In the summer of 2016, I got the opportunity to tell a very powerful story. A local refuge for human trafficking victims called “A Safe Place” was having a large fundraising event and asked me to craft a video to encourage donations. Through my research I learned that trafficking of women and men isn’t just something that happens in larger cities. In fact, 25% of all trafficking victims who enter the U.S. end up here in the southeast. For our production, I was given unprecedented access to a safe house and spoke with a young lady (renamed “Natalie”) whose life trajectory had been altered due to the efforts of this organization. I bonded with Natalie over our love of soul food and her fictitious name came from her fondness of singer Natalie Cole. My approach was to tell Natalie’s story using her own unscripted words and pepper it with statistics to both inform and inspire those in attendance to open their wallets for this nonprofit. The video caused a haunting hush to come over the event’s room and now lives on the front page of their website.
Every once in a while we need a little reminder that most of us have it really, really good. New Hanover Regional Medical Center called and needed an environmental portrait it in a hurry, so I didn’t get a lot of background on my subject. All I had was a name, a time and an address. I like to go into my shoots a little more prepared than that, so I dug a little deeper. Come to find out my subject had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Some women are very self conscious in front of a camera, but not her. I only spent an hour there, but her bubbly personality and positive outlook on life were nothing short of inspirational.
Every photographic assignment has its challenges. One product category that I’ve always considered especially challenging to shoot is window coverings. Not only are you dealing with the dynamic range of light inside versus outside, but the blinds or curtains have to be the star of the room. For more than 75 years, Strickland’s has been helping Wilmington homeowners “dress” their glass and needed a few updated images for new branding efforts. Careful lens selection, camera position and of course proper lighting came together to create this three-part series.
Clement Asante came from Ghana to build on the American dream, and to serve. In the latest installment of a video series for N2 Publishing, we see “Clem” describing his job with deep gratitude. It’s obvious he takes his work—and the trust N2 has in him—seriously. Clem’s responsibilities include quality control. He is the last person to touch the magazines before they are seen by readers. As you watch, I think you’ll be inspired by his humble and gentle spirit.