giving back

Volunteering and the ASPP

It is seldom that we get an opportunity to really truly effect change or make a difference. Time is limited, agendas and motives are clouded, volunteering means meetings, and commitments and calling in favors and pushing..and pushing.

This morning, I was looking at the new issue of TPP, the flagship publication for the ASPP, the trade association for picture professionals. It is so well done. That cover story on Kirsty Mitchell and her lush, dense imagery is intoxicating. You can almost smell the perfume of the blossoms in her ‘Wonderland’. Then, right after that, the spare, arresting ‘Muchloved’ series by Mark Nixon, showcasing his pictures of cherished stuffed animals. The successful juxtaposition of the two and general excellence of this issue is testament to the skills and dedication of Art Director Mariana Ochs and Editor April Wolfe, our Executive Director Sam Merrell and a whole host of writers, contributors and photographers – mostly volunteers.

How many people will get to enjoy the magazine and be introduced and caught up to date on the world of the picture professional?

Not enough.

I am  the National Secretary for the organization, taking and transcribing minutes and working with our tireless and talented board to figure out how to continue to be relevant, how to recruit new members to not only write a check but to dive in and get involved. Its tough right now with the business shifting away from print and the economy still in recovery, but there is wonderful programming going on around the country, mega benefits for members(helped me get this shiny new MacBook Pro), job boards(I have gotten gigs there) and opportunities to meet colleagues and have a voice(I like that part..having a voice).  Headed to our annual meeting in a couple weeks in New York, I will join the board and Chapter leaders from around the country and we will work together in person and remotely to lay out our strategy for the next year. We are bringing in experts and industry leaders to advise and to help us lay out a roadmap that we can follow, picking up passengers as we go along.

I want a lot more people to get to see this issue of TPP and the next and the next. So I will write my check, block out my schedule and probably talk to you about the ASPP the next time I see you. It will be a great conversation, I promise.





The Crack

Years ago, a friend gave me a copy of ‘The Crack, A Year in Belfast” by Sally Belfrage. With a strong and pure voice, Ms. Belfrage wrote about the ‘Troubles’ through interviews with women Protestant and Catholic who brought home the bleak horror of living in a war zone and the price exacted no matter where or how one prays. Those stories left me with a bitter taste in my mouth that has only worsened as the human race cries amnesia and repeats age old cycles

Today, my friend and colleague Julie Grahame, AKA ACurator( gave me a heads up on a project by photojournalist Marissa Roth, an upcoming show at the Museum of Tolerance that is the culmination of a decades long journey into war from the perspective of women round the world – from Cambodia to Northern Ireland to the USofA: One Person Crying: Women and War.

She needs a bit of help to finish mounting the exhibition, so give a sister a hand, huh?

Kickstarter is making it easy:

Thanks…oh and if you find a copy of ‘The Crack’, let me know, ok? I lent mine out years ago and its out of print. Would really like to revisit it.

Of Silent Auctions, Saturday Nights and the Gulf of Mexico

I will bet that on Saturday, October 23rd throughout the course of the day, we will all spend $25.00 on entertainment, dining, holiday shopping (uh, yes…its getting to be that time of year…). In view of this, NEAT has a suggestion:

This is the only place  we can think of where your 25 bucks will provide an evening with amazing food, drink, the opportunity to bid on an amazing array of goodies (Need a new flatscreen tv? How about a site from livebooks? career coaching? Gorgeous prints from acclaimed photographers?) with all proceeds going to support the NWF and their work in the Gulf Cleanup.

You can get your tickets and more info at the ASPP site. You can still donate items too. You just can’t bid against me, I mean NEAT.

Six Months On…

We got a great note today from the folks at PIH – wanted to share it and give a shout out to the ongoing work they are doing…After the media leaves, after the volunteers have to go back to their lives. Partners in Health are still working hard to rebuild – Take a look.

Dear Ellen and Barbara,

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful story with Partners In Health on the 6-month anniversary of the devastating earthquake that ripped through Haiti.  PIH relies on communities of supporters, like yourself, to raise awareness about PIH and to continue to grow the global health and social justice movement.

Coordinating, setting up, and running a photo shoot is such a large undertaking and a truly unique fundraising idea. “Headshots for Haiti” sounds like it was a wonderful way for involving people from all walks of life in your community in a really fun, enjoyable experience while increasing awareness for an incredible cause. It’s really great to hear such success stories from supporters who are able to employ their passion into raising awareness. Thank you so much for your commitment and dedication.


Ashley Ahlholm

Partners In Health

Hey, Ashley – Thank YOU and all at PIH!


We first met Elizabeth Huston at the Rose Bowl, where we discovered her photography and her books, indulging our Gothic Southern selves with Sacred, an evocative and respectful collection of infrared imagery from New Orleans funerary grounds.

Elizabeth’s newest venture is a lovely new magazine (remember those?) celebrating creative photography: Photomonium. Issue 01 showcases the work of six artists and the pictures they make with their iPhones – iphoneography. The editing and layout has a distinct curatorial feel and is a delight to dip into on a summer afternoon.

Plus, she wins points for donating $1 from every copy to Oxfam, the sure sign of a NEAT darling. Can’t wait to see the next issue!

Creativity For A Cause

NEAT is preparing to cast talent who will donate their time and talents for the Compassionate Eye Foundation, a non-profit organization that allows creative people to produce stock photography whose sales through Getty Images benefit developing communities.  We were recently delighted to come across this image used by Citibank from the stock shoot at Air Hollywood, (starring ASPP’s National President Michael Masterson!) from last year’s Summer Solstice CEF photo shoot.

Interested in donating your modeling skills for a good cause? Drop us an email and we’ll send you details!

The characters behind Headshots for Haiti…as interpreted by Simon Herbert

NEAT would like to thank our fabulous crew of volunteers, including the many more who can be seen here! Together we raised almost $5000 for Partners in Health.

NEAT is inspired!

Our friends, colleagues,sponsors, community…everyone is coming out AND we have raised thousands so far for Stand with Haiti – Hope to see you too. Going to be an amazing day!

Kick off 2010

(c) Peter Bohler

Finding ourselves in a new year and with a slate of new projects, NEAT kicked off several initiatives with photographer Peter Bohler and breakfast of champions.

Steamed Kale

Poached Eggs

Veggie sausage patties

Mini Wheat bagels( too cute)

Fresh OJ


Rugula – chocolate and raspberry

It also happens that we are almost in the Year of the Tiger –

marked by bravery and bold moves. NEAT salutes the Haiti relief initiatives

in place and has their own in the works – NEAT style.

What are you doing February 15th?

Come out and join NEAT and a few of our closest friends – everyone needs a new headshot!