In the UK many people are faced with challenges in their lives caused by diversity, poverty and mental health. The effects of these challenges are causing individuals to be left behind or to feel that they live in isolation. The Empowering Lives Photography project is aimed at giving these people confidence in themselves and the opportunity to follow their dreams and not be held back by fear, lack of self-worth, disability, gender or financial situation.
For people living with challenges it can feel crippling to see others around you in their seemingly happy lives. For them everything seems to happen, while for the individual it can be like living in a confined space with no hope of freedom.
Empowering Lives Photography is there to allow people a path to that freedom. For an individual it may be the confidence boost that they need or a lifeline that allows them to follow a childhood dream.
Working with other organisations or individual businesses they will be able to refer individuals who they feel would benefit from the service. These individuals could simply need a confidence boost and a day feeling special in the studio, they may also need to overcome fears and this challenge may help. For other individuals it may be that personal curcumstances are holding them back from getting a headshot for the performing arts.
What ever the reason for the referral the individual would then have access to a studio photography session and some photographs that they can keep.
The quickest and easiest way to get a referral is through our partners. If the team, groups or specialist that you use is not listed it is worth asking them to get involved.
They are best placed to help you decide if this route is right for you.
I understand that there will be times where it is not possible to use one of my partners. In this instance it is possible to make a self referral.
I would urge you though to use a partners as they are best placed to help you make a decison on if this is the best route for you.
If you are an individual, team, group or organisation and think that Empowering Lives Photography is something that would work with what you do please get in touch and we will see how we can work together.
Although, I have had the idea for this project for a long time. There were time though when it did seem like I was lost in the woods and didn’t know where to begin. At some point though you have to take that first step. If you don’t dreams will stay just dreams and will never become a reality.
I am now in a position where I can begin to provide limited support from my own income to make this happen and make this dream a reality. Not only my dream but also the dream of others.
I am already in discussions with some organisations, including charities, individuals and groups, who are interested in joining as partners so that their users can have access to the service.
It does not stop there though. I am actively looking for more partners to work with, including local charities, wellbeing teams, therapists, group or schools. Anyone who is involved with people who suffer from mental health or diversity in a way that it is affecting their lives. The more people who are involved the more people that can be reached.
At the same time as looking for new partners to increase the exposure of the project and therefore the number of people who can be helped I am also exploring new avenues of raising awareness for the project.
Initially I wanted to go down the route of finding grant funding, however, it appears that in most cases you need to be a charity to do this, or trust driven organisation. To me the important thing was that the work started rather than waiting weeks, months or year to go through the process of setting up and organisation in this way. Then having to wait again to find out even if it may be possible to get funding.
The challenge that people are facing is out there now, so it was important to me to get started as soon as I can.
At the moment I am self funding this project, but this cannot go on forever as I do still need to eat. This is why I have turned to Crowdfunder for their help.
Any donation, large or small, will go towards funding the work that is being carried out.
Work from the initial sourcing of partners, advertising, relationship building takes time and money. Following that there will be the cost of insurance, rental for space, specialist equipment, travel, etc. The cost of some of these may be relatively small but when added together they soon mount up.
The more that is raised the more that can be done and you will be helping to make a difference in people’s lives.
I am always open to suggestions. If you feel that you are able to offer support in other ways please do get in touch. It will be great to hear your ideas and to hopefully work with you.
That is a good question. Why would anyone want to simply give away their services when they can charge good money for them?
The simple answer is that I was given an opportunity to become a photographer a few years ago. After living on the streets for 2 years I can understand how it can feel to suffer from a lack of confidence, feeling worthless and having no hope. I know what it is like to watch as people go about their lives, seemingly, not needing to worry about money. I know what it is like to go without or to be held back by circumstances beyond your control.
Those few years ago I was given a secondhand camera. That was all it took, one simple gesture. Now, I have a photography business where I can begin to help others.
I have that chance to make a difference to someone’s life, and you can too.
If you would like to know more about Empowering Lives Photography then please get in touch. It will be great to hear from you.