2020 has been a difficult year for us all. Never before have we had to consider what is most important, and what a vital role community plays in our lives. For me, I have always focused on the creative and career in my craft, commercial photography. While I have made some pro bono work for worthy causes in the past, this year I chose to dive deeper into ways I could help. Paid clients are always welcome, I have overhead and bills to pay myself, but I considered how I could be of service to companies that might not be able to afford my services, or companies looking to change the world in a positive way. We can’t wait for other people to tell us what to do, we need to be the change we want to see in the world, through action, not just words.
Ordinarily, volunteering is something that I would keep to myself, but in sharing these acts I hope to inspire others to do the same.
I had recently the discovered the delicious TONY’S Chocolonely at Whole Foods and simultaneously on Netflix in a documentary about chocolate and the slave trade supporting it. A series called Rotten, Season 1 episode 5, Bitter Chocolate. I was shocked to learn that children were being sold into slavery to produce chocolate, and releived that there was a company working to change the industry.
We have the opportunity to reimagine the world, a world without slavery, extreme polution, one that respects and cares for nature, a kinder, more sustainable, responsible existence. One person can not change these complex problems, but we can all do something that moves us toward this goal. Instead of focusing on all the drama of 2020, how can we help each other? The guidelines I made for myself were, social causes, minority owned and small local businesses.
I made a stop animation on my own, got in touch with TONY’S US marketing team and gave it to them to use. This simple step ended in working together to create more content for them to use worldwide. I hope this inspires you all to get out there and take action.
Here is a list of other organizations I have either worked with or donated images to so far
TONY’S Chocolonely (animation and imagery)
NYC Salt - helping underserved urban youth through photography (imagery for auction)
Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (imagery for auction)
Art by Autumn - Cincinnati jewelry maker (Ecomm images)
Longworth Anderson Series - concert series enriching culture in Cincinnati (portraits for promotion)
BAsoule - local beauty start up making bath salt and botanical skin oil (Creative direction and imagery)
Below is a collection of imagery we created to promote this local, minority owned skincare brand. I loved working with this team of talented women.
Art Direction and Photography: Marlene Rounds
CEO: Chanel Scales
Makeup: Sali Kamara
Model: Jameliah Byrd
Set Assistant: Jerin McIntosh