The talented Alana Casner, Director of Creative Content for Adorama TV, produced this piece. She asks about my start in photography, as well as my progression to where I am now. But much of this piece is about my focus on art and activism – and my take on the impact photography, video and social outreach can have when it comes to creating real change in the world.
This Spotlight film incorporates footage of me photographing a multitude of portraits in Ethiopia while building another portrait gallery for Kidane Mehret orphanage in Addis Ababa. I love seeing all those little faces in action. In addition to work I have done for Beautiful Together, I also care rather deeply about animal rights. I’ve been able to showcase some of that here on this blog, like the week-long sample of plant-based meal ideas I’d posted. So when the Adorama creative team asked me about other work that I would love to profile, I knew right away what that would be. I asked if they would be up for filming at an animal sanctuary, somewhere I have always wanted to shoot. They were immediately on board.
I flew to Manhattan, rented a car and we all drove about 90 minutes north to Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. We met up with a few other friends along the way, like Becky Brooks, with Animoto, Sarah Gross, head of the NYC Vegetarian Festival and Rescue Chocolate (sold at Coco Bean Cafe!) and Rachel Atcheson, the liaison for animal welfare for Bill de Blasio / the NYC Mayor’s Office. In addition to the video team, we were also joined by my whole family, since they were all quite excited about spending time with the animals. Much of the spotlight video shown in the piece was filmed while we were there, and it was truly a wonderful experience photographing such a wide variety of animals who had arrived at the sanctuary from significantly abusive and neglectful situation but were now, happily, absolutely thriving. The experience was actually so impactful that we filmed a whole separate piece while we were there, a standalone video on the sanctuary, as well as my suggestions on how to photograph subjects more creatively in restrictive conditions. That piece will be coming next.
But, for now, here is the new Spotlight – and a variety of species’ worth of gorgeous subjects.