This week was important because I did intense research about one’s rights as a photographer. Although the people in the tent community had verbally agreed to have their picture taken, I felt hesitant to put the pictures on my blog without written consent. I spent over two hours researching the rights of individuals in having their picture taken; I looked at examples of release forms. I spent another hour writing up and editing my own release form:
I spent about an hour coming up with a plan for December Review. After looking at my calendar, I realized there are really only six weeks left until the presentation- and one of those weeks is Thanksgiving, meaning we really only have 5 weeks before end of semester.
I also had a great meeting today with Chelsea, the Coordinator of SOS. I sat down with her for an hour and talked about the access I would need for my “ideal” project. I communicated about how I would love to tell stories of families that are homeless, but I need access to families in the SOS shelter. I discussed how I would give SOS all of the multi-media stories I create so that they could use this to present at auctions and other various events to raise money. She was very positive and completely on board with my idea; she is going to support me and try to work with the case manager to find families who will participate. We are planning on putting together a schedule of times to work together to reach out to various families.
For another hour Chelsea gave me a tour of the SOS Crisis center, where they provide food, counseling, and other support. Here are some photos of the Crisis Center I took today:
I also spent another two hours at a meeting at the tent community. It was a night meeting where the board speaks to the campers and they both settle various issues. Tonight’s discussion centered on if the campers would move to a new location if the police asked them to vacate the premises. The group voted they would stay and not move to a new spot, and fight for their right to be at that location. One of the board members of the tent community introduced me to all of the campers tonight. I introduced myself and said I wanted to raise awareness for Camp Take Notice; they gave me a round of applause! All of the campers are very smart; one homeless camper took me aside and asked if I had appropriate release forms before I take the pictures, which I told her I did.
I took some photos tonight at the meeting, which took place in the large, communal tent. The light was a challenge because they only had one small lantern for a light source in the crowded tent:
The photos of people were interesting; but in this case I think the most interesting of the photos are the ones I took from a distance, when the camp members were inside discussing the meeting and I was outside. I tried to capture people's shadows, especially because the lantern created an interesting fluorescent blue light:
This week I learned the importance of doing my research on protecting rights. I am glad I went through with a release form. The two people I photographed at the tent community were more than happy to sign it tonight. Now that I have consent, I feel confident and will edit down the photos and post some of the pictures of the campers in later posts.
For SOS, Chelsea recommended I create a "mission statement" to send out to the families so they get an understanding of what I am trying to accomplish. This is a great idea; I am going to create a mission statement of less than six concise sentences.
Tomorrow I am going to meet with the Executive Director of Alpha House. I look forward in meeting Julie and taking the next steps.
Next week I am also going to return to the tent community and interview/record Jay's story. I find his story very interesting and powerful. I would love to share it with everyone.