Saturday, February 6, 2010
On a cold day
January 29th was one of the coldest days in New York. It was the type of day that makes you want to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.
It was most definitely not the type of day when you want to hang out in Central Park. Standing still. Looking pretty.
And yet that is precisely what this young woman was doing.
While wearing a SHONA bag, you see. This young woman is named Vanessa. And that is all I can tell you about her. Because, believe it or not, I have never met her, or even spoken to her. She has never been to Congo, nor meet any of the SHONA craftswomen. And yet there she is doing a favor for women thousands of miles a way. Just because she wanted to.
And the truth is that there is another incredibly generous soul behind that camera. And talented. Have you ever tried taking pictures of people in the freezing cold? And getting them to smile?
I've met this photographer once. He has a full-time job, as a social worker. He has a wife and children and runs his own photography business on the side. And obviously he is a talented artist. But for reasons somewhat inexplicable to me, he read an ad I put on craigslist, asking for volunteers. And threw himself into SHONA.
This was his first SHONA shoot. Since then he has done two more. So stay tuned for more beautiful pictures from Jose Figueroa soon.
In the meantime I wanted to give a shout-out to all our friends out there. Without people like Jose and Vanessa, and many others of you, SHONA would be nowhere.
Many thanks also to Paul Stetzer who continues to help me improve our everyday product photos, the ones I take on a headless, legless mannequin. Trust me, it is quite a task. And he, like Jose, is a talented artist who has donated his own time, his own equipment and his own endless enthusiasm to the project. Many thanks to you all.