2013 FEDERAL ASSISTANCE AWARD, US DEPT OF STATE
As part of an ongoing cultural exchange between the United States and Saudi Arabia, I was awarded a Federal Assistance grant to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to teach photography. I shared my professional experience and knowledge of photography while learning about Saudi culture, traditions and their industries. For two weeks I visited the capital city, Riyadh, and the Eastern Province, to meet with college students, artists, photographers, professors and professionals (men and women) and discuss a range of information from amateur to professional. I covered a brief history of photography, where we are right now and where photography is going, technical information, lighting concepts (on location and in studio), and the photography business. The beginners learned the functions of their cameras and how to expose properly using available light and flash. The intermediate students refreshed their knowledge to develop their style and take photography further. For the top level photographers, we discussed their available market, how to present and promote their work, develop personal style, as well as their rights and how to work with clients. Many thanks to Catherine Schweitzer, Naimeh Hadidi, Robert Greenan, Joan Ahmed, Allyn Brooks-LaSure, and Mohammed Khalil.
The Qatif Arts Club honored me as the first American member of their Photo Community
2007 LOOK AT LIFE AMBASSADOR FOR OPERATION SMILE
As a Look At Life sponsored photographer, I traveled to Managua, Nicaragua for the 25th Anniversary of Operation Smile. The mission in Managua was part of the "World Journey of Smiles" in which Operation Smile held 40 simultaneous medical missions in 25 countries, treating more than 4,000 children in just 10 days. There I experienced, and photographed, Operation Smile's medical mission to screen for and treat cleft lips and palates of children who otherwise could not afford or have access to such care. During that week I followed several children and their families through the medical process, surgery, and recovery. One boy in particaular caught my attention, and I traveled back to Nicaragua three months later to see how he was doing. His mouth healed beautifully, and he was living happily with his family. My experience in Nicaragua will always have a special place in my heart. Warm thanks to Benj Gershman, Grace Gonzalez and Dee Dee Sides.
Clipping from The Virginian-Pilot Newspaper