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free photo shoot

Help your friend win a free portrait shoot!

Updated: This contest is now closed.

Every year, I make some time for personal projects: projects that are close to my heart and mean something to me. Over the past few years, I have had the privilege of using my gifts in photography for a few different projects:

Chiang Mai Living Waters – Alex and I went to Thailand to document the launch of Chiang Mai Living Waters, a home set up by this couple living in Thailand. This home was created with the purpose of being a temporary living space for patients and family of patients seeking treatment in the hospital in Chiang Mai. Oftentimes, patients travel as far as 8 hours on a tuk tuk from the village to the town, and once they arrive at the hospital, they don’t really have the money to spend on accommodation. Most of the family members end up sleeping in the corridors or on the sidewalks of the hospital for days while their father / mother / child undergoes treatment. With the set up of CM Living Waters, these people have a place to rest for a week or two while their family members undergo treatment. At the same time, they can be involved in sewing projects that help them earn income.

Myanmar Refugees – Together with Picture This & That, I attended an event organized by UNHCR for Myanmar refugees. I think most of us are aware of the problems faced by these refugees when they come over to Malaysia. They don’t really have a place to live, and they cannot really work legally in Malaysia. The children have no access to education. I volunteered to take some family photos for these refugees – some of these photos are probably the only images they have of themselves.

Crisis Home
– Each year, I am involved in this conference called Charge Up – where we train people in learning photography and video skills. Charge Up is organized by a non-profit organization called LiveWire Media. This year, the teams were sent to different NGOs to create slideshows / videos with a message. My team went to Crisis Home, a safe place for people living with HIV. The photos in this slideshow were mainly taken by the team I was mentoring. I am proud of how they came up with this work!

[flv:http://www.stories.my/wp-content/uploads/2010/slideshows/crisishome.flv http://www.stories.my/wp-content/uploads/2010/slideshows/crisishome.jpg 700 394]

It is through these events and also in meeting couples who are getting married but struggling with cancer that prompted me to come up with this idea.

I want to make a difference in someone’s life.

I would love to share my gift of photography: with someone who deserves it.

Do you know of someone who would love to have their photo taken? It could be an engaged friend who wants amazing wedding portraits but cannot afford it. Or it could be the family living next door that has been contributing so much to society but just never had their family photograph taken. Or it could be a friend living with a terminal illness.

It’s up to you.

Tell me their story.

Contest Details:

1. Nominate a friend and write an email to me (grace.tan [at] stories.my) explaining why this person / family / couple deserves a free shoot. It is up to you to be as creative as possible with your entries! Please attach a photo of your friend. If you don’t have a photo, you can create any kind of graphic with images or text and send it to me. The photo can be a web resolution photo. Please include the contact information of your friend (eg. phone number or email).

2. Every week, selected images and stories will be uploaded onto the Facebook Stories page. Invite your friends to ‘like’ your story.

3. The contest will end by 31 May 2010.

4. Judges from Stories.my will select the top 2 stories with consideration of the public votes. However, the number of ‘likes’ may not necessarily influence the final decision of the judges, who will decide based on story idea. Your nominated friend will win a 1 hour photography session with Stories.my. He/she will get all the photos on CD (printable up to 4R size) and one 15″ x 10″ matte photo print. Shoots are to happen within the month of June or July 2010 within the Klang valley.

Looking forward to hearing your stories!