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Faces: Family Portraits off the Grid

I'll be travelling to rural villages of Cambodia to create high quality family photos and prints for those who don't have any.

Hi!

My name is Breck and I am a freelance photographer and Khmer interpreter. It's a bit of a long story how I ended up here, but I'll spare you the details.

Anyway. Can you go grab your phone right now? Yes, I'm talking to you. Go ahead.

Are we set? Great! Now go ahead and open your photo app.

How many photos do you have in there? 100? 200? 1,000??

Photos. So many photos.

They are everywhere today. It's estimated that over 1.4 billion photos are taken everyday with mobile devices, and about half of those end up on social networks. With such big numbers, it's easy to take a simple image for granted.

For every great meme, food shot and profile pic you see online, there is someone who does not have the resources to capture just one small moment in their life. Imagine living in circumstances where you don’t have any photos. No photos of loved ones, living or deceased. No photos of your family and the people you care about. It's hard to imagine, but across the world there are many families that don't have the means for something that has almost become disposable in most modern societies.

A house in the countryside where a family of 7 lives.

This is where I, with your help, hope to make a small change!

I'm planning a trip to Cambodia to visit some of these communities off the grid, and creating quality 8x10 portraits of these beautiful families for the first time. I will have portable printers on hand to print for them on site and give away. With your help, we can give these families a priceless gift they otherwise may have never had the opportunity to enjoy.

 A Pnong village in the Mondulkiri Province

Pnong Villager

While my flight and camera gear are being covered out of pocket, I do need funds for printing equipment, portable power, transportation and a local guide/assistant for the project. The remaining funds will be used for the production costs for the awards to our awesome backers, and possibly future family portrait projects around the world. I will be able to visit at least 3 locations with my budgeted goal. If we only make it halfway, 2 locations. And if we go over, I will go to as many locations as the budget allows!

Here is a breakdown of expenses:

 

In December of 2011, I had the privilege of doing a help-portrait photoshoot with a couple of co-workers at Lowell Elder Care, which is a non-profit for Elderly Cambodians in Lowell, MA. We took so many great photos, and the Elders absolutely loved it! You can take a look at the gallery here: www.brecksargent.com/hp2011

Fast forward to December 2012. I was approached by the Director of Lowell Elder Care at one of the local parties in Lowell and he informed me that one of the Elders we photographed passed away. He later went on to tell me that the family used the 8x10 photo we took at our shoot the previous year. At his funeral. They were extremely grateful for the photo they didn't have, and never really thought about wanting until his funeral. It's stories like this that get me really excited about the power of photography, despite how often we are inundated with new media every day.

Visting a village in 2009

Thank you for visting! If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know.

-Breck

 

Special thanks to illustrator Matt Mangus for the animated video!

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