Posing Playbook and Charity Work
All these images, I put together, Russ had talked about the Posing Playbook, this, we have in the Posing Playbook, it's basically an overview of everything I'm saying, so it's saying, what's the lighting, what's the challenge, every shoot is a challenge, what are all these things you're facing for right now and this is kind of ridiculous, it's normally 89 dollars, it's only 69 dollars till Monday, I think we said, till Monday? But you're also getting a free song from Triple Scoop Music, valued at 60 dollars, so it's nine dollars, (laughs) it's like a deal and not only that, but wait, there's more, 10% of all the book's proceeds go to Beautiful Together, our charity and so it's like how do you not win? How is that not a winning situation? Yes, Russ?
And if people do want to find out more about, or directly support Beautiful Together, where do they go?
Funny you should ask that, so BeautifulTogether.org, this is our website, this, I spend so much time with children and families, I me...
ntioned about how we've built our family, my daughter, our biological daughter, but we also have my son, who was adopted from Ethiopia at nine months old and my youngest daughter, who was adopted from Ecuador, when she was three and a half years old, we are currently 15 months into a process adopting a five and a half year old, who's living in Ethiopia, which is just terrible, I wish he were not there or we were there or something, but he's there, we're here and we're trying really hard to make it happen, we just went to Ethiopia and spent a couple of weeks there for Beautiful Together and this ties in really interestingly to Creative Live, last time I was here was in June, in the middle of that course, we did a segment, where I talked about how we'd been working on launching Beautiful Together and we had it all going and I said, you know, one of the things I'd love to do is this project, because the last time I was in this orphanage, which was last year, I realized that the bathrooms were just horrible, like just worse than you can imagine, in terms of not just the appliances and the equipment and the fixtures, but these are kids, 65 kids living in this orphanage and they do not have the dignity of a bathroom, that they can use, the way they would wash their hands is they just plunge 'em into this barrel, that would just sit there all day and then you know, I think at some point, there was soap, but then it was tough to keep the soap and so on and so forth, so I said on that show a few months ago, that what we would love to do was renovate the bathrooms and that it would come to a cost, I think the number was 7200 dollars and by the time we walked off the set, the whole project was funded, which was amazing, I was crying, (laughs) it was so cool and then so now, like literally just a week and a half ago, I announced that the project is finished, we were on the ground, we got to see it, we got to see you know, everything torn up and the old fixtures taken out and you can see all this at BeautifulTogether.org on the blog or on my website, TamaraLackey blog, you can see kind of all these photographs and you can see what was torn out, it's crazy, but they put in clean bathrooms and interesting things, I wanted to put in all Western toilets, 'cause a lot of them were squat holes, if you guys have done a lot of travel, but what we found out is we had to do a combination of clean, new, nicer squat toilets, as they're called and Western toilets, because there's not enough people to oversee the kids and these kids can fall in and get stuck (laughs), the little ones, so just, we learned a lot along the way, like oh, I wouldn't have thought of that and if we hadn't been there and seen some of it, I wouldn't have known that even was something we had to worry about. We went on since then, we've been able to complete four separate projects with Beautiful Together and again this is a non-profit, no, we're not saving the world, but I do feel like we're doing something, 'cause they're tangible projects, we started with this and we're here now, other things we've done, that was the Orphanage Renovation project, we ran a campaign, Supplies, we just asked people to help us supply vitamins and medicine and diapers and things like that, we were able to buy that in country and distribute, we were able to do, well, I can tell you in a second, a Safeguarding Your Orphanage project, which was basically when we were in the orphanage, there's 65 kids in this space and it's in the city and there's wild dogs everywhere and if they're playing soccer or something like that and they go through a gate, you just watch the kids fly through that gate after the ball, because it's bent, it's open, it's rusted, kids are getting cut and injured, there's no sort of protection for them to actually be in that space, especially as much younger children and again, if you go to the website, BeautifulTogether.org, you'll see a video, that shows kids slipping through, (laughs) it's like, ah, it doesn't seem safe, (laughs) so we put out this project and we were able to double the size of the gate and straighten them and put a really soft, clean fencing around and get new equipment for them to play and we, just through this community, we were able to fund the project, it was really heartening and then we did this was kind of a spontaneous thought, while we were there, we spent a couple of weeks there, I realized that these children, you take these pictures and again, if you've traveled to third world countries, you know that sometimes you'll show them the back of the camera and that's awesome, but they don't ever really see a large print of themselves, that's an uncommon, odd thing and so I decided that I wanted to photograph everybody in the orphanage and create a gallery in the orphanage with these large prints and I detailed out the specifics of trying to get this printing done, it was actually quite interesting, you can read about that on my blog, if you'd like to, but the day I hung this was literally the most satisfying moment I've ever had in photography by a lot and that was a surprise to me, I didn't expect it to be so cool and emotional and beautiful, so we were able to do that and then we just launched a project last week, which was Lighting the Classrooms, the classrooms they have on site, these little mini classrooms are very small, they have a really tough time literally seeing the chalkboard and so you can see a video of exactly what I mean, it's crazy, so we wanted to be able to light the classrooms with solar panels and be able to let these kids get an education, which is going to be the way out for them. So that's what we're doing with BeautifulTogether.org and so we've been able to create a couple of revenue streams, the book I just launched, we have proceeds going to Beautiful Together, Lush Albums, which is my fine art album line, that I'm doing with Fundy, you can, not only are the books great, they're beautiful and they're lovey and you can design them in like seven minutes, something crazy like that, but they're eco and animal friendly, no worms were killed in the making of your silk, isn't that exciting? They're fine art quality, they're really fun to design and there's no additional charge, so if you pay for the software, that's a few hundred dollars, but you just get it for free to use with Lush Albums, they're really well priced and obviously they're a constant source of revenue for our projects, which is great, so if you'd like to check that out. Part of why I care so much about the work we do with Beautiful Together and I'm making it such a part of everything we're doing at the studio and my husband is as well, is because I realized spending time with these children and especially adopting our own children is that the idea of growing up without a family at all is a really frightening, lonely thought, 'cause it's not just as a child, which when you know what they need as a child, your support, but it's also as they age out and they have to leave an orphanage and they, you know, think about the holidays, where do you go? They don't go anywhere, there's no one to go to, they don't have that connection and as the Mom of what will soon be three adopted children out of my four, I'm very aware of just how precious family is, so when I bundle that back to the idea of doing family photography, if I'm gonna photograph this incredible connection, you know, this miracle, that a pack of people find each other and say, you're mine, you know, if I'm gonna be doing that, I wanna make sure I'm doing the best job I can to showcase that, which was everything we just talked about today. So thank you very much, I really appreciate your time.
Thank you, Tamara, we appreciate not only your time, but also your knowledge, your education and what you do for other people. Thank you.