A letter home

Today has been a great day. I was able to meet with the Womens Empowerment Center today, as well as the Delegate and directors of Sports and Physical Education, and I will be meeting with them next week to interview them on tape, and get a better understanding of the issues that face youth in Cameroon.

I was going to write a separate blog post, but instead I will share a letter that I wrote to those that I love.

Good morning

I hope you are doing well back at home.

I am well. Do not fear about that. I am busy with the things that seem to take forever while I am here. I didnt start the video series yet, but today I am meeting with the director of the Woman’s Empowerment Center to interview her on tape, and start to understand the issues that west African youth face on a daily basis. We will also be going to the jail, talking to teachers, ministers, and local business men,to understand the wide range of problems and successes that people
experience.

It is so insanely hot here. Nicaragua is hot, and humid, but I sit in the room, eat breakfast, and within minutes I have lost all the water that I have been drinking from the night before. Last night power was out for a few hours, but God is good, right as I was getting in bed,the power came back on and I was able to turn on a fan! I woke up with mosquito bites, but I think that was from the night before because we had a “dance” party with the kids in the compound. It was pretty funny. They were trying to teach me dance steps that I couldn’t do well, most likely even if i practiced for days. As soon as I would figure it out the beat would change and I looked like and epileptic dinosaur stumbling.

Today will be a good day. It has been a quiet time with lots of
reflection, about life, what is important, and I can see so clearly
the places that I want to improve, not just within my own life, but also within my photography. I need to be intentional. Images are only as powerful as the combined elements will allow. Just because I am in Africa, it does not guarantee beautiful images. I need to focus more on being out of my comfort zone, and not hiding behind my camera. This
means meeting people and building relationships so that I can then make images that are more telling. Things like eye contact, take an ok image, that compositionally may be good, and turns it into a portrait that is really telling. It helps you to meet that person even though they are thousands of miles away.

It is so hot here right now. and I think that I have finally stopped sweating. There is nothing left to sweat out. Our meeting is soon, so I must go. I hope that this makes your morning more exciting. I will try and call through magic jack today, so keep your phone near.

I pray that your day is filled with joy and laughter, through the love of our LORD.

Dan

Pittsburgh Wedding Photography-The Priory Hotel’s Pittsburgh Grand Hall| Khayla and Tita

Khayla and Tita had an awesome wedding a few weeks ago, and it made me think of my first trip to Rwanda back in 2001. I had the chance to spend three months working with a school for genocide orphans, but I also had the chance to attend a few weddings, and the singing, dancing, and drumming is amazing!

We started the day at the Heinz Memorial Chapel in Oakland on Pitts beautiful campus. Khayla donned her dress, and finished up her makeup. After the ceremony we shot some photos at the columns on the Carnegie Mellon campus, and then headed to the strip district for some more quick photos before heading to The Priory Hotel’s Grand Ballroom for the reception.

Titas’ family is from Cameroon. His family was dressed in traditional clothing, and they entered the reception to drummers, dancers, and singers leading them into the beautiful Grand Hall at the Priory Hotel. The Grand Hall is a beautiful place for receptions located in Pittsburgh’s historic Northside. If you happen to be visiting Pittsburgh, and are looking for a great place to stay, the Priory is a beautiful little hotel and worth the stay.

Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your day, and I hope you have a blessed life together.

Onto the photos!

Isn’t she beautiful!

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I love this introduction!

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They started out the night with dancing and singing blessings on the family, and then wished 15 children on Khayla and Tita (or so the ancestors said) and Khayla almost fell out over from shock!DDS_5338(blog)

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I hope you love them! There are way to many good ones to post, but i hope this is a nice taste.