…and of course it’s in bookstores now, so you can find it wherever cool books on Lightroom are sold.
I hope you’ll give it a look – I went really in-depth on the book, and I think it’s going to help a lot of people.
Just 12 days to my9th AnnualWorldwide Photo Walk If you haven’t signed up for a walk, – now’s the time – we have over 1,000 photo walks in cities all around the world. Come sign up (it’s free, and open to everybody!).
New this year: the “Video Shot During the Photo Walk” competition And our awesome sponsor, Canon USA, has put together an amazing prize for the winner of this category — They are giving away a Canon Video Creator Kit (seen above), to the best video submitted from the walk (the video has to be created during the official photo walk). The kit includes the new Canon EOS 80D Body; their new 18-135mm lens; a Canon Power Zoom Adapter; RODE VideoMic Go; a 32G SD Card, and all the other goodies (battery, charger, strap, etc.).
What could be a better start for your week than helping some Orphans? We’re at about 25% of our donation goal, but you can get us a lot closer. Here’s the link to donate to the Springs of Hope Orphanage (built with the help of donations from people who read this blog, and who participate in the Worldwide Photo Walk each year). Thank you in advance for having a giving heart.
This event has become crucial for SOHK and our children. Those that participate and donate help us provide the necessities that every child deserves: food, shelter, and an education. But, most importantly, the Photo Walk gives us the means to move forward in our endeavors to grow and care for the children of Kenya. The Photo Walk also provides children with security, self-esteem, and a place to call home—a place to love and be loved; a place where they don’t have to worry about where they will sleep at night, or if they will eat, or if they will survive this life at all. Through you, they now have a place where dreams don’t have to die, but where they are nurtured; a place where these children won’t be a statistic, but where they will know a future and most of all, hope.
I moved to Kenya in 2008 to start this adventure. Our dream of starting a children’s home in Kenya had finally come to fruition. But, I soon learned that this dream would bring with it many heartaches and difficulties, and it was not going to be easy. These demands took a toll on me, and forced me to rethink my vision of doing this with my husband and family. I eventually realized I was going to be doing this on my own.
I wasn’t aware of the depths of the issues I would be dealing with — I guess I naively thought we would have all these sweet children who no one wanted, and that we could make it all the better for them. Little did I know that I would be dealing with not only orphans, but also children who had been abandoned and brutalized — physically, emotionally, and sexually. Some issues I had only read about in the newspapers; problems that happen to “other people,” not to people I know and not to children. I didn’t know that these issues would become commonplace for me. I did not think about all the death I would see and experience, or that I would see children that I’d grown to care for and love die before my eyes—something you can never get accustomed to.
I realized these children come with emotional and psychological scars that need to be addressed, and they would need healing. I have found out that cute little street boys grow up and can turn into angry young men, and they need counseling and healing. I know now that these children have been hurt deeply — some have been tossed away like rubbish their entire lives. They have had no love or guidance by a parental figure, man or woman. These children have been failed in every way imaginable. These are young people who have been fending for themselves and looking for someone or something to hold on to all of their lives. I did not know that that person would be me.
I am happy to say that we have worked hard, and through experience SOHK has become a place that with love, care, professional counseling, and encouragement we are turning the tides for these children. We diligently work hard to reunite children with extended family members within healthy home situations, so that these children can have real family experiences to thrive and grow. Some of our children have found forever families through adoption, but in many situations, this is not an option.
Many cannot be reunited or adopted, and that is when we step in and be the family they so desperately need. We have so many success stories, like Dennis and Anthony, who had no future but the streets or death. Maliaka Faith came to us malnourished and we later found out needed two major heart surgeries. Grace and Alex, whose mother died tragically, had nowhere to go. Sometimes I fear to think of where these children would be, or if they would even be alive, if it were not for SOHK and people like you supporting us through the Photo Walk.
Springs of Hope Kenya is not only a home to all of these beautiful children, it is a beacon of hope and opportunity in our community. We employ more than 50 people, which helps the people in our community support themselves and their families, and enables them to educate their children. Our sewing center, Bagamoyo, trains women and men living with HIV, and once they are trained we provide jobs for them. They can then support themselves, go to their clinics, and support their children (see Lillian and Terry’s story).
Our goal is to help keep them healthy and prevent their children from being the future orphans of Kenya. We are working with Professor Tiffany Chenneville Ph.D., from the University of South Florida, to create a program called SEERS (Stigma Reduction Through Education, Empowerment, and Research) in our community, along with youth in schools and colleges. The goal is to educate them on HIV/AIDS to reduce the stigma among the youth in our community.
We also help many people living in poverty in our community. We provide education for locals who cannot afford to go to school. We work with the Lions Club to facilitate eye clinics for children in our local schools. We provide local education and training for caregivers and teachers dealing with children who come from traumatic backgrounds. These are just a few of the ways you are helping SOHK to make an impact in the world.
Our goals are big and, again, we are so grateful to Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk for helping us attain them. We are determined to be self-sustaining, and we know that we need a viable plan for the future of SOHK and our children. We are currently working on these three projects:
Bagamoyo: Again, this program creates jobs and training through making beautiful bags from African materials. We are working on selling them in the U.S. online and locally in Kenya. While we’re also helping the people making the bags, the goal is to use the funds made from selling them to support our children.
Farming: We have started to grow our own crops—agriculture is the number one business in Kenya. Our goal is to cut food costs and sell food to our community, which will help with the cost of our children’s home. We have a vision of milking cows and raising chickens, along with maintaining two greenhouses. We also plan to use this program as an educational opportunity for our children.
Kambi Amani (Camp Peace) Eco-Camp: This project has been in the works for a few years. It is a beautiful camp built to sustain, train, and provide hope for our children. While we have been able to open the camp, we have had to work in stages to complete it. This program creates jobs for our former street children and orphans through training and through tourism and hospitality. It also serves the local community through employment opportunities, and revenue from this project goes to the future education of our children. By building basic camping and luxury camping experiences for tourists and missionaries, this will, in turn, bring awareness to SOHK, and the orphans of Kenya, along with the beautiful natural environment of Kenya. SOHK plans to make the camp available during downtime for locals to rent for weddings, company retreats, and other events. This will enable us to raise funds year-round and not just in high season. Kambi Amani (Peace Camp) is a labor of love for our children.
Looking to the future, we want to make sure we can continue serving children who have no one in this world. We want to be able to support them and their education without asking for donations in the future. But, we have found the old saying to be true, “It takes money to make money.” To Complete Kambi Amani Eco-Camp we have to raise $100,000 USD. This is a lot!!! I know. But, we really wanted everyone who has diligently donated through the Photo Walk to understand and be fully aware of what we are all about, and to also let you know that you are making a difference!
So, despite all the suffering, the heartache, and the questions of “why?” because of you, we get to see children who have no one being loved daily! Babies that come to us malnourished and near death become healthy and full-of-life and hope. Boys who once had no hope of education are now looking forward to attending college and having a future. Women and men who lived with the stigma of HIV/AIDS and no self-worth are building their self-esteem and getting a new lease on life.
We get to witness God’s miracles everyday. You are making a difference! Large or small it all matters in the end!
We’re only 19-days away from the big day, and so I thought I’d give you a quick briefing on where we are to date:
We have currently active photo walks in over 1,006cities
We have another 56 photo walks in draft mode, so the leader of each is working on making it active.
We have approved a total of 1,356 photo walks altogether, but about 300 of those never activated their walks (so they signed up to lead a walk; got approved, but never went back and created the walk they were approved for).
We have over 10,730 walkers registered so far.
We have raised $6,502 for the Springs of Hope Orphanage via your donations on Generosity.com (17% of our $35,000 goal).
So far, our T-shirt sales have brought in approximately $3,000 for the Orphanage as well
Our total raised so far (donations & t-shirt sales) is nearly $10,000 (well, give or take $448) so we’re well on our way!!! :)
New black T-shirts this year! (100% of the profits go to Springs of Hope) Order your shirts now, so you have a chance to get yours before the walk, and you can wear it proudly at the walk.
Closing New Walk Applications At this point, we’ve approved over 1,000 photo walks around the world, but some leaders never went and activated their walks, and we’re getting so close to the October 1st walk date, that we’re cutting off the applications for new walks, so we can all focus on getting the word out about the walks that are set-up and running.
I’m hosting the local walk in Venice, Italy… …and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s been nine years (I think) since I’ve been there, and I can’t wait to go back and make some new images of that wonderful city. Also, I’m taking a trip up to the Dolomite Mountains which is an area I’ve wanted to visit for years. Looking forward to meeting every one there for our walk.
Every day now, it seems photographers around the world are ponying up money for a Kickstarter campaign to get some new piece of camera gear get made, or a new camera bag, or some obscure lens. Does the world really need another photo gadget? Don’t get me wrong, I love gadgets as much as the next guy, but I’ve found something that will make you feel better than any gadget you’ve ever bought. Instead of buying something, you can save someone.
Today, as a photographer, you can do something bigger. Something that really means something in the bigger picture. Instead of backing someone’s get rich quick scheme, why not donate just a few bucks to feed some wonderful kids living in an tiny orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya? This is an orphanage the wonderful photographers who read this blog helped build from literally an empty plot of land, into one that cares and feeds more than 30 awesome children.
But they need our help.
If you want to do something today that will make you feel far better than backing yet another kickstarter camera gadget, this is your chance.
So far, we’ve raised $4,748 dollars, which absolutely helps (and for which I’m so grateful), but it’s just 13% of our $35,000 goal. The photo walk is just three weeks away, and we need your help.
You can help us get there. Give a buck. Give $5. Whatever you can give makes a HUGE difference to these kids, and this tiny orphanage. Maybe your company would like to donate. Maybe your friends. This all adds up. It really does.
Photo Walkers — I’m Calling Out To You! I’m encouraging anyone taking part in my 9th annual Worldwide Photo Walk to give just a buck. $1. If we all do just that, we’ll easily reach our goal.
Here’s the link to the donation page we set up at Generosity.com for the orphanage. Doing this will make your day, heck your whole week, that much better. It will.
Here’s wishing you an open heart and an open mind, for others in need.
Not only will you look particularly snazzy, you’ll have done something bigger than just showing up your fellow walkers — because 100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts goes directly to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya to feed, clothe and care for 31 very awesome kids.
But it’s not just t-shirts. It might be chilly in some parts of the world. That’s why we have…
…Sweat Shirts (in White and Ash Gray), long sleeve t-shirts, and even Hoodies (in White, and Heather Gray). They all look awesome, and you will, too (both inside and out). :)
But what if I don’t want a t-shirt? You can still help. You can donate directly to the orphanage by giving $1 (if each photo walker gave just $1 we would hit our goal no problem), $5, $10 — really as much as you want to give. They have huge needs at the orphanage, and they need our support (right now, they need a small bus to transport the kids to school, and we’re going to help).
Here’s the link to donate — do it right now (btw: you will feel awesome if you do this!)
So, what is Springs of Hope Kenya? Watch this short video from Molly Waits and the kids themselves. Just watching this will help.
Think of how much we all spend on gear… …and then think how little it would take for each one of us photographers to give some hope, food and a future for these deserving kids. Please give anything you can. Even just one dollar makes a difference. It matters.
Thanks everybody for opening your hearts to this orphanage. Since 2009 we’ve raised more than $100,000 for the orphanage and this year, they’ve got some really big needs — please join with us in helping them. This is the stuff we are called to do.
Have a great weekend everybody and….order those shirts! :)
Howdy, everybody. I’ve got a pretty cool Photoshop tutorial for ya, but first with all the exciting news about the Worldwide Photo Walk yesterday, I wanted to hit a couple of questions real quick, then we’ll get on to the Photoshop stuff.
“Why aren’t you doing a photo walk in my city?” We get this question a lot, but you’ll be happy to know we don’t actually pick the cities — every city, everywhere is invited to create a photo walk — you just need a photographer in your city to apply to lead one. So, if you search for a walk in your city and you don’t see one – it just means someone hasn’t volunteered to lead a walk there yet.
Now, we just publicly launched yesterday, and a whole bunch of cities added photo walks yesterday and bunch more will be coming online today, so if you don’t see a walk in your city…just wait a few days and check back — there will probably be one there (especially if you live in a fairly good-sized city).
“What if I still don’t see one?” Then maybe you should consider leading one. :) Just go to the official site; click on “Lead a Walk” and apply to lead one in your city, and you’re up and running. Anyway, I know a lot of folks are under the impression that we pick the cities, but in reality — you pick the cities, so just wanted to give everybody everywhere a chance to join us. Hope that helps.
“Do you have a short video that explains the walk?” Man, was I hoping you’d ask that. I sure do – it’s right below.
OK, now back to Photoshop and stuff Today I have a Photoshop retouching mini-tutorial for ya, for when your subject has one eye that is more open than the other (which is surprisingly common), and you’ll learn a few cool tricks and shortcuts along the way. I made this video (2nd video below) just for you guys and it’s only around 5-minutes, but I hope you’ll find it’s worth it. :)
There ya have it – it’s “Two Video Tuesday”(at no extra charge!).
Hey, I hope you join me as part of my 9th annual Worldwide Photo Walk. The prizes are awesome. The cites around the world that are hosting walks are awesome, and the awesome is awesomely awesome (take that evil grammarians!). ;-)
-Scott A guy who is back from Nashville already, but is in Orlando today doing a site inspection for next year’s Photoshop World Conference 2017. Whoo Hoo! :)
P.S.Hey! Psssst! Wanna come see me in Indy next week (the 25th) with my full day seminar? Sure you do! Here’s the link where you can get tickets. All the cool kids will be there.