Monthly Archives: February 2017

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Sometimes it’s really hard to decide if a moment is better as a single photo frame or a video with movement and sound to layer the story.
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Hours after receiving their new solar lights, several of the Filipino families and individuals who came down from their mountain village could be seen walking through the rice fields as they began their long up hill journey home. As the sun was setting and we were driving back to our hotel from a different light delivery, it was truly a spectacular sight to behold.
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I yelled to get my driver to stop the vehicle. Jumped out. Open the van rear door. Zipped open my camera bag, changed out my lens to a 70-200 2.8 and ran to the edge of the rice field to capture this moment. 12 seconds of video footage. 4 seconds that are not totally shaky. I was hand-holding the lens as I balanced on a steep incline and this single photo frame. As quickly as I saw this moment, these families disappeared into the fields even faster.

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HEADING BACK TO IRELAND. This March I’m heading back to Dublin, Ireland and this time @JoshJohnson is coming with me!
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Both Josh and I are heading to Dublin to help celebrate St. Paticks Day in a BIG way! We have four days of fantastic events planned. Photography, friends, laugher, connecting and perhaps 1-2 adult beverages to celebrate

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Wonderful to see a father hold and nurture his sons.

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Children of the sun.

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Her continual expression of pure joy moved my heart as she learned about her new @wattsoflove lamp. As I end my day, I can only imagine how wonderful she looks at nights as the light from her solar lamp gently kisses her face.

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Yesterday was my birthday. In the morning I spent it photographing my @wattsoflove team members delivering solar lights. In the late afternoon, we spent the day recovering on a white beach for some much needed R&R. Plus, I was fortunate enough to have TWO birthday cakes presented to me on the beach.
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Thanks to everyone that left me a birthday wish or comment. Regrettably, my cell reception has been terrible the last few days so I have been unable to respond. Please know I sincerely love reading all your comments on my posts and so appreciate who ever takes time to leave a sentence or thought.
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Sometimes… life is pretty damn good.

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A man who has no 9-5 desk job, I don’t care who he is, is a man I can respect and learn some of life’s biggest lessons. #WOLPhilippines2017

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I am struggling. I feel like I’m losing some of my emotional connection to the people we serve when I travel. This is very hard to admit it and the reduced feelings scare me on many levels.
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It is my hope that by expressing my own internal struggle in such a public way, someone reading this post might have an insight, understanding or word to help me.
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Don McCullin once said, Photography is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” I know he is 100% right.
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The poverty I see on my trips used to break my heart on so many levels. I hate that I feel like I am becoming accustomed to it. Ambivalence is a dangerous place for anyone to reside, especially a storyteller.
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I know there is a reason for this struggle. I also understand that it is always darkest before the day breaks. Most importably I know that if I am willing to walk through this time of uncertainty, I will break through to a new level of understanding. I chose to write this post today so I don’t walk alone.
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Thank you in advance for your insights, thoughts, opinions and comments. #WOLPhilippines2017

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Despite any of the problems that Haiti might have, I find the Haitian people to be incredibly beautiful on so many levels. Tied sugarcane again and I must admit, I am not a huge fan of the cane! Perhaps it is an acquired taste.

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Poverty is sexist. Poverty designs it’s worst trappings for women and girls. It works in diabolical ways to steal their future, denies them a away out and then robs them of their given potential and gifts.
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As I walk among these impoverished girls and women, I think how many of these women could have been the next Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Oprah, Serena Williams, Martha Stewart, Rosa Parks Condolezza Rice, Angela Merkel or Mother Theressa?
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Most of the women I see on my trips around the world are single mothers and most have several children. The vast majority of them look exhausted, withered and overwhelmed. As I was talking with this women yesterday, she was constantly stopping to reprimand, provide direction and instruct four little children. When I asked where the children’s father was she just shrugged her shoulders.
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Fatherless children is a global epidemic and men need to step up and be more accountable. Nothing should be more important in a man’s life then to raising his children. Nothing!
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Men and women have such different gifts and provide such difference experiences to their children and BOTH are equally important and necessary.
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I realize there are some amazing children that were raised by single moms, however, this tremendous problem needs to be acknowledged, discussed and addressed. Most importantly men need to lead the way.
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I am so thankful that my fiancé raised such a wonderful young man almost completely on her own, however, as a single dad, I know parenting was not meant to do alone.
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I am so thankful that this single mom pictures here had purchased two chickens with the money she had saved from not buy white fuel. It many sound like a small start to some but, to this mother it was a huge success!

Sometimes I need to get a little dirt on me, get really low and shoot through obstacles to capture the shot I want. Thanks for snapping this photo of me @butterfly109

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Truly these were most amazing blue eyes I have ever seen in my life on this Filipino girl.

By nature I am an observer. When capturing photos in the chaos of life, my thoughts race towards elimination and reduction. What is necessary and what is waste. Like a sculptor that chisels away rock and stone with a hammer and blunt force—slowly subtlety, shape and story are unearthed.
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My mind hyper focuses to find life within the four corners of a frame. My dominated right eye stains through a view finder no larger than my numb-nail to blacken out all other thoughts, distractions and emotions.
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Internal peace only comes when something pure or real— a moment of humanity— is captured at 1/1000 of a second.

I had to lay in a very awkward position for a very long time to capture this Mangyan women as she learned about her new @wattsoflove solar light and it was worth every second.

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Yesterday I stumbled on the filipino version of the Little Rascals. I sincerely love the hand-made children’s toys I see whenever I visit these communities in the Philippines with @wattsoflove. No X-box. No online gaming. No expensive “must own” toy. Just the simple imagination of young minds enjoying what they have available. #WOLPhilippines2017

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Yes, as a matter of fact I can get Filipino monkeys to smile for photos. #WOLPhilippines2017

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A hand that’s dirty, aged and weathered with honest manual labor will always be a hand that I will embrace.
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I have always been fascinated with hands. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the hands reveal the strength of a man character. #WOLPhilippines2017

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Love is by far the greatest treasure in the world. Most importably, the more love you give to others, the more you have to give. Love unlike any other precious gift in the world multiples and increases in value by giving it away.
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When you lose your heart in service to others you begin to realize that like any muscle that is exercised, the more you love the stronger your love for others grows.
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Today I would really like to encourage you to love someone with intention. Make your actions specific, clear and with selfless purpose. Their response, or lack of response is not important or anything you should judge. Like a rock hitting still and silent waters, you have no idea how far the ripples with reach and what shores it will fall upon and change forever. @wattsoflove #WOLPhilippines2017

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We have returned and are ready to serve the people of Mindoro. @wattsoflove #WOLPhilippines2017

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Photography, at its best, speaks directly to our emotions. Every once in a while, if the situation is right and you get really, really lucky, you can sometimes capture a small part of someone’s soul.
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As I focused my telephoto lens on this women at first I could not snap a single photo. I was transfixed. It was a very intimate moment and I was an uninvited guest into her thoughts and dreams.
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The level of concentration and determination on her face and within her eyes was so beautiful I just had to sit and observe it.
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Although she had no idea I was watching her, it is my hope that she would understand that something so real and so captivating doesn’t show it’s self too often so, I could not look away. Eventually after a few minutes and living in the moment with her, I felt the needed to snap this photo and share her tender and moving moment so I would never forget it. @wattsoflove #wolhaiti2017 #haiti #givelight #haitian

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I read that U2 is doing a 30th anniversary tour of the Joshua tree album and that thought inspired this photo today. In Haiti… Where The Streets Have No Name. @wattsoflove style! #wolhaiti2017

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Matt Hardy once said, beauty can be seen in all things. Seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.
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As I walked up to this home today there were three clothed boys and two naked boys just sitting down, chillin from the afternoon heat and watching us approach. I was immediately stuck at how they looked like the Haitian version of The Little Rascals. (Yes, I realize I am dating myself.) The moment, although innocent and mundane for these boys, some how compelled me to capture it.
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Although I specifically choose to crop out the one boy standing in the Full Monty on the left for this post, all of these boys faces, outfits, lack of outfits, body language and expressions were all so captivating to me.
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To me this moment is just a real and honest slice of Haitian life. It contains no big moment or compelling story to tell but, the truth of the moment was so beautiful and palpable I knew it needed to be preserved. #wolhaiti2017 #givelight #haiti

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Handmade Haiti slings shots pointed and ready to fire….at me!

17 hour flight to Hong Kong and my buttocks feels like Swiss cheese. Why is it that planes flying internationally have such terrible seats. Calgon take me away!

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Behind bars and stuck in customs. Often there is nothing easy in the counties we serve. Absolutely nothing.
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Rules don’t apply, situations change depending on who you talk too. There is always a “middle man.” Paper work doesn’t mean much or is EVERYTHING depending on the person in front of you. The most dreaded words are… “comeback tomorrow” or “it will cost you just a “little” more.
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It’s like swimming against the tide. Fight it and you will tire yourself out and drown. Give up and you will be swept out into the abyss. The art is to pick a point on the horizon (the people we serve), flow in the stream (acknowledge local customs but, also educate people about the value of honoring their word) and most importably get safely to your goal (helping to lift people out of poverty). It’s not easy but, the strength of the opposition reinforces the importance of the work we do… bringing light into very dark places.
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Half of our shipment of @wattsoflove lights are still stuck in customs but, I know we will prevail.

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Flying back to Haiti today to deliver solar lights with @wattsoflove. Wanted to thank my great friend, mentor and one of the most selfless and inspiring people I have ever had the good fortune to call my friend Tim Raynor Thank you Tim for connecting me with Tim Campbell and @americanair Tim Raynor aka “Shine”was one the the main reasons I joined the Fiji house in college and he has always been there for me. Tim also served our country for over 20 years as a pilot in the @marines and is always eager to help and serve others.

Although I haven’t had hair for a long time, I desperately wanted to get a haircut at this barbershop in Haiti.