global diversity, resources and experience, we promote innovative solutions and are advocates for global responsibility. We facilitate lasting change by:

  • Strengthening capacity for self-help
  • Providing economic opportunity
  • Delivering relief in emergencies
  • Influencing policy decisions at all levels
  • Addressing discrimination in all its forms

Guided by the aspirations of local communities, we pursue our mission with both excellence and compassion because the people whom we serve deserve nothing less.

Yeah, that last line is my favorite. †Anyhow – CARE works in over 70 countries around the world, and has been working in Haiti since 1954. †We have over 130 staff members in our Haiti office, all but one of whom is Haitian. †So you can imagine the losses sustained by our staff when the earthquake hit. †Fortunately, none of our staff lost their lives – but they did lose homes, family members, friends, etc. †That didn’t stop them from coming to work every day and assisting with the disaster response. †And even though Haiti is no longer on the front page of our news, the rebuilding is still going on. †It’s a long, slow process. †Many of our staff members are still sleeping in tents – as are thousands of Haitians.

So while CARE USA’s fundraising team was busy raising money to help rebuild Haiti, CARE’s HR team decided to lead the efforts to raise funds for our staff – Share Your Heart. †Park Tavern generously donated the space, community members and Atlanta staff generously donated items for our silent auction, we put our noses to the grindstone and pulled off the event with only a month’s planning – and Mark took photos!

Which you can see. †Here.

STIR IT 28: Food Bloggers Align for Haiti Relief


Click Here for the STIR IT 28: Atlanta Photo Gallery

I was fortunate enough to photograph STIR IT 28. Below is the event description by Bren Herrera (one of the key organizers):

…two other bloggers, Chrystal over at†The Duo Dishes and Courtney at†Coco Cooks, and myself have organized what we love to consider a phenomenal campaign to bring relief to the island that suffered a deadly earthquake, leaving 200 thousand souls, dead. This is our way of giving back: Through our craft of cooking and hopefully filling the gap of the basic essentials they are lacking.

……ATLANTA, being filled with diverse art and food, will represent†STIR IT in an indescribable way! As the host (wearing kick-ass L.A.M.B heels), †Iím proud to entice you with some of the†delicious tastings the chefs and bloggers will dish out this Sunday!

WARNING: Photography Geek-Speak up ahead.

This was actually the first occasion where I was able to try out my new DIY photo gear which consisted of Velcro + Wooden stick. We don’t have studio strobes but we do have 15+ flashes and triggers – what we arguably lack in power, we can make up in flexibility and light configurations.

Without arguing flashes vs. block strobes – with our new, yet-to-be-patented velcro + wooden stick invention, we can aim the light in many different ways and shape it however we want, bouncing light off in different directions for slightly different nuances and gradients. (ha, I will not be writing the sales blurb for Velcro + Wooden Stick – we’ll hire professionals for that).

What made this event a little more challenging is that there were essentially three rooms, each with different light conditions.

Zone 1 being a long corridor with one side well lit by windows and the other side mostly just a dark wall.

Zone 2 was even darker with no real usable light except bounced light from the doors and far windows in Zone 1.

Zone 3 had… mood lighting… (which means that if you’re strictly a ‘natural light’ photographer, you’re shooting at f/1.4 and a shutter speed of 1/30th – and good luck with that).

What’s our general rule? No on-camera flash. Ever.

(okay, 99.999% of the time – that’s for you six-sigma fans out there… oh yes… I am more than just a photography geek).

Like my fancy light schematic? I know. Impressive huh? The lightning bolts are where I put the flashes – and then the arrows show where I moved them at some point. Down in Zone 2 I had to move the flash over closer to the doors – because although there was still light outside, it wasn’t coming far enough into the room – and there isn’t a bright wall in that spot – so I ended up bouncing the light off of a big stand-up poster that Montaluce Vineyards had setup right in that spot… and it worked as you can see in the very top photo.

I was really impressed by all of the hard work that went into organizing this event + the number of chefs that came out and participated. Bren did a really great job of pulling this together and I think everyone had a great time.

Check it out! The Gallery.