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Second Shot - Cameras for a Cause

I am raising money to get a local photography studio back in business and help the next generation of photographers in the process.

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What is the "Second Shot - Cameras for a Cause" Project?

Second Shot is a campaign that aims to get a local photography studio back in business and help the next generation of photographers in the process through a unique photography project and pop-up gallery event.

In the Blink of An Eye

Rideout Photography is owned by amazing husband and wife team, Alan and Kristina Rideout. The pair have shared an unrelenting passion for photography since college and are known in Lexington for being two of the hardest working photographers in the business. No matter what event, wedding, or portrait they shoot, this couple pours their hearts and souls into their craft.

A little over a year ago, Alan got in his car to head to work. Immediately, he knew something was wrong. In the frenzy of juggling two kids and two jobs, Alan had broken one of his steadfast rules since he began his career in photography.

He packed up his gear in his car the night before, so he wouldn't forget it.

This would prove to be a devastating mistake.

"I saw scratches on the inside and outside of the driver side door," Alan remembers. "Then images started surging through my mind, like a primetime crime drama. I realized the door had been jimmied. Someone had broken into my car."

In what was clearly a very well planned crime, the thieves had left everything, including money, completely untouched, except what mattered to Alan and Kristina the most.

All of the Rideout's camera equipment was gone.

The Rideouts lost four camera bodies: two DSLR's and two 35mm film cameras. Seven camera lenses and one teleconverter were taken. Additionally, a shoe mount flash, wireless radio transmitter and receivers, countless filters and cords and of course tons of film were stolen. More than $6,000 in equipment was taken in all.

To add insult to injury, Alan's lucky white poker chip that his dad had carried in his camera bag since before Alan was born was also in the bag that was taken. Just as devastating were stolen memory cards, one of which held the photos Alan had taken of his marriage proposal to Kristina just a few days before. He never even got to see them.

The thieves had taken more than just equipment and memories, though. They had robbed the Rideouts of their security.

"In that moment, I felt like it was over," Alan confesses, the emotions from that morning still visibly raw even a year later, "Everything I had worked for the last five years, where I invested my education, put my body and mind through hell and back with sleepless nights and weeks and years working more than full-time and going to school and everything. It had all been taken with that bag."

Fortunately, Alan and Kristina aren't the type of people to be kept down for long.

"Ultimately, they can't take my knowledge, or my 'eye', or my passion," Alan says with conviction. "I spent five years scraping together every penny to reinvest into that equipment, so I could build my business. I'll just have to do it again, piece by piece."

Giving Rideout Photography Its Second Shot

What happened to Rideout Photography could happen to any of us. It's a hard reality, but many artists are just one theft, accident, or other unforeseeable event away from losing everything. Whether its a musician's instruments, a writer's hard drive, or a photographer's camera bag, there is more value in those items than just what is monetarily lost when they're gone. When the unexpected happens, everyone deserves a second shot at getting back to their craft.

I believe Rideout Photography deserves that second shot more than most.

The money donated to this campaign will go towards replacing Rideout Photography's stolen equipment. Of course, being the type of people that Alan and Kristina are, they would not agree to take the money, unless they could pay it forward to other young photographers who are just starting out like they were once. In light of their generosity, 5% of all the funds received will be donated to the University of Kentucky's Photography Department.

Depending on your donation amount, you may also be eligible to claim one of many amazing perks, from framed art photos to matted and signed limited edition prints of Rideout Photography's exceptional work. See the "Perks" associated with this campaign for details.

The Part You Can't Miss

That's not all.

Everyone will be invited to a one night only pop-up gallery, where Rideout Photography will take portrait shots of EVERY donor. The event will take place September 21, 2012 from 6-8pm, at a yet to be determined location in Lexington.

Donors and their guests will also be invited to participate in a live photography project taking place at the event. It will be a night to celebrate, not only Rideout Photography's second shot, but all local artists who add so much value and beauty to our lives.

It has been my privilege to know Alan and Kristina both personally and professionally. To let these two young artists go another year unable to do the work they both love is not only unfair to them, but is robbing our community of the benefit of their work. Whether or not you are able to donate, please consider tweeting or sharing this campaign in your social media circles.

Any donation amount is greatly appreciated!

For more information on Rideout Photography use the campaign links to find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and their website!

Find this project on Facebook and RSVP to the event. Guests are welcome!

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