Thursday, October 21, 2010

Haiti: Marichelle

Yesterday the crew shot an interview on a roof in Port au Prince.  While we were shooting, I noticed Marichelle.  We exchanged smiles as she watched from street below.  After the interview I was asked to shoot some b roll of a kindergarten nearby; the first floor a school/church and the second floor an apartment. I began shooting the shell of the empty kindergarten when Marichelle came running in from the street.  

Connecting with people is important to me. The relationships I make when I shoot are what motivate me to travel.   It never ceases to amaze me how quickly two people can understand each other without words, in a short period of time.  Every day that I worked in Haiti I felt these types of connections with my subjects.  Marichelle embodied this connection. 

Below are some images of the time I spent with Marichelle of Port au Prince. 



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Haiti: Half way

Yesterday was the halfway mark of of my stay in Haiti. I visited two tent cities outside of Port au Prince, tent cities inhabited by people whose homes have yet to be rebuilt and who have been living in tents for 9 months, some with up to 30 people per tent. 

When the earthquake hit, the rich who were least affected, were the only people whose houses were insured to be rebuilt.  Every other person whose house was destroyed, was left with absolutely nothing. People were forced to relocate, often with their entire community, to begin life again.  Many of the people who were affected have no means to create a foundation for themselves to push past the situation they live in today.  Walking around the tent cities it was horrible to think that this may be the situation these people may be living in for the rest of their lives. 

Every night it storms in Haiti, with downpours that wash the water from the highest elevation of the mountains rushing down to the lowest elevation, where most of the garbage collects.  On the way down the rushing rain water washes out roads,  the earth from under tents, and collapses the tarps holding them up.  These are the conditions that people face every single day.  Yet when I visited these tent cities, I was overwhelmed by how people treated me.  While I was shooting with the Vestergaard Frandsen documentary crew, I wandered off for a bit on my own.  I befriended a group of girls who were my little fixers of the neighborhood, when suddenly my hand was grabbed by a woman who led me to her tent to photograph her family.  Once I left her tent I was called in by another family to take their photograph, and then another, and this continued and continued.  After spending time with each family I could sense how deeply important it was to them that I document their lives.   

The images below are a few of the photographs and stills of videos, that I shot in this tent city. 


My tour guides through the tent city. 

Haiti possesses a unique energy that I've felt from the first day I arrived. Every day that I'm in Haiti I'm impressed by the ability of Haitians to push forward and to live their lives.   The lack of opportunity for people with such a strong work ethic and will to overcome the struggle, is deeply frustrating.  Yet when I speak with Haitians they continuously hope for a better future and remind me of their pride and positivity.  Yet I can't stop recycling the thought, if only there were more answers.   How can Haitians finally have a better government, more jobs, equal opportunities and a cleaner space to live.   How can the deeply broken infrastructure of Haiti be fixed?
Images of Port au Prince



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Haiti: Day one

I arrived in Haiti today to start my first of 8 days shooting a documentary film project.  My first day in Haiti has been nothing short of eye opening. Below are some of my first experiences in Haiti.

This man was sitting in front of me on my plane this morning. He seemed to make friends with everyone he met, I loved watching him interact with the his neighbor seated next to him. This is a still of a video I shot  of him looking out of the plane window en-route to Haiti.

After landing, It took 2 hours to drive from the airport to the hotel.  Geographically a very short distance, however the traffic in Port-au-Prince is so severe that it makes for a long journey to travel anywhere.
  As I drove by I watched people going to school, selling sugar cane, working at the market, selling crafts,  going through their daily routine.
The ability to even attempt to live a normal life amongst so much chaos speaks volumes for the resilience and strong will of Haitians.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

YPA Auction

I donated a print of my image Mangrove, to the YPA Auction this year.  
CLICK HERE to check out the YPA auction catalog online.