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Took the kids to the HOLI festival. They were a little unsure at first but once they each had a bag of color in their hands they lost all inhibitions and had a blast. I have to admit I was a little scared to pull my camera out unprotected but I found a lull and got everything you see in about 5-10 minutes. Dangerous business!
Five years ago I photographed a wedding for Stella and her man here in Northern Utah. She is totally awesome and was so fun to work with. Well, I bumped into her at the market here in Logan and we had a good chat. She now has a wedding dress company called Peony by Stella and a bunch of dress shops are now selling her own line of dresses. So awesome! Great to see you Stella!
I can’t believe we did this session FIVE years ago!
Some of you may remember that I spent some time in Guatemala last April. A couple of years ago I started to research locations for my family to go for a month or two during my slow season in the winter. I stumbled across the Dennings and their travel blog Discover, Share, Inspire. We became online friends and subsequently I traveled to meet them and interview them for a video project I was working on. We had an incredible visit with them. The Dennings introduced us to the Jensens who were living near them in Panajachel, Guatemala at the time. We have all kept in touch and I have become increasingly interested in both Guatemala and the humanitarian efforts both the Dennings and the Jensens founded and have had success with. It is titled Mayan Eco Homestead.
At its heart the Mayan Eco Homestead is an onsite school where people can come and learn and earn various methods of agriculture to bring a wider variety of foods into their diet. Currently corn is king especially in the rural areas where malnutrition is very prevalent. Even though there are other fruits and vegetables at the market, most of it is out of reach financially for many rural people. Meat is rarely eaten. Still 40% of Guatemala is Mayan and Guatemala is the 4th most malnourished country in the world and this causes problems from infant death to stunted growth to just plain not being able to concentrate in school because of hunger. The homestead is located in the 2nd most malnourished area in Guatemala. Here is an interested article about this issue.
Mayan Eco Homestead is in its infancy but for one man so far he is now feeding his family of 7 more food than ever and has increased his income nearly seven times. His 1/5th of an acre went from corn to now having chickens for meat and laying eggs, a pig, a tilapia pond and various plants for vegetables. He is now sharing what he has learned about self sufficiency with a local orphanage. The homestead is now a place where anyone can come learn while they earn essentially a start up kit that can be used on their own property. These people are eager to learn and work hard and this is going to grow quickly with more people taking interest.
Take some time to browse their Facebook page and see it in action. My wife and I stayed there for three days last week and we could see how very few dollars can impact entire families in dramatic ways. Currently, a family of 5 who lives in a small tin house the size of half my bedroom with floors made of dirt, is building a sweet little home with donations from America. You can see the progress on the Facebook page. They are at a stand still waiting for more funding so I am putting it out there that even a few bucks can make a huge difference. For those that wish to donate you can do so here. If nothing else please take time to like their page on Facebook. Thanks!
Greg and Lucy Jensen and their family operate the Mayan Eco Homestead. Josh is their oldest. I made him pose with his new machete he bought across where us boys all went and got our hair cut super short for $1. Best hair cut ever!
Greg does running tours in the mountains of Guatemala and on old dormant volcanoes. His running business is here if you have any interest in a running tour of the area. The mountains are incredible!
This is Zeke. He guided us down a steep, steep mountain to a little city on the lake. He is part of the family building a new house. He is a very hard worker and strong as two or three of me.
Honestly, I should get paid more to go out in the cold because of the pain but instead I am going to give an incentive for those brave souls who would like some portraits of their children. I am going to do 30 minute children portrait sessions for $100 each including the images. Crazy cheap! Throw your family in there if you like for an extra $25. This is valid for February only. We can do a lot in 30 minutes. Email me at [email protected] if you want to freeze with me.
This is a session I did with some great friends of mine who came to visit from Ireland. I was able to photograph them in Ireland in 2008 and since then they have multiplied. We are planning to visit them this year some time. They are a blast to hang out with! These are their children and a friend of theirs. Cute kids!!
About the time the sun was coming up as we approached Tel Aviv on the plane, I knew this was going to be a very different trip. About a dozen Orthodox Jews stood up and began praying and reading from the Torah right on the plane. I had never experienced anything like it. It was just the beginning. I have read about Jerusalem but nothing can prepare you for it. It is so completely different than my everyday life that it is mind boggling.
We experienced a lot in a short period of time, incredible hummus and falafel to the incredibly powerful and well designed Holocaust Museum, Yad Vanesh. The beauty, the devotion and the history make this place the most interesting I have ever been to, EVER!! You simply must go. If you want some beach time Tel Aviv is only an hour away and has some incredible beaches on the Mediterranean. Drop your plans to Europe or to Hawaii and go. I won’t even try to explain it any further.
If a picture says 1000 words here are about a million.