2016 Highlights: A Year In Review

 

Dear Friends and Supporters,

2016 has left us with many things for which we are thankful. Hard work and dedication towards making an impact on the lives of those we document shined through in the work that we highlighted this year. And, whether we all agree or disagree on the political or social issues that were heard, I am grateful that we have built a safe haven for these stories to be told. On every end of an issue there is someone longing to be understood.

WEED: The Story of Charlotte's Tangled Web

WEED: The Story of Charlotte's Tangled Web

For myself, WEED: The Story of Charlotte's Tangled Web, my work that focuses on those who are desperately in need of medical marijuana, the journey has been most humbling.  Amendment 2 passing in Florida for those that are undoubtedly suffering, has been hard to put into words. I am just proud to stand along-side the many individuals who have worked so hard fighting for this basic, human rights cause.

I would like to greatly thank the following publications for featuring this work, and helping me educate the public in the final days prior to the election. My goal was to have all ten of my families featured in a publication, and that goal was achieved. I would not have been able to reach so many individuals without all of their support. If you have not yet seen the articles, the links are posted below. I would like to give a huge thank you to Pierre Tristam of FlaglerLive for granting me the honor of writing the column for the paper.

Also, thank you to VISURA for allowing me to take over their Instagram account leading up to election day. And, to the Southeast Center of Photographic Studies for inviting me to speak at their alumni panel discussion event.

 

FlagerLive

Daytona News Journal (Front Page)

Artborne Magazine

Saint Augustine's The Record (Front Page)

(Slide through the images)

 

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At Taking Focus, we are very proud of our first year, Fiscal Sponsorship selected photographers. Teresa Meier's, Photosynthesis (now transitioning into Light Box Laboratories) had a very successful year. The program she developed, teaching photography as a form of therapy for under privileged, at risk teens, launched because of her dedication and determination to achieve what she had envisioned. Teresa had great community response, one of which resulted in a large donation given by the international advertising agency, Wienden+Kennedy. Their generous donation enabled Teresa to purchase six Nikon DSLR camera's for her students.  Local Portland, Oregon companies; Collage Art Supply and Pushdot Studios, made in-kind donations for the materials needed for her end of the program, celebratory, student exhibition that was kindly held and supported by the respected Newspace Center for Photography.

Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis

In 2017, we welcome Teresa as she continues on with our Fiscal Sponsorship Program, and as she wishes to move forward developing Light Box Laboratories. To read more in detail about her program that took place this past summer, please go to Light Box Laboratories website below.

Photosynthesis A Light Box Labratories Project

                                                                                                                 

Our second photographer, Jonathan DeCamps has been dedicated to his story from day one. Having come to us with Ghosts In America, Jonathan has been working tirelessly capturing and exhibiting portraits of undocumented immigrants. This is a project near and dear to his heart. Living in Miami, having migrated to the states from his homeland of Perú,  Jonathan can relate to those he photographs. He uses his camera to show his subjects accomplishments and fears, while cleverly shielding their faces, painted in Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead tradition- representing death and rebirth) in these staged portraits. Please continue to follow Jonathan in his advocacy, as we will too. We are grateful to have worked with such a passionate and talented photographer this year.

Jonathan De Camps Visual Arts

Ghosts In America

Ghosts In America

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Tomorrow Is Giving Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016, is #givingtuesday. Please consider donating to Taking Focus, INC. Your tax deductible donation will go to help further our future efforts. We are an organization that cares about those who live in our communities, and believe that through imagery we can bring people together through empathy, education, and understanding.