Story telling images open wallets for non-profits

Images can move people to action. All marketing professionals and politicians know this. So too do fundraisers for charities and not for profit organizations. Natural disasters, global warming, starvation and disease all make for powerful imagery.   The savvy organizations go beyond the obvious to get donors to reach for their wallets.

During my professional career I have been well paid by corporations and organization to tell their stories. I have been sent multiple times to Asia to capture the flavor of China for a Canadian airline and to Japan to record the use of products from British Columbia. I have crisscrossed North America numerous times for a wide range of corporate clients and have traveled throughout the Caribbean on behalf of regional tourist boards.   Story telling with a camera has been a rewarding career.

Throughout my career I have also sought out opportunities to give back by volunteering as an unpaid photographer for organizations seeking to raise funds to support worthwhile activities.

My first foray took me to Central Mexico with Amigos Anonymous for three months. During that time I traveled from village to village by local bus to document to work of two hundred and fifty young volunteers from the San Francisco Bay Area who were involved in a wide range of community development activities.

Amigos Anonymous volunteer holds malnourished  child

Amigos Anonymous volunteer holds malnourished child

Later as a VISTA Volunteer I spent one year living in a ghetto in Houston, Texas where, camera in hand, I worked on a number of projects from housing to literacy programs.20101122-untitledHouston 67-44-27

Volunteers and community members work on neighbourhood clean-up project

Volunteers and community members work on neighbourhood clean-up project

The plight of farmworkers in the Central Valley of California was dire fifty years ago. Low pay, poor working conditions and serious health concerns ultimately led to a march on the state capital to raise awareness of these issues with the politicians. I traveled with the farm workers on the march to document the journey.

Farmworker protesting working conditions

Farmworker protesting working conditions

The march raised national attention on the working conditions for farmworkers

The march raised national attention on the working conditions for farmworkers

There are many more examples of work undertaken on behalf of non-profit groups. Over the years I been fortunate to work with many dedicated individuals and amazing organizations.

One example of such an organization is the Family Caregivers’ Network Society in Victoria, BC, Canada. So many caregivers work in isolation, caring for love ones suffering from debilitating illness. My pictures have been used for both fundraising and awareness campaigns by the society.SEHC slideshow

Family caregiving is a twenty-four hour a day job

Family caregiving is a twenty-four hour a day job

Today I continue to provide volunteer services to a local hospital’s fundraising foundation and to Glenora Farm, a Camphill Community for adults with development disabilities.

A helping is often needed

A helping is often needed

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I continue to look for opportunities to tell stories and help raise both funds and awareness for non-profit organizations. If you know of an organization with a story that needs telling please contact me at sandy@sandymcelroy.com.

Postcards from Victoria, BC Canada

An island in the Pacific that is close enough for a weekend get-a-way visit.  Think good food, a busy harbour, world famous gardens and craft beers waiting for you to enjoy.  With the US dollar worth about $1.20 Canadian a visit to Victoria is a real bargain.  Here are a few of my favourite places and activities to visit.

Empress Hotel from the Inner Harbour

Empress Hotel from the Inner Harbour

There are many opportunities to sightsee

There are many opportunities to sightsee

Chinatown beckons at Chinese New Year or anytime

Chinatown beckons at Chinese New Year or anytime

Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown is for the "skinny" and adventuresome visitor

Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown is for the “skinny” and adventuresome visitor

Water taxies crisscross the Inner Harbour

Water taxies crisscross the Inner Harbour taking you to Fisherman’s Wharf and beyond 

Whale and dolphin watching affords close-up views of marine mammals

Whale and dolphin watching affords close-up views of marine mammals

For something different hop aboard the amphibious bus that travels on both land and water

For something different hop aboard the amphibious bus that travels on both land and water around Victoria

Johnson Street buildings add a colourful touch to the downtown shopping experience

Johnson Street buildings add a colourful touch to the downtown shopping experience

A must see for the green thumbs in nearby Butchart Gardens

A must see for the green thumb is nearby Butchart Gardens

The gardens are open all year and are a riot of colour during the spring and summer

The gardens are open all year and are a riot of colour during the spring and summer

The Royal BC Museum is a world class venue with exhibits highlighting the BC history and experience

The Royal BC Museum is a world class venue with exhibits highlighting the BC history and experience

First Nation art from both yesterday and today can be found throughout Victoria

First Nation art from both yesterday and today can be found throughout Victoria

The Getty Center Art framed by the setting

 

 

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Stunning Architecture by Richard Meier greets the visitor upon arrival at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Days could be spent photographing the buildings, grounds and sculptures before even entering the pavilions.

The Center is laid out in a manner that encourages contemplative wandering between galleries and open spaces.

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J. Paul Getty saw art as a civilizing influence in society. He believed in making art available to the public for its education and enjoyment. Today the J. Paul Getty Trust continues to fulfill this mission by making a large collection of art available at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa in Greater Los Angles, California. It also funds the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Foundation.

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Situated high on a hill overlooking Los Angeles, the site provides stunning views.

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Mars and Venus, an Allegory of Peace by Louis-Jean-Francois Lagrenee, 1770

 

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Natural light and views that bring a sense of openness to the complex provide an exciting environment for art enjoyment.

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Spring (Jeanne Demarsy) by Edouard Manet, 1881

 

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Van Tromp, Going about to Please His Masters, Ships a Sea, Getting a Good Wetting, by Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1844

 

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Decorative arts complement the paintings and sculpture.

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The Center for Photographs features changing exhibits. Until March 22, 2015 a one-man retrospective show featuring more than 140 works by contemporary photographer Josef Koudelka is on display.

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Hop aboard the tram for a quick trip from the parking area to the majestic Getty Center for an enjoyable day with world-class art amid stunning architecture.

 

***Note***

This is a personal blog and is not intended for commercial use.

Christmas in Colombia

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Feliz Navidad rings out from the children in Cartagena. Outside it is 30o Celsius but the kids still don festive hats.

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Simple pleasures help pass the time until Santa’s visit.

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Of course food always plays a role, both at play and at more formal occasions.

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Feliz Navidad, próspero aão y felicidad

Iceberg Alley

10,000 year old ice drifting, drifting, drifting….

They come from the glaciers of Western Greenland and slowly break up along the way as the icebergs move south towards Newfoundland at an average of seventeen kilometers per day.Newfoundland icebergs- 03DSC_8892

They ghost forth, every mariners nightmare.Newfoundland icebergs-DSC_8004

Trinity, Newfoundland is a historic village that provides the traveler with a glimpse into the bygone life of outpost fishermen as well as an opportunity to see both whales and icebergs.Newfoundland icebergs-DSC_8023Newfoundland icebergs- 01DSC_8086

Icebergs are big

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And majestic

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At Twillingate,Newfoundland, the capital of Iceberg Alley you have the opportunity to venture forth on a large vessel to see both whales and icebergs or to get up close and personal in a small zodiac with Close Encounters Tours. We chose the zodiac experience with the excellent, photo savvy skipper.Newfoundland icebergs- 05DSC_8938Newfoundland icebergs- 06DSC_9011Newfoundland icebergs- 04DSC_8925

A visit to Newfoundland and Labrador in the early summer is a real cultural and visual feast. With thousands of icebergs floating nearby and traditional fishing outpost villages to visit your days will be eventful. Base yourself at the Rumrunners Roost in Twillingate and make sure to visit Doyle Sansome & Sons Lobster Pool where you can pick out your live lobster to be cooked for your dinner.

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Grandpa Sandy’s Wilderness Camp

Fall has returned to the British Columbia wilderness. It’s a time to pack up the tent, canoe and other gear and head for a remote valley. The colors are changing and there is crispness in the air.

Canoe pulled up on the shore of Beaver lake

Canoe pulled up on the shore of Beaver lake

Paddling across the lake to view the beaver dam on the calm lake while trolling a fly over the stern affords the opportunity to savour the rich fall colours.

Trout roasting on a stick

Trout roasting on a stick

A hike to a remote mountain lake provides the chance to catch wild cutthroat for roasting beside the trail.

Grandpa Sandy's Wilderness Camp 2014

Grandpa Sandy’s Wilderness Camp 2014

The wall tent is pitched and the wood split in preparation for the arrival of visitors to Grandpa Sandy’s Wilderness Camp.

Grandpa Sandy with Thanksgiving dinner

Grandpa Sandy with Thanksgiving dinner

Grandpa Sandy was a happy man to be able to share special time in the wilderness with family and friends.

Majestic Salmon Dance on the Stamp River

Against powerful waterfalls and swift rapids salmon dance gracefully towards their final destiny. Having survived open ocean challenges and the inshore fishery, they now sprint towards their spawning grounds.

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Leap after leap they defy gravity and the incredible force of the waterfalls.

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The Stamp River, on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada is a major fish travel corridor. More than 40 million salmon (Chinook, Sockeye, Chum, Coho and Steelhead), lampreys and other fish pass up or down the river each hear. The constriction at the falls and the nearby fish ladder provide easily accessible viewing of this inspiring spectacle.

Black bear on the Stamp River, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Black bear on the Stamp River, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

There are many who await their return to the rivers, including the bears.

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Thousands of people from near and far also flock to the Stamp River to view this annual migration.

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In addition to the salmon you can also expect to see many types of waterfowl and other wildlife such as this blacktail deer crossing the river just above the falls. Majestic trees, ferns and shrubbery provide cover for a wide variety of birds and animals.

Camping beside the river at the Stamp River Provincial Park is perfectly situated for viewing the salmon and other wildlife. There are 23 campsites in the park. Reservations for some of the sites are available from May 15 to August 31 at 1-800-689-9025. The balance of the sites is available on a first come first serve basis all year. Information on the park can be found at:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/stamp_rv/

Stamp River Provincial Park

Stamp River Provincial Park

With adequate water flow, the right temperature and good sea conditions the number of salmon returning to the river is impressive. The greatest number of returning salmon are the Sockeye with an average return of 237,500 fish. Chinook (Spring or Tyee) average 54,500 returning fish. And the average number of returning Coho is 62,500.

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