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In the Union Tribune: Mama’s Day 2012

Earlier last week, I got sent this article from the UT.

I thought it was a cool way to highlight a portrait project I was really proud to be a part of on behalf of Mama’s Kitchen (an organization all about providing nutritious food to those with HIV and cancer). The event is tonight so when that’s all said and done, I’ll post some shots of the gallery. For now, I’m just excited to see them adorn Mama’s Day 2012 at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla, CA.

Here’s a snippet from the interview with Mama’s Day chair Heather Bowden–whom I had the privilege of working closely with in this project.

Q: What are you most excited about for Mama’s Day this year?

A: Oh where to start – aside from attempting to sample all the amazing restaurants that work so hard to create a signature dish – there are many “firsts” this year that I am very excited to see what happens and hear the feedback. The VIP reception has a live performance with Sam “the Cooking Guy” Zien and Ian Ward, of Snake Oil Cocktail Co. Sam’s preparing a signature dish and Ian will create a cocktail to complement Sam’s sampler. It will be a bit interactive with the guests so everyone should have a good laugh.

There is also another “first” that we’ve been calling the Gallery Project. I pushed fairly hard to get this launched – and Sam (the cooking guy) helped. Not only did he fully endorse it but brought us his photographer, Lynn Chyi. I wanted to find a way to really make a profound impact on the guests about how important Mama’s Kitchen’s mission is – what the mission is for that matter. This is a roaming event which presents a challenge in capturing every guest’s attention when it comes time for thank yous and talking about the mission.

So I sketched out a story board inspired by a photography show I saw of portraits, brought that idea to Mama’s Kitchen, and ultimately we approached clients, donors and volunteers to be photographed. They are being printed as large scale images that will be mounted in one of the entryways into the event – again, impact (bigger is better). I wanted everyone to understand the humanity embedded in Mama’s work. And everyone has a story. We discussed with Lynn what we wanted and WOW! Did he nail it. The images are beautiful, moving, candid yet not staged. Working with him was amazing. Lynn captured every nuance of each person which hopefully carries over into how and why there are affiliated and/or affected by Mama’s Kitchen. This gallery was created to educate and inspire others to get out there and make time to give back – and what value it brings.

Read the rest of the article here.

See some photos of the gallery space here.

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