What did I do in Ethiopia? Here is the background:
In the late 50’s a small group of European missionaries and medical workers purchased a small plot of land by the Ethiopian government in order to start a farm and rehabilitation center for leprosy victims. The community started with just a few families but quickly grew to several thousand individuals that traveled from all over the country. The villagers named the community Addis Hiwot “New Life”. There was tef, corn, wheat and beans grown on 300 hectares and employment opportunities offered to the villagers despite their handicaps caused by the leprosy.
In 1974 a Marxist regime forcefully seized power and the foreign workers were expelled, the water, electricity and any funding was cut off. The villagers were left with arid land and very little means of survival.
The story is pretty bleak but there is some hope. With the introduction of Multi Drug Treatment, leprosy is a curable disease and there are organizations and individuals (American Leprosy Mission, Compassion, etc.) supporting the community. Even with this support many people live in dire poverty and can often not afford even the simplest treatment.
I traveled to Addis Hiwot with Aboye Wanore who himself was inflicted with leprosy at an early age. He told me the story how as a small child, he was carried for a long distance until they reached a road leding to Addis Ababa where here received treatment at ALERT leprosy hospital. After treatment he was moved to Addis Hiwot where he lived for over twenty years.
Click the image above for a quick slide show.
Last summer I photographed Jeffrey and Venessa’s wedding in the Hamptons and a few weeks ago Venessa wrote to tell me that she had put together their own wedding book from blurb.com. I loved the design she came up with.
You can see samples of their book on her blog mission: HAPPY
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ENTRY.
Adorama recently introduced a really cool new photo book. The pages are printed on real photographic paper and then coated for protection. The binding allows the pages to lay flat which means that you can create double-page panorama spreads.
Creating your design is super easy by simply dragging and dropping your images on to a variety of templates through their website. You can also customize your designs in Photoshop and other image editing software.
The best part? The albums start at $20 and goes up to $74 for the large 8×12, 50 page book!
If I am allowed to make a prediction I think that self publishing is only going to grow and more and more exciting options is going to pop up all over the place. The old way in which photographers sell large leather bound albums for thousands of dollars will still have a niche market but the options for the consumers will certainly increase and challenge the way that photographers market their album products.
I have a feeling that many photographers might not appreciate me highlighting the many options available directly to the consumers, (at a huge loss to the photographer) but this is a trend that will continue to grow and we will have to adapt and rethink the old business approach.
If you have any other ideas for self publishing photo books I would love to hear from you.
Two more faces from the Addis Hiwot leprosy village in Ethiopia.
“Green Wedding” by Mireya Navarro features (besides a number of my images) some very informative and useful information for couples wanting to go green.
The good people at Stewart, Tabori & Chang sent me a copy and I have been pouring over the arguments and tips put fourth by Navarro. The first question that came to my mind was why does it matter? How can a wedding celebration make a difference?
“The United States produces twice or more the amount of carbon dioxide emissions per person than most countries. Anything each of us can do to shrink this country’s size 11 carbon footprint, compared to most of the world’s size 5, would help.”
That answers the “why?” question and she goes on to make another point that carries a higher moral significance and infuses an element of meaning to any celebration.
…”your wedding can be more than a one-time fantasy. It’s an occasion to put on display your values and your commitment to a lifestyle that says the future can be brighter if we take personal responsibility for change.” …”the green wedding makes a statement that will resonate long after your vows.”
Being conscious of the environmental impact does not make your wedding any less elegant, on the contrary, it reflects your personal conviction and makes your celebration all the more meaningful.
This book is jam packed with many useful hints and steps that will greatly inspire any reader in their wedding planning. The book is also beautifully designed with great photography from real-life weddings. (I am not trying to brag or toot my own horn here. No, actually I am. Shamelessly.)
Read this book and get inspired! As a matter of fact, I think that this book makes such a great statement that I will give away my copy to anyone planning a “green” wedding. The first person to email or call me and ask for a copy will get it. Current clients, past clients, no clients… anyone with a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint go ahead and contact me for a free copy.
“The United States produces twice or more the amount of carbon dioxide emissions per person than most countries.”
Now, that is just downright embarrassing! Time to change that.
For all those that contacted me in the last few weeks and waited long for a response I want to apologize. I have been traveling and working on two assignments in Ethiopia but will make sure to respond to any inquires within the next few days.
More information and images from my work in Ethiopia will soon follow.