Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Marshall, taking a train anywhere

As promised, we will be introducing you to some of the people we met and interviewed for our film. The first person we'd like you to meet is Marshall, a street performer we met at State and Lake. Marshall recently self-published a book on Amazon about his life. If you remember from our film about home, Marshall has a daughter, and is homeless. Below is a little audio from our chat with Marshall about where he would travel if he could go anywhere. Check it out, and share where you would go! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Inspire Symposium Film

Thank you to those of you who came to the Inspire Symposium today! Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we could not show the film we've been working on, but you can see it here (above and on YouTube). Stay tuned for posts about all the individuals we interviewed for the film, and a few more!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Garfield Park Conservatory and Video Updates

I had a wonderful day interviewing people for our video, and visiting the Garfield Park Conservatory! Stay tuned for deets on the video, and be sure to come to the Inspire Symposium at Northwestern on May 11th! 
Top photo: Moroccan fountain at the conservatory.
Bottom photo: Flowers in the Monet Garden


As promised, here are a few of the photos I took of Ludacris on Saturday night! You can see more here, in The Daily Northwestern. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Marcus, Omar, and Carlos... and some musings on dreams

Yesterday, on my way back from taking photos at a Ludacris concert (photos coming soon!), I met Marcus, Omar, and Carlos (from left). They were on their way home from a comic convention at McCormick Place. As we chatted, I learned a little about their interest in comics, but also about Carlos's interest in photography, which got me thinking... 
Carlos, like many people I interview, asked me about my camera. The funny thing is, as much as I love my camera, it's really not what I need to be a photographer. I am a firm believer that photography is about your view of the world. Having an eye for photography is what matters. 
When I first started shooting, I was eight, and I had my dad's old film (!) camera from the 80s. Though my pictures were kind of awful, it wasn't because of my camera, it was because I hadn't developed my eye. It took a lot of time. And honestly, some of my best photos were taken with my phone or a point-and-shoot camera! REALLY! I know that's hard to believe, but it's true. I didn't get my latest camera until about two years ago. All that time, I used a small camera I bought with my babysitting money - and it did an awesome job. 
So my point is this: If you want to do something, you can! Use what you have and practice practice practice. And one day you'll find that your pictures are as phenomenal as you'd hoped. 
During our conversation, Marcus was telling me that he hopes to be an engineer some day, though he hasn't had the chance to study it yet. I was pretty excited that he was interested in engineering because my dad is an engineer. I wanted to share my dad's story, but didn't have the chance because they had to leave the train. I hope this story encourages you to reach for your dreams, no matter how big they may seem, Marcus.
So! My dad was born in Cairo, Egypt, and lived there until he was in his twenties. When he was growing up, his dad was a truck driver, and his family did not have a lot of money, but his parents really encouraged him to study and do well in school. After high school, it paid off. My dad was accepted into an engineering school, and ended up coming to America a few years later to continue his studies. Though he was a first generation college student, and an immigrant to America, and though he faced many obstacles that kept him in graduate school for many years (7!), he persevered and achieved his goals. It sounds cheesy, but it really is true - If you follow your dreams, and stick it out even when times are tough, you can achieve anything. 
It was wonderful to meet you, Marcus, Omar and Carlos!  Best wishes on achieving your goals for the future. Until then, I hope we'll meet again soon.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Exciting news!

WE'RE STARTING A VIDEO PROJECT! Coming to an El train near you.
The video will debut at this year's Inspire Symposium. More details soon!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In the Wake of Tragedy

Chicago actor Usman Ally shared the story below on his Facebook page, and I thought it was important to share it with you. In light of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, he was harassed on the El for appearing different, much like this marathon attendee. It is distressing to hear of the discrimination that follows in the wake of tragedies. Terrorism has no nation or religion. As JK Rowling wrote, the power of "spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust." There is a lot of wisdom in that. 
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