Tag Archives: Non Profit Organization

Louisa Marie Summer: Jennifer’s Family

Some photographers do the hard work.  They approach strangers and integrate themselves into new worlds, and through that integration, give us insights into situations and experiences we might never encounter. This hard work also connects us to our humanity and to the human condition. Louisa Marie Summer is one of those photographers, and Schilt Publishing has recently released a powerful book of her series, Jennifer’s Family.

Louisa was born in Munich, Germany, received her undergraduate degree in Photo Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, and her MFA in Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. She now lives and works in New York and is working as a freelance photographer and teaching for non-profit art organizations with students with special needs. Together with the NYC non-profit organization “Rehabilitation Through Photography”, she helps people to improve their lives through photography.

Louisa’s work has been exhibited worldwide, and has received numerous awards and nominations.  She was a selected student of the Edie Adams Workshops, and has been featured in a range of publications.

The photographs of Jennifer’s Family share my experience with Jennifer, a 26 year-old
first-generation Puerto Rican woman, whom one day I approached in South
Providence, RI. This area is an urban neighborhood with a large
African-American and Hispanic population, high unemployment and crime rates,
and where many families live well below the poverty line. 

For more than two years I have been portraying the daily life of
Jennifer, who lives with her Native American life partner Tompy and their four
children in a rundown three-bedroom apartment at or near the lower end of the
socioeconomic ladder. In spite of difficult living conditions, poverty, and
illness, Jennifer remains optimistic while thoroughly caring for her children.

Over time I literally became part of the daily life of an America family
I care for and who cares for me. The quote of Jennifer’s life partner and also
the title of my short video documentary, Respect
Goes a Long Way
perfectly expresses our relationship based on mutual trust,
respect, and understanding.

To support the
family’s voice, I included short essays from interviews in the book
reveal details about their relationships and emotions, as well as their finances
and child-rearing philosophies. The words reflect them as trustworthy human beings,
while also revealing the contradictions and tensions between what they say and
how they act. 

 With this work I want to give
people a voice, particularly those who cope with poverty and despair. I am
convinced that honest and compassionate images play an important role as a
“social conscience” that can change people’s views or at least raise awareness.

Photographer #411: Adam Amengual

Adam Amengual, 1981, USA, is a portrait photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Parsons School of Design. After graduating he started assisting commercial photographers as Ruven Afanador and Art Streiber. Even though he was photographing for himself and commercially he felt the urge to create his own series. While researching gangs, cults and hardcore religious factions he came accross Homeboy Industries, a non-profit organization assisting former gang members to become positive and contributing members of society. He portrayed the former gang members at Homeboy Industries which resulted in a series named Homies. The images are stylized and aesthetically composed mug shots. He hopes that the viewer connects to the portrayed on a more human level. It is important to Adam that his subjects are always shown in a respectful manner. The following images come from the series Homies: Portraits of Former LA Gang Members, Day Laborers and People, Places, and Things...

Website: www.adamamengual.com

Last Chance to Apply for Work-Scholar Program

Saturday, October 15th is the deadline to apply for Aperture’s Stevan A. Baron Work-Scholar Program.

Aperture’s Work-Scholar Program was created in 1983 to give individuals of promise the unique opportunity to work closely with our staff on a wide range of Aperture activities. The program welcomes an average of twenty interns every year, allowing young graduates from the United States and around the world to learn the skills required to pursue related careers while contributing to the Foundation and its programs.

Successful work scholars find themselves engaged in the editing, design, production, circulation, sales, and marketing of photography’s most significant publications; the development of major traveling exhibitions; the creation of web content; and all other business operations, including development and finance, essential to a non-profit organization.

Aperture Foundation’s Chelsea location offers the unique opportunity to work for six to twelve months in New York City and have access to art galleries, museums, and other art-related facilities. Work scholars meet people from around the world who share common experiences and goals. They make contacts within the photo community at Aperture events and through meetings with various professionals in the photography field.

We have positions within the CommunicationsDesignDevelopmentEditorial (books or magazine), ExhibitionFinanceMagazine Circulation (magazine marketing, advertising), ProductionSales, and Website departments. It’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to explore career paths and build experience, while learning from Aperture’s talented staff.

Click here for more information about the program, and how to apply for positions.

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

From the Work Scholar’s Desk: Aperture Foundation Development

By Stephanie S. Yee

above: Kit Baker, Aperture's Associate Director of Development, and Work Scholar Stephanie Yee


As a non-profit organization, the Aperture Foundation is funded by the generous support of individual donors and grants from government institutions. Aperture’s development department is responsible for researching, securing, and managing the contributed income that makes so many of the Foundation’s exciting book, exhibition, and event projects possible.

As a Work Scholar in the development department, I’ve become familiar with the preparation of grant applications. I’ve found this to be an especially interesting process because the development of a grant application is a highly collaborative process. Before a grant takes shape, it requires discussion and meetings with various departments at Aperture—like editorial, exhibitions, marketing, and events—in order to collect applicable information and statistics for the grant’s narrative.

Under the guidance of Associate Director of Development Kit Baker, I had the opportunity to assist with the preparation of Aperture’s 2012 grant application to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA). The DCLA provides city funds to support and strengthen New York City’s vibrant cultural life. In the preparatory stages, we held a senior staff meeting during which we spoke with DCLA officer Evans Richardson. Mr. Richardson answered our questions about the grant process and walked us through the specific details required by the application. After a grant is submitted, the grantee is required to provide a detailed report of the funded activities with updated budgets or project changes. To this end, Kit and I recently attended a reporting process seminar at the DCLA’s offices at City Hall, which walked us through the ins and outs of the final report that must be submitted before Aperture receives its grant money.

For the DCLA grant, it was particularly inspiring to report on the numerous activities and programming Aperture will celebrate in observance of its sixtieth anniversary in 2012. One exciting example is the upcoming publication of The New York Times Magazine Photographs, which contains images I remember seeing as a child flipping through the Sunday Times. Personally, I found the research and information-gathering aspects of grant preparation to be a satisfying process. Watching the different elements of the grant come together and take shape afforded me a better understanding of Aperture’s scope and mission.

Prior to working in development, I never realized the considerable amount of effort it takes to see these projects come to life. I will never look at an exhibition or art book in the same way, or fail to acknowledge all of the hard work and funding that goes on behind-the-scenes to make a beautiful concept a reality.

Development Work Scholar Stephanie S. Yee is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she received a B.A. in History and a minor in Architecture. Her favorite Aperture publications are Rinko Kawauchi’s Illuminance and Penelope Umbrico’s (photographs). Stephanie can be found supporting projects on Kickstarter, reading up on architectural theory, wandering a museum, or dancing front row at a concert. Follow what she’s up to @stephasy.

Click here for more information on Aperture’s Work Scholar Program.

*Above photo shot with a SONY a33 DLSR Camera and Lens, generously donated by Sony USA.

– Film & Photography: Getting Your Non-Profit’s Message Across

During my latest bout of Stumbling around, I came across a relatively new non-profit organization called The Girl Effect. Their mission is admirable: enabling the powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society. Like most groups that support women, I was hooked from square one, but what surprised me about the way the The Girl Effect presented their organization was that their website wasn’t filled with words.

The group’s mission is found within a simple dictionary entry introducing the term “Girl Effect”. There are only three sections on the site: Learn, Change and Share. Thus, there are very few chunks of text to get lost in. Instead, their website is filled with photographs and videos.

You’ll find their message within the introductory video, detailing how change begins with a girl. You’ll also find the scale of how you can help women across the world and you’ll see the stories of several women who have already been helped by the organization. Within the Learn section you’ll meet four women. And each time you navigate through the site you’ll see photographs of more women that have been Effect-ed. The Share section offers supporters the ability to share and network the website itself and also several ways to “fly the Girl Effect” via banners, posters and other graphics.

Is this the wave of the future for non-profits? Will we see more and more groups embracing the internet as a tool and putting their message out by using video and photography? Will the next big thing in social change, or any other field, be the result of an emotionally charged photograph?