Tag Archives: love

Why We Do What We Do

In her words, this is the reason I do what I do for the POWER OF HOPE KIBERA:

The Reason Why

Kelly Fenson-Hood
Executive Director, Power of Hope Kibera

People often ask me why I do this work. I’m not sure why, but I never give a very straightforward answer. I guess it’s because it’s personal and it makes me feel vulnerable somehow. Well, I’ve been working with Power of Hope Kibera for three years, and I guess it’s time to share.

When I first met Eventa and Emma, they didn’t speak English. They were five years old.
I spoke basically no Swahili.
But somehow I understood Emma ask Eventa if she knew what my name was.
Eventa just shrugged.

That was six years ago.
Now their English is almost perfect.
It’s absolutely amazing.

My first research partner and I sponsor the girls to attend private school in the slum.
These are two girls that got a chance to succeed.
I empowered them to go to school.
And in front of my eyes, I watched them grow up and transform into smart, beautiful, bright girls.
But the thing is that the Power of Soap Project impacted their lives behind the scenes.
This project kept them healthy so they could attend school.

I am proud that I created a program that makes a real difference with big problems.
And to see first hand how it made a difference in the lives of these girls…
Well, there’s the answer.
I do it all for them.
For Emma and Eventa.
And for all the little ones.

 (Please click the link below to watch our video:)
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Philly, my city of birth…

I WAS BORN HERE (Philadelphia), but my family left shortly thereafter and moved to Paris. Then, as a grade-schooler, we moved back to the Philadelphia area, where I remained through middle school.  So in a way, I could call this home… Philadelphia City Hall Each morning I rise pretty early by Philly standards (that’s what I’m seeing anyway), and take a nice run, walk through center city to the Schuylkill River Trail, armed with my iPhone (Hipstamatic app, John S lens, Blackeys extra fine film). Except last Sunday morning, with no traffic, I shot the above City Hall with ProHDR and edited it a bit in Snapseed.

I’m kind of impressed with Philadelphia.  I love that it seems to have an eating venue for every mood and type of diet…and the coffee ain’t too bad either! Oh, and the gelato is spectacular!  In the next phase of my life I want to live on Sansom Street, eat out every night for dinner, followed by the world famous CAPOGIRO gelato …YUM. GOTHAM? This shot of St. Mark’s was also shot with ProHDR, then converted to B W in Snapseed.  Can’t recall how I got the vignetting, but I like this building–it reminds me of something I would see in the fictional Gotham City. Check out the LOVE sculpture… LOVE selfies


Eyes are the Windows…

As I mentioned in the previous post, I am working as a documentary photographer for an NGO Power of Hope Kibera.  Kibera is the slum city right outside of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, in east Africa.

I took this opportunity for a number of reasons, the primary one being that I had recently lost my mother and felt that I needed a different perspective in my life.  My mother was, according to all who knew her,  generous and kind.  She had a special place in her heart for children, having been orphaned at a very young age herself.  So in a sense, I could say that I am doing this in honor of my mother.

Each day that I spend in the slum I am getting to know people better and better…and vice-versa!  It’s so cool to have them call me by name, hug me and kiss my cheeks.  The youngest children are less fearful of the white woman with the camera.  We will bring them prints a little later on, to show our appreciation.

I should say that we are also getting a lot of work done…building a storefront from which the women will sell liquid soap…video-taping simple water purification techniques, and the all-important hand-washing techniques.  More on that later.


San Francisco, I finally found a way to love you…

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the 2013 MacWorld/iWorld Conference in San Francisco, with fellow friend and photographer Karen Divine.  Ms. Divine was a presenter and that provided her with some pretty cool perks, including a very nice hotel and a lead to the press room for free food and drinks….Karen and Cindy Patrick presented their processes in slide shows that were so captivating you could tell that no one was checking FB or email on their smartphones (I looked).

I met some amazing artists, including Cindy Patrick, Knox Bronson (publishes Pixels at an Exhibition and is a really cool dude), Jack Hollingsworth, Dan Marcolina, Dan Berman (founder, Mobile Photo Awards), Eleonora Ronconi, Rudy Vogel, street photographer Jay Desind, Elaina Wilcox, etc., very talented iPhoneographers.  Cindy and I were trying to make our way to the seedy bar called Hotel Utah, and were so busy gabbing that we went the wrong way and ended up in the bowery.  So we gabbed our way back and finally did arrive at our destination.

MacWorld was presenting its first ever e-compilation of the Mobile Masters (available for download on the iPad), many of whom were there.  My work was not represented in the MM…maybe next time.  I got to talk to an app developer from Germany, Jens Daemgen, who developed ProCamera for the iPhone. We discussed what I look for in photo apps.  I shot some pictures for him with his app, one of which I will include below.  I should mention that I introduced myself to one of my favorite techie icons– Julianne Kost (of Adobe fame)…and made sure she looked at my iPhone portfolio “First Day”.  She liked it and had some insights (they look like a movie–all in one image!) which I will proceed to use in my next portfolio review..thank you, Julianne.

I was also very fortunate to be able to have a nice outdoor lunch with a photography teacher, Jack Fulton, I had back in the 70’s at the San Francisco Art Institute.  That was definitely a highlight, we talked about growing older and finding peace (hey, it’s San Francisco!).

The following images were all shot with the iPhone 4s, Hipstamatic app, EXCEPT for the first image, which was shot with ProCamera…

ProCamera app for iPhone IMG_8674 IMG_8695 IMG_8703 IMG_8689 IMG_8716 IMG_8763 IMG_8757 IMG_8756 IMG_8844 IMG_8819 IMG_8822 IMG_8843 IMG_8845 IMG_8857

IMG_8894

IMG_8885 IMG_8899 IMG_8870


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