Shipped: Two photo books to Mexico, end of a journey.

It’s funny how it feels when a project is finally done, finished, tucked up and put to bed. A certain lightness rests on ones being, the part of the left hand side of the brain that managed that particular project can rest. At least momentarily before being set off on another adventure.

Today I was finally able to ship two of these books to Mexico. It’s the end of a journey that started in the spring of 2010. Last covered in the blog here. I’m excited for ‘J’ to get ahold of the books. One for her and one for the school.

For me the project represents two things;

  1. The triumph of beauty and art (you have to read the back story)
  2. That if you care about it and put your mind to it anything really is possible


The funny thing about these two things is that they represent the Right and Left Hemispheres of the brain quite nicely. One is the source, the connection, the creativity. The other is, well, getting stuff done. I also feel it my responsibility to call out the underlined; note how I don’t just say “you can do anything”. I don’t think you can. OK, so maybe you can. My point here is simple; rather than trying to do anything chose to do things that you are passionate about and love. Then work hard at them. I heard a quote recently “chose what’s easy, and work hard”. Ala Marcus Buckingham it’s about finding your innate talents and investing in them so that they become strengths.

Here’s the photo again incase you missed it last time;


A charitable photography mission

Update: A friend (Sharon Berg) has kindly offered to do the translation.

Update: Unfortunately the deadline for this photo book was brought in by yet another month (‘09 was June, ‘10 was May, ‘11 is April!) so we will not be able to submit for this year. 2012 is the plan.

I’m on a mission. Related to photography, Microsoft, and charity.

Every year the employees of Microsoft who are photographers create a photo book. It’s quite the undertaking. This year thousands of photos were submitted by hundreds of photographers. Then judges rated all the photos and a lucky few had no more than one photo selected for a book contain just 203 photos. All the money raised goes to charity. In 2009 we raised over $40,000. In 2010 we raised over $60,000 for the United Way!

I have been lucky enough to have a photos selected in both 2009 and 2010.

I took a photo in May 2010 of a child looking through a school gate, in Mexico, which I wanted to submit for consideration last year, but could not. Why? Every photo that includes a person requires a “model release”. For this year’s book I would love to submit this image and share it with the world, to do so I have quite the undertaking;

  1. Find the school.
  2. Write a letter to a headmaster at the school.
  3. Have the letter translated, well.
  4. Ideally identify the headmasters name.
  5. Have the headmaster identify the child.
  6. Headmaster passes a a letter and model release to the family
  7. Get the released signed and returned.


Luckily I took a picture that included the schools ID number, and I knew the town. This enabled me to locate the name of the school and the name of the headmaster.


Without a well translated letter I fear I will not succeed in the final steps of my mission.

In a previous role I managed communications to resellers in the Intel Channel program in EMEA, this included translation of newsletters and websites. So I reached out to Italian translation vendor, college and friend Marco Rognoni (who incidentally is a great charitable spirit) and he connected me with a great Spanish translator.

I’ve just sent him an email… fingers crossed.

Oh shoot, and I need to go do my 365 Project photo of the day…Smile