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Meet the Faces :: Kate Gazaway with Picture Change

Oct 18

 

I’m starting up my “Meet the Faces” series again ( click here for past “Meet the Faces” entries), and excited to highlight the interesting and inspiring people I come across and sharing a bit about them and what makes them tick.  So here we go.

Meet Kate.  I met Kate at a photojournalism conference 6 years ago in Fort Worth, Texas. That was the weekend that I had decided that I wanted to do photography as my full time passion and career. I remember having conversations with Kate about how we want to use photography to advocate for those who do not have a voice.  We have gone our separate ways but stayed in touch through Facebook and Instagram {she has the best instagram photos I might add!} and I have loved seeing how she has used her photography to help others in whatever ways she can.   When she started Picture Change and I learned about their vision and goals – I knew I’d love to come alongside her one day because I believe in what she is doing.  I hope to do another post on Kate specifically, but today I’d love to share with you Kate’s Passion : : Picture Change.

From Picture Change website’s “About” section:

How do we picture change?

  1. Partnering for the long-term. Partner with an organization already established in the community.
  2. Use cameras to teach basic photography skills. Students also write about themselves, their families, communities, fears, dreams, etc. Art is often lost in the struggle to survive, and for many students this is a way to cope and express themselves in the midst of these hardships.
  3. Give back to the community. Our students are the photographers and assistants for a community-wide photo shoot by providing portrait sessions to those who would like them. This empowers them with the opportunity to help their family and community in a unique way. Hundreds of families get their printed photographs, some for the first time ever.
  4. We put on a gallery show and we do it right: photography, food, decorations, music, the works. We even had a herd of pigs run through (unintentionally) at our last show in Nicaragua. The purpose is to give the students and their families a public, tangible event to be proud of and give the community a show to remember. Everyone needs to be celebrated.
  5. Sustainability. They keep it all. All of the photography equipment is entrusted to the partnering organization and student-leaders are trained to maintain the program and continue photography in the community. We also create social media pages which the students maintain (as long as internet is available) such as Facebook or Twitter for their photography so they can connect and share their work and their voice with the world.

PICTURE CHANGE SEEKS TO EMPOWER WOMEN AND CHILDREN TO DISCOVER INNATE CREATIVITY, DEVELOP SELF-CONFIDENCE, AND PICTURE CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES AND THEIR COMMUNITY THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY.

 

I had the opportunity to reconnect with Kate in Nashville last week and I learned that she is going on another trip back to Nicaragua.

Here’s a bit about the trip (News Section of Picture Change Website):

“In November, we are setting out on another Picture Change project with a videographer and six of our original students from Padre Ramos, Nicaragua. We will continue on the photographic foundation that was started in 2011. They will be taught in-depth documentary photography and video skills before embarking on a 2-week journey to discover their native Nicaragua from an entirely new perspective. Our students have barely been outside their own village and would be seeing their country for the first time. They will be interviewing and documenting the culture, lives, struggles, and joys of their countrymen – telling these stories as they intertwine with their own. Simultaneously, the videographer and Picture Change founder Kate Gazaway will be documenting the students on this journey.”

So much of me wishes I could buy a ticket right now and join her team – working with these students as they learn about their country and tell the story of Nicaragua through their eyes.  But since I can’t go this time around, (one day!)  I knew this was my opportunity to help in a more substantial way.  In the moving process I’ve been going through my old equipment and found my first DSLR Camera – yup..the Nikon D300.  I knew exactly where it needed to go.

It stings a bit to donate my first camera as I think about all the photos I took and adventures we had (me and my camera that is), but my excitement far outweighs the sting.   This camera is about to go see Nicaragua through a local students’ eye – which is far better than its current state of collecting dust.

 

So I write this because I want you to check out Picture Change!  It’s an organization worth knowing about and for you photographers out there…if you have a camera collecting dust – here is an awesome opportunity to put that camera in the hands of an organization that will use it to bless others.

This documentary on Nicaragua will be incredible and Kate leaves November 1st! For more information on the trip and donating financially or camera equipment  – go to: http://picture-change.org/native-eyes/. Plus – if you donate today, an anonymous donor will match any donation up to $250!

Here is what they need:

  • DSLRs (any brand, though we have mostly Canon products)
  • iPhones or iPod touches: we will be creating social media pages for Individual students to update & communicate with the world as we travel
  • Digital point and shoot cameras over 5megapixels
  • Flip cam- type cameras for recording video
  • Audio gear for doing interview and capturing sound (camera mount mic, lapel mic, etc.)
  • MacBook Air
  • Protective camera bags
  • Batteries and chargers
  • Memory cards (SD and CF)

Photo Credit: Picture Change

 

I cant wait to hear about the trip and to see the photos they capture!

Happy Friday!

 

comments +

  1. Whitney Lane says:

    Love this idea. My husband and I used to live in Nicaragua doing full time volunteer work and we plan to move back their eventually. I would love you to keep me posted on this and get involved eventually

  2. Ray Urner says:

    Looks like such a wicked program. Much respect.

  3. Wow! Such a great program! thanks for sharing.

  4. Jamie Bodo says:

    Oh wow, this is so sweet! It’s so nice you’re doing this!

  5. I love that you are doing this:)

  6. This project is really inspiring and very rewarding. Well done. I am eager to learn more about Picture Change. Photographers should contribute with generous donations.

  7. […] Meet the Faces project again. Not sure why.  (To see past Meet the Faces posts, click here and here.)  I’ve always loved the conversations that the project has led to and I knew it’d be […]

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