Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So thats what 240 bikes looks like!

I know you were wondering.
Mike McIlroy sets the brakes.
Mike McIlroy knows not only what it looks like, but what it feels like to give them all away to excited kids who have never had a new bike before.
240 Bikes.
Mike and his wife Amy founded the Pedal Power Foundation a number of years ago to get bikes into the hands of disadvantaged kids in situations during the holidays.
This year they are at it again with some help from their friends and supporters.
This is  second year I have been lending my skill to help tell their story with good photography. Last Saturday a crew spent the morning assembling 60 bikes in preparation for the giveaways that will be taking place in December. The McIlroys gave away about 230 bikes last year and hope to reach 300 this year.

All in the Family

Father and son

Mom and son
Amy McIlroy
Mike McIlroy, center with a little help from his friends.

A Pleasure to shoot

Kids are tough. Sometimes.
All that energy mixed with a short attention span can make a shoot shorter than you hope for sometimes. The window closes fast, forcing you to let go of some other ideas that occur as you shoot.  When they’re done they’re done.
Not so,  a couple weeks ago as I worked with a client and their two adorable little girls. We found a beautiful green spot that stretched time for usable outdoor light while the girls sat still for some shots and by their actions inspired others. It took 90 minutes for them to show signs of cracking. Well done, girls.
Okay, on to the next photo...

Waiting for Rick to decide what to do next.

This family shoot was an absolute pleasure.
Thanks to Randy and Terri for a great day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Serving refugees

From time to time I spend some of my pro-bono contribution time keeping the photo collection up to date for the Welcome to America Project in Phoenix. For those of you who know me, you know how this type of work, whether in a camp for the internally displaced in Uganda or an apartment in west Phoenix, is near and dear to me.
A couple weeks ago I went out again with a group of teenagers and adults on a rare WTAP Sunday delivery to bring furniture to a couple of recently-arrived families from Somalia. They had been refugees for something like ten years before finally being resettled in Phoenix so that they could get on with their lives.
One of the young teens who had been on deliveries before wanted to share the experience with friends, and so she organized the group of workers.
I was pleased with my images from this shoot and want to share some with you, 

Picturing Maricopa, the Piper Grant

Field Goals
It just kind of worked out this way. Working with non-profits, using my visual experience and skill to tell their stories has become one of the foundations of my business as a professional photographer.
It's one of the things that makes my job so rewarding and enjoyable.
Adopted Elation
So, when the Virginia Piper Trust Picturing Maricopa Grant came up last spring, it was a no-brainer for me to apply. By the time July, the slowest month of the year from my work, rolled around, I was making photographs at the Child Crisis Center in Mesa, my part of the Picturing Maricopa project. 
It was a challenging project that stretched my vision and made me work hard for every great image, whether sheltered kids could not be identifiable in the photo to adopted siblings who have settled very well into their new home. (we will not speak of enduring the heat with a broken A/C system in my truck!)
Playtime Princess
Recently the resulting exhibit opened at Burton Barr Library in Phoenix showing the results of hard work and vision of 15 talented local pros including four of my friends.

Sheltered Contentment
The exhibit was curated by Rebecca Senf
, Assistant Curator 
Center for Creative Photography at University of Arizona 
and Phoenix Museum of Art; Elizabeth (Betsy) Schneider
, Assistant Professor of Photography
 ASU Herberger Institute School of Art and Graphic Designer, Eddie Shea.