The Purple Balloon Project

A photography project dedicated to a dear friend, Brye, who passed away due to complications from Lupus.


My Story


My name is Kat and I'm a Photography graduate who has discovered a newfound inspiration in an unfortunate tragedy. I'd like to share a story with you about a dear friend I lost on June 22nd, 2012:

When I went to school for photography, I had the opportunity to meet one of the most wonderful people one could ever meet. His name was Brye. Brye wasn't exactly one of the most extroverted, loud people but he was one of the most gentle souls I ever came across. We bonded over photography classes and lunch breaks. We would share our photographic fears and our dreams for our future. I wanted to move to New York and he wanted to move to California. At the end of last year, he was able to move to California to be with his fiancee, Kim. When it was my birthday, Brye sent me a letter along with a drawing that contained two characters, one holding a balloon.

Once Brye moved to California, he became increasingly sick. He began to experience painful migraines to the point he was unable to walk. Unbeknownst to me, he had been suffering from Lupus ever since he was 16. On June 22nd, I was delivered some unfortunate news by Kim that Brye had passed away due to complications of Lupus. He was only 23.

My campaign is a photographic project I have labeled "The Purple Balloon Project". The color purple is associated with Lupus. When I heard this terrible news, I wanted to be able to help out. I felt inspired to pursue a project where I would be able to help out others suffering from Lupus with the hopes of a cure someday.

I would like to start a photographic series containing subjects holding a purple balloon in natural light. The purpose of this series is to raise awareness of Lupus and serve as an homage to my dear friend, Brye. This project will be a joint effort along with a documentary that will be produced by Brye's fiancee, Kim.


What We Need & What You Get

In order to be able to bring "The Purple Balloon Project" to life, I am asking for help in funding some of the equipment to be able to photograph the best possible ideas. At the moment, the camera that I use presents some limitations for the type of project I would like to do. I am looking to begin shooting "The Purple Balloon Project" in August.

I'm asking for a funding fee of $5,000 to cover some of the following:

-Canon f/4 24-105 mm USM

Because this project is on a "Fixed" funding schedule, our goal of $5000 must be met in order to continue with this project. About 80% of the funding will be donated to the Lupus Foundation of America (Philadelphia Tri-State Chapter). Please help us get there. 
Alas, if our goal is not reached within 45 days, I will still pursue "The Purple Balloon Project" with my limited resources.
In exchange for your generosity, the following perks will be delivered to you via mail once the project is completed (please make sure you click on "Claim this Perk" and not just "Contribute" if you'd like a perk)
$5 - Personalized Thank You note via mail (unlimited)
$10 - Thank You note + 4x6 print (100 available)
$20 - Thank You note + 4x6 print + 5x7 print (50 available)
$50 - Thank You note + 4x6 print + 5x7 print + 8x10 print (30 available)
$100 - Thank You note + 4x6 print + 5x7 print + 2 8x10 prints (10 available)
$250 - Thank You note + 4x6 print + 5x7 print + 2 8x10 prints + Photo Book
(5 available)
*NOTE: I apologize ahead of time but I cannot ship internationally!

The Impact

Any contribution would mean the world to me. First, you're helping to raise awareness of Lupus as a disease. Two, you're helping me raise funds in order to be able to bring my project to light. Most importantly, you're showing me you've read the story about Brye.


Other Ways You Can Help

I understand that not everyone has the ability to physically donate. And that's okay. I only ask that you share this story with other people and get the word out. I would highly appreciate it!

Team on This Campaign: