Young Photographers Alliance Exhibition NYC

Late last Spring I was invited by the Young Photographers Alliance (YPA) to help launch a unique pilot program for emerging photographers in 10 US and international locations, thanks to major funding from ASMP. San Francisco was one of 10 cities in the summer pilot project, open to 2 to 4 college students or recent graduates in each city. The YPA/ASMP Mentoring Program gives emerging photographers the ability to work with successful photographers to fine tune their craft, create images for their portfolios, develop business and skills and explore markets for their work. At the same time they explore the power of photography to build community awareness and support around an important environmental or social issue. The San Francisco team was mentored by photographer Trinette Reed. It was a fantastic experience working with Trinette, her husband and fellow SF team photographers. Now, our work, along with the teams, made our premiere exhibition last week at the Calumet gallery in NYC. Our theme for the show was,  Answering Adversity.

For more details about the show, please visit: http://www.youngphotographersalliance.org/events/index.php

Below is an introduction to my project:

Coming Home

There is an unwavering feeling of uncertainty veterans experience upon their arrival home from service. Coming home is a challenge; transitioning from military to civilian with no regard for rank and routine and structure are no longer required to abide by. Reintegrating back into society is a process that, for many, has no resolve. But there are some…

Kevin Raith, 23, is a US veteran. At the age of 3, Kevin and his mother, Ligia, immigrated to America because of the communist revolution in Nicaragua. He joined the Marines immediately after high school to experience service and earn his citizenship. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and it was there he became a US citizen. Like so many veterans, Kevin’s arrival home was met with instability. His mother recently lost her job, money was scarce and their living situation was in flux. Thus, Kevin began looking for solutions. He went looking for resources that would assist him with his newly appointed veteran status and found Swords to Plowshares, a San Francisco based non-profit committed to helping veterans rebuild lives. And so, Kevin began to build. He took training courses, met with leaders to help prepare resumes, applications and interviews. Swords to Plowshares helped foster the emotional confidence and structure fundamental with transitioning from military to civilian.

But, when no job interviews followed Kevin realized now, more than ever, was the right time to pursue his life ambition and go to college. Even though their family remains challenged, their support for each other provides a foundation to build on. As he prepares to attend fall semester at San Francisco State University, there is a sense of trepidation but also pride in himself, his mother and in one another. In these uncertain times, the family unit remains a resilient weapon in facing any adversity.