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In Rain We Shine- Spotlight

December 17, 2009

It may have been the rainiest day in Los Angeles, but a group of photographers and volunteers gave back with resilience and helped our guests shine with confidence and beauty. At first, there were a lot of unexpected things that came up that made me overlook that we were doing this for the pure sake of giving. So when the morning came and over 85 volunteers showed up wanting to help I couldn’t stop smiling. The families were going to get so much love from us, and that’s exactly what happened.

Over 40 individuals and families walked through the cafe doors and received so much attention that we might have looked a little strange, a bit unreal. Who would’ve thought that a large group of professional photographers would ever want to give their service for free?

There are so many stories to share of lives being touched. One of our volunteers went out on the street, met an older  homeless man, and brought him in for his first portrait ever.  Another guest of ours said these photos will be a gift to her sons, because they haven’t seen her sober for years and these photos reflect that she’s been sober for 10 months now. What a celebration that is and what a way to give meaning to photography!

Other than receiving beautiful portraits many of our guests found meaningful encounters at our event. The encouragement and positivity filled the room with so much warmth that we couldn’t help but enjoy ourselves. I’m also speaking about our own volunteers who grew from this experience, who worked side-by-side with their competition with the same goal to give without expecting anything back.

I must give special thanks to Ketchum (Christina, Amelia, & Spencer) and Kodak for their generosity in providing a printing kiosk for us. Also, to the Global Cafe (you rock, Dane!) for graciously giving us their venue. We were able to set up 6 professional studios, an arts & crafts table, free books, free refreshments, and free make-up service. Thank you to Torn-up-Tees for their creative and hardworking hands in creating new shirts with old shirts. Of course, it’s apparent to thank Jeremy Cowart and his incredible team (Kyle and Annie) for sharing this vision and pushing for it to be recognized worldwide. Good gosh, CNN covered it!

Lastly, thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who staffed our event. We needed tents. We got tents. We needed MUA’s. We got them. We needed a documentary team. They came. We needed food. It came aplenty! You get the point. I have to point out that there was so much talent at our event that you wouldn’t have realized who was standing next to you, because everyone was so humble.

Much love to everyone who participated. I learned so much and am very grateful for ending the year on such a good note that I got to share with others.

Check out the videos below. The first is my perspective from the day and the second is from a volunteer on our documentary team. Also, much props to Joel Llacer who gave me permission to use awesome photos on my blog.

Did I give you warm fuzzies, get you excited? You should join us next time. We’ve got big plans and big dreamers:

This is maybe half of our volunteers!

My perspective from the day

Paul made this great video. There are still interviews and more footage to share later on.

The Global Cafe graciously donated their venue for our big event! Thank you!

Joel got some great shots of my love graffiti that I had posted throughout the cafe

Frank was at one of the 6 stations who photographed and helped families select their favorite images

Ketchum and Kodak came together to provide our own kiosk so we can give free prints on-site to our families

Two of our volunteers, Liz and Kenny, promoting our event on Venutra Blvd. They pulled in
at least 7 strangers within an hour on the street!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2009 6:43 am

    again THANK YOU jen & everyone else. you guys ROCKED it!

  2. December 17, 2009 1:38 pm

    Jenmay: It was an honor to be part of this awesome event! I cannot wait for the next one. Thank you for posting some of my favorite shots!
    Beautiful beautiful videos! It really sums up our day.

  3. December 19, 2009 4:42 am

    Great stuff Jen May!! Glad to have been and to be a part of it.

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