Habitat for Humanity Notes for Homes Gala
Notes for Homes 2017
A couple weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph the Notes for Homes Gala sponsored by the Habitat for Humanity. This was a pro bono project I undertook as an ongoing effort to use my talents to give back to the community.
Many of the business and entrepreneur podcasts I listen to strongly encourage charitable work as a way to strengthen the community around you. I strongly believe that by using your skills and talents to benefit these types of organizations, you will find more purpose and fulfillment in your work.
Now, I'm not really an event photographer. I don't shoot weddings or receptions so my skill level in this area isn't very high. I'm sure there are plenty of visible mistakes that could be pointed out by a more seasoned professional. My skills really lie in real estate photography, shooting interiors and exteriors. However, I had an absolute blast at this event. There were so many people there who were giving of their time, talents, and money to help build new homes for deserving families.
The Habitat for Humanity announced that for the first time in it's history, enough money was raised to build 3 homes for 3 families in 2017. Thanks to the proceeds from the new ReStore in Ogden and the many generous donations from the community, 3 families will be able to start new lives in a modest yet comfortable new home.
They told the stories from 2 of the families who will be given new homes this year. One is of a father who is a wounded war veteran. He sold his house and all his belongings so his mother could keep her home. He lives in a small trailer in her back yard to keep an eye on her and help out. His kids live in another state, unable to be with him. He recently lost his job and is going back to school to develop new skills so he can re-enter the workforce. He makes handcrafted knives in his spare time.
The second family consists of a mother of 2 girls. They have been through a rough marriage, a rough divorce, and a rough life. The teenage daughter is currently on track to become valedictorian and is preparing herself to apply for an MIT scholarship. They are living in a moldy basement apartment with wet carpet and no heat because the landlord is making no efforts towards a livable space. The HVAC doesn't work, the storm drain is clogged, and the stove isn't grounded so they get shocked when they try to cook food. The mother is working 2 jobs to pay off old debts so she can start saving for her daughter's college tuition. As the host was sharing this family's story there wasn't a dry eye in the entire ballroom. Even the photographer was crying as he captured a few beautiful images.
Going into this project, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it or not. I'm really not the kind of guy to get in people's faces with a camera. I tried my best to blend in and not be that obnoxious guy with a camera. It was my constant fear that people were annoyed by the photographer taking everyone's picture when they were just trying to have a good time. However, I feel that most people were able to socialize without much interference from me.
I had more fun this evening than I've had on a photography project in a long time and the organizers invited me back for another event in the spring time. I am expanding my search for other non-profit and charity organizations that need professional photography but can't afford it.
To see the full gallery of images, go to the Habitat for Humanity Weber/Davis website here.
Keywords: charity, habitat for humanity, notes for homes, photography business, salt lake city real estate photographer
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