Over the last two years, homelessness among women has gone up 22 percent, and at the same time government funding for long-term beds has gone down, and created a huge crisis.” – LifeChange for Women and Their Children
Not long ago, I had the sincere honor of spending some time with my dear friend Stacy – the marketing director of Portland’s Union Gospel Mission. For the past year, Stacy and her team have toiled over finding a building and creating the infrastructure for the many homeless women and children served by the Mission.
The Mission’s new LifeChange Center for Women and Their Children opened its doors officially on Sunday, March 2. A few days prior to the big event, I was allowed to spend time touring and capturing the facility, as well as some of its wonderful new residents.
To say that the experience these residents are sharing is life-altering is such an understatement. Just prior to the holidays, one woman and her children – including a child with severe asthma – resorted to living in a cold garage. Now they have a home, warm food, a lovely and loving community to call their own. And it’s all thanks to the Mission staff and volunteers’ INCREDIBLY hard work.
If you have a moment, I do ask that you visit the Mission’s site, and consider donating. The new Center needs everything: food, clothing, books, toys, home goods — you name it. I mean, just look at these faces! They deserve a wonderful place to live!
The only thing more dangerous than setting me loose in a beautiful and creative setting is to set me loose with someone whose creativity completely eclipses my own. Kelly, one of my Class of 2015 West Linn Reps, is such a gifted artist that all I had to do was suggest a few locations, and let her do the rest.
We started our day at Bellamy Studios – a wonderful art studio in Multnomah where you can create art by the hour, with access to phenomenal supplies. I told Kelly just to play and see what she could do while we were there; yeah, she ended up creating a masterpiece. Seriously! Look at that talent!
From there we headed downtown and just explored and played with the amazing colors our city has to offer. Honestly, were it not for the fact that we were freezing after two hours of shooting, we would have kept going. I’m so thrilled that in addition to being a positively stunning model (who looks just like a brunette Scarlett Johansson, I swear), she’s also a great adventurer. Thanks for being such a fun shooting partner, Kelly – it was an awesome day!
3/4/14 Addendum: I just saw that today’s I Heart Faces challenge was to post “Smiles.” Um .. Seriously? As if there is any question that Kelly’s smile is nothing short of show-stopping. It’s so hard to choose a favorite – but I’m giving it a go!
In the world of senior photography, I think the guys get slighted a lot. The girls all get their flowers and their fashion and the focus, but the guys are left with … what? Since I have a (rather awesome) soon-to-be-senior son, I’ve started putting a lot more time into finding ways to photograph senior guys so they get the spotlight they deserve.
Tyler is one of those guys. I’ve known this great young man for a few years, thanks to my son, and I was able to
cajole bribe threaten convince him to model for me. He may have been reluctant for a moment, but once he warmed up (well, as much as one can warm up in the snow) he we fell into the process pretty seamlessly.
Guys, you’re only a senior once! Let’s make sure you get a few great shots and have fun in the process … Photos don’t have to be painful. I promise!