In March, I traveled throughout California to photograph people living with ALS, SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) and heart disease. I was hired for this project by Cytokinetics -a company that develops therapies for people living with these diseases*. Cytokinetics plans to create huge posters for display in the company headquarters. They hope the images and words will inspire their employees and connect them to the people they are working to help.
It was personally so inspiring and very uplifting to meet and photograph these wonderful people. It was a critical reminder that life is short- so live it well, stay present and love deeply!
*The people I photographed don’t use any of Cytokinetics therapies. The company knew of them through talks they have given or other avenues where they have shared their stories as a way to inspire or guide other people living with their disease.
Last week I had the pleasure of photographing a 4H group in Burlingame. This was an assignment for the magazine Catalyst -a Microsoft magazine that highlights the Bay Area non-profit organizations it supports through funding, grants, etc. My job is to photograph all these wonderful organizations -and every quarter has a different theme. This quarter focused on youth development.
One of the reasons I love this work so much is I never know what to expect -and visiting the organizations and meeting the good people who run and/or benefit from them always puts me in the best mood. The bunnies kind of pushed it over the edge this time! I tweeted that it was a miracle I didn’t stuff one in my camera bag on the way out the door…
I’ve been meaning to share some of the work I’ve been doing over the past year for Microsoft. Last spring, I was hired to photograph the Bay Area non-profit organizations that Microsoft supports through grants and donations. When Sid Espinosa (now mayor of Palo Alto and also is the Director for Corporate Citizenship at Mircosoft) hired me for the job, he said they wanted a “Day in the Life” kind of look for the images. We now have produced 3 magazines and working on the 4th!
I have had an amazing year visiting all these different organizations -literally everyone I have met has inspired me in some way. These are the people who are out there saving the planet, educating children, and working hard to create a good life for themselves and their family through job training, learning English, computer skills, etc. It has been a fascinating journey for me personally, professionally and artistically.
I also want to give a big shout-out to Blank Slate Creative. They are the ones behind the excellent design of the magazine. (And scheduling all my shoots! Go Alex!)
And to Rachael Bertone, for the wonderful reporting and writing!