Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Photo Illustration and Being Kind

So a couple weeks ago in my photo illustration class, we were given an assignment to photography "abuse". We could pick any kind of abuse. I chose BULLYING.

I'm sure we've all seen it happen. In my mind, bullying happens as much from neglect in noticing people who are beaten down by words and action than anything conscience we do. I was able to go down to the Vegas Valley and had a group of student volunteers to help me. My idea was to use two images for each concept: one with the problems that build up, the second showing someone being kind. There is a foundation that has permeated the Clark County school district in the best way possible. The Josh Stevens Foundation is an organization started in honor of Josh, who passed away a month before his 13th birthday. (Go to the link above to read more about Josh!) The idea of this foundation is to reward kids who are caught doing genuinely kind things. Their motto:  


So here's what I got during that shoot!

Just a little additional explanation: to me, the words that we're called get stored up. So I wanted to have the locker filled with the things that are sometimes said without thought. The students wrote all sorts of stuff on white paper and I used their hand writing. So they were definitely more than just models!
How often have you not done something kind because you thought people would think you were stupid? (Others as well as the person you may want to do something kind for) Moments I will never forget are those  when I do something in spite of nagging worries and the person tells me "I needed that today". This set was one I did with that in mind.

The other half of this one didn't quite work out (I couldn't quite catch the right moment... the kids did awesome!) I think the idea in this one is a little more straight forward, but it featured our one guy who came. 

A last thanks to everyone that helped make the shoot happen and everyone go visit the Josh Stevens Foundation. (There. I linked you twice. No reason to not go check it out now!)
I hope this is a movement that makes it nationwide.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Julia Gulia

A few months ago, I was able to go up North a bit to take pictures of a cousin of mine who's "graduating" from high school this year. The quotes around that has to do with the fact that she's already started college classes, taking the opportunity to do a sort of duel enrollment. Julia is one of the most amazing girls I know, and though she's almost ten years younger than me, when we talk sometimes I realize that I'm the one looking up to her. Here are my favorite ones from our Senior Shoot!

Congratulations Julia!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mommy Day

As last year I told a story as part of Mother's Day I thought it might be a good tradition to keep up for both Mother's Day and Father's Day this year.

I've had a chance to think of one of the greatest ways my mom has been an example to me lately. A good friend from Florida just graduated and wrote a fantastic tribute to his dad. (I'd really recommend reading it here.)

It really got me to thinking about my own mom going back to school. I was a little older than my friend when my mom went back to school full time. We lived in Barstow, CA--where my siblings and I were born--and there was a community college there. To be honest, I don't remember her taking classes there, but I know she took as many there before there weren't more options and this was the main factor in moving to Henderson. Mom started taking classes at UNLV and I was about eight at the time.

I know I don't remember all the sacrifices. Mom worked, Dad had given up a business in Barstow and worked in constructions. There were times I know he worked by the light of lamps because he was paid in piece work rather than hourly. They were still always there for school projects and activities. I remember sometimes going with her to classes. Sometimes us kids would be guinea pigs in projects; memorizing state capitols or reading Anne of Green Gables and doing book projects, even though it was summer. They were usually the fun kind of projects, though, so I don't think we minded much.

In one class, I know we helped her out by teaching her Hyperlink (an OLD program) for a music education class. She put together something fun, but I think us kids deserved the A in that case.

There were all the times she substituted in our class. (It was always fun if we were doing particularly well in that class). Students loved her. I had classmates ask when she stopped subbing because she had her own class. They were disappointed. She was a good sub.

Her graduation day was a big deal. Our aunts came down from Utah for it. I don't think I realized then what participating in that did for me. While all four of her kids have taken a while getting to our own degrees, none of us have questioned whether or not it will be worth it. All four of us have made efforts to complete an education, and have had to work hard to do so. Her example has taught us how important education is and I, for one, am beyond grateful!

Happy Mother's Day Mom! And keep on rockin' the realm of edu-ma-cation!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Foot update

So it's been quite a while since the accident, but I'm finally in some physical therapy for the foot. Lately it's just been walking down stairs and walking for long periods of time that really bother the foot, but I figure it's better to get it done and have full motion than wait and hope it comes on its own.

The thing about physical therapy: they lure you into thinking it's all fun and games. First they let me stick my feet into a hot jacuzzi tub for fifteen minutes (heaven!), then after a couple exercises the assistant massaged my foot. It felt so good and nice... then they have to go and bring out the ice pack and ruin it for me. Oh well, c'est la vive.

(Oh, and I have to mention a big THANK YOU to my sister-in-law who gave me exercises long ago when we thought it was sprained. I started using those when the boot was off and it's definitely helped give me a head start. Hope you don't torture your patients with ice though!!!)