Tag Archives: philippines

Pennies Add Up

6 Feb
Winter Sunrise

Winter Sunrise

Winter is fully upon us, and life has been 100% getting in the way of shooting.  I am actually planning, weather permitting, to finally get out and shoot today.  Forecast?…more snow photos are in your future. haha

Care

In the meantime, I’ve spent my time editing my photos from Peru, trying to finish up that folder so I can make some use of the images I shot.  At the moment, my plan is to submit them for publication….so you can’t see most of them yet. haha  But trust me, they are awesome.

I’ve also spent some time “house keeping”, so to speak.  I’ve had a lot of little things to do, and no time to do them.  One of those many things was making a donation to CARE.org….YOUR donation, in fact.  For those of you who spent a little time shopping in my store…well, clap yourselves on the back.  You did a great thing.  Not only did you get something purty to hang on your wall (or an awesome mug to drink out of, or a card for your friends…etc) but you made a difference in someone’s life.

Karma points, in da bank!

So, many thanks to all of you for helping me make the goal of a donation to the Philippines a reality.  I could not possibly have done so without your support.  You Rock!

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read up on the project here.  Also, if you haven’t already done so, please follow me on my FB page, where you can timely updates on the things happening with SSP….the movin’ and the shakin’.

xoxo

Shannon

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Shooting With Purpose

17 Dec
Snow Bound

Snow Bound

I’m going to start this photo blog post out with a horse reference…  Makes perfect sense, right?

Picture yourself walking on an idyllic horse farm in Kentucky.  Crisp white board fences, manicured fields and paths, and running around inside those fences is a group of young race horses.  (Thoroughbreds, for those of you in the know.) They’re delicate, yet powerful.  Their hair shines in the sun and a cool breeze lifts their manes and tails, so they float in the air, giving the horses an air of magic.  One of them lifts his chiseled face from the grass and looks your way, and you almost drown in the liquid softness of his eyes.  That kind of horse makes a statement.

Now, picture yourself on a farm wading through ankle deep mud and a cloud of black flies.  To your left is a red, dilapidated barn, the paint is peeling and the roof is caving in.  To your right is a huge, clunky beast – a draft horse – standing 1.5 times taller than you, with dinner plates for feet and a matted, tangled mane and clipped off tail.  He is powerful, my god is he powerful, but refined…no?  Elegant?  Absolutely not.  Then again, he doesn’t need to be.  He wasn’t bred for speed or beauty (though I suppose it’s in the eye of the beholder).  He was bred to work.

Two very different animals, the Thoroughbred and the draft horse, but both serve a purpose.

In photo-land, you also have your statement shots and you have your work horse shots.  Your statement shots are the one that catch people’s eye, that whisper to their soul (hopefully whispering, “Buy me”) and help you build your brand.  On the other hand, your work horse shots are meant to build your wallet.  They are the images you take with a purpose in mind, to license, to use in products, marketing, etc etc.  The photo at the top of the post, that’s a work horse.

Currently, I have an online store and a a series of free images available on my Facebook page, and when I’m out shooting, those projects are always at the back of my mind.

Free Facebook Banner - Autumn Reflections

Free Facebook Banner – Autumn Reflections

This photo – taken in October in Granby, CT – is one of many, many work horse images in my portfolio.  When I took it, I knew the sky was a bit lackluster, but the crisp reflection in the swampy water were stunning.  (That’s all part of training your eyes to see the beauty in a scene, even if the scene as a whole isn’t breath-taking.)  Now, over the last few years, I’ve put together a series of banners for anyone who follows my FB page *hint hint*, which only utilize a narrow band within the image.  That made this autumn photo a prime candidate for one of my freebies.

As for the winter scene at the top?  That is already getting a lot of mileage.  When I went out shooting that snowy day, I knew I needed more winter scene images to put together “holiday products” for the store.  Know of any ladies looking for a pretty new wristlet? 😉

Wristlet - www.zazzle.com/skalahan

Wristlet – http://www.zazzle.com/skalahan

UPDATES!

The fundraiser for the typhoon victims is done!  Many thanks for everyone who helped by spreading the word, making a purchase, or donating directly to your relief organization of choice!  Also a big thanks to all of the small businesses who added their own donations to the pot.  There is strength in numbers, and I’m so proud to be a part of community efforts like this.

Also, if you’re interested in joining our fun little Winter Photo Challenge, email me your final photo by December 21!  Hope you can join us!

Finding Balance

19 Nov
Wild and Free

Wild and Free

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” -Henry David Thoreau

That quote by Thoreau really struck me.  It was an eloquent reminder to be a “smart shopper” and to invest in the things that matter.  Sometimes, taking a break to appreciate the beautiful chaos of nature is the most therapeutic thing we can do.  Find time for the things that make you happy. Appreciate, be grateful, smile, laugh and love. ❤

FUNDRAISER UPDATE

As you all know, I’m running a fundraiser for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. (50% of profits from sales through December 15, go here: www.zazzle.com/skalahan) Turns out, zazzle is also running a deal through 11/21 (sorry, I know, not much notice)…use the code HOLIDAYCOUNT for up to 60% off! And I’m pretty sure it is on the production end, not mine, so the donation to the Filipinos will be the same!

Be The Change…

13 Nov
Gray's Beach - Infinity

Gray’s Beach – Infinity

Typhoon Haiyan left much of the Philippines in ruins.  The death toll estimates are staggering, and the numbers are astronomical.

What numbers?

According to CARE.ORG:
11.3 million people affected
673,000 people displaced
300,000 of those people are without shelter
No electricity, no water, no food

Often, when it’s not in our backyard, it’s hard to empathize with someone else’s tragedy. It’s easy to turn a blind eye, to say it’s not my problem.  There is always a tragedy.  There is always someone who needs our money.  What about us, we’re struggling too, invest in the US.  And besides, the holidays are here.  I need to budget for presents, and turkeys and such.

Believe me, I helped run a non-profit, I know the drill.

I remember a few years back when we got hit with “Snow-Tober”, as we liked to call it.  Much of New England was out of power for a week, and it was difficult.  We were cold, many people were cranky, AND WE STILL HAD OUR HOMES.  We still had food, we still had water, and if you were lucky, you still had gas for your car, places you could shower, places you could warm up.

The victims of this typhoon have only destruction.

When I saw the photos, it affected me.  I asked myself what I could do to help.  Like everyone else, I live paycheck to paycheck and due to a few personal emergencies lately, my savings is depleted.  But one of my all time favorite quotes…well…paraphrases (research it, it’s a good passage) is: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Yesterday, I stumbled upon www.photocircle.net, which is a printer out of Germany and Hengki Koentjoro’s pledge to donate 50% of his profits from photo sales to CARE.ORG, which would in turn help the victims of the typhoon.  I immediately went to the website to buy a print.  Turns out international shipping is over $100, which I couldn’t afford, and if I could, would rather donate it as a lump sum to relief organizations.

Next, I sent off a few emails to see if there were American alternatives for this project.  BUST!

So finally, I decided to see if I could make some of this happen myself.  Last night I spent some time updating my site, and I WILL DONATE 50% of my profits on every sale through my online store between now and December 15th.  Specifically, I posted several new prints, which can be upgraded to canvas and/or framed.  Just hit the “customize it” button.  According to PhotoCircle.net, it takes about$130 to give emergency relief to a family for a month.  That is my goal.  At least $130.

Store

The money will go to www.care.org/emergencies/typhoon-haiyan.  I chose CARE.ORG over the Red Cross, only because the margin was slightly better…less cost per dollar to fundraise.  To see those numbers, go here:   www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3568

Furthermore, I’ve asked other artists and small businesses to do the same!  If you need to buy presents for the holidays, but want to help, you don’t have to choose.  You can do both!  So far, my friends at Where to Willie PhotographyPrint Therapy, Fat Frog Photography, Jeremy Fulton Photography and Unbridled Bead Design have agreed to also donate a portion of their profits to relief efforts.

If you are an artist or small business owner and want to help, just let me know and I will add you to the list and put your link on my site. You can contact me at seespotsphoto@yahoo.com

For those of you who would rather just donate directly to relief efforts, I urge you to do so!  This isn’t about us as small businesses.  This is about helping our fellow humans.  Find a charity you are comfortable working with, and give.  I guarantee you will change someone’s life, and in the process, change your own.

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST. WITH YOUR HELP, WE CAN BE THE CHANGE. SPREAD THE WORD, LET’S GET THE PHILIPPINES THE HELP IT NEEDS!