Happy Memorial Day!

May 28, 2012

I’d like to take a quick moment to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day. I spent last night at a cookout at the house of one of my good friends, Brian – a Marine I met while studying abroad in Argentina.  A house full of Marines and their families – talk about a perfect way to remind yourself what Memorial Day is all about.

For my senior thesis, I had the pleasure of spending a year following the lives of the Cashion Family. Joe Cashion is a Sergeant in the Army and volunteered for a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. I followed the family before, during and after Joe’s deployment. I learned so much from them and will always treasure the way they opened their lives to me.

In honor of Memorial Day, I wanted to re-post the multimedia project I created.

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph a hair drive at the Bishop England High School on Daniel’s Island, South Carolina. Christine Ronco, a teacher at Bishop England, organized the drive for Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to children suffering from long-term medial hair loss.

McKenzi Mazur, a sophomore at Bishop England High School, nervously waits while her hair is cut.

Ronco told the students about the drive last fall, giving the girls almost an entire school year to grow their locks.

McKenzi Mazur, an energetic sophomore, said she was “really nervous” but was glad that she decided to donate. “It’s the least I could do – I wanted to do it for kids who are sick”.

Christine Ronco, the teacher who organized the hair drive, was one of two faculty members who participated in the drive.

A crowd of students gathered in the courtyard at Bishop England High School to watch the Hair Drive during their lunch hour.

Prior to the drive, Ronco had a list of 30 girls who were going to donate. By the end of the lunch hour, over 75 girls had donated up to a foot of their hair!

The youngest donor, Phoebe Govett, 7, was one of the calmest in the face of the shears. Her mother, Ashley Govett, said that she had been wanting to donate her hair for a long time. When she heard about the school drive from a friend, she asked if she could bring Phoebe along. “I wanted to donate to a kid who doesn’t have any hair,” Phoebe told me.

Phoebe Govett, 7, admires her new, shorter hair.

The drive was a huge success and I really enjoyed spending the afternoon at the event.

Sidney Copleston, a student at Bishop England High School, can’t hide her fear while her long locks are cut. “Oh my gosh! It’s all gone!” she exclaimed afterwards.

Anna Walton, 21, a senior at the University of South Carolina explains the purpose and necessity of the Good Samaritan Clinic in Columbia, South Carolina.  The clinic was founded 11 years ago and specializes in providing “culturally competent, linguistically competent services” for the Hispanic community.  Walton explains that the clinic offers Hispanics “a place to feel secure” in a world where they are constantly faced with language barriers.  While the clinic specializes in Hispanic-related services, it treats patients of all races and backgrounds.  The Good Samaritan Clinic treats 13 patients every Tuesday and Thursday night in Columbia.

*This is a multimedia video, so make sure you push the play button below.*

This is a project I just finished.  I had a great time learning about the Good Samaritan Clinic. The learn more, visit their website.

Special thanks to Anna Walton, Clinic Director, Lidia [last name withheld], and the Good Samaritan Clinic.

All photos and audio copyright © 2010 Sarah Langdon.

Relaxing on the stairs at Cool Beans.

Last week, I wrangled my friend Apoorva and took some portraits of her at a local coffee shop, Cool Beans, for an assignment in my photo class.  I don’t have much experience with strobes so I had a lot of fun practicing bouncing light, etc.  Lucky for me, she was a very patient model and overcame her camera shyness relatively quickly – two necessary traits when you’re the friend of a photographer!

I wanted to shoot at Cool Beans because I loved the color of their walls and I thought the plethora of window light at the shop would be nice in the portraits.  It’s also a place Apoorva loves (as do I) and I wanted to photograph her in a place where she was comfortable.  The relaxing vibe of the shop is also evident in the photos.

I like these two photos, they show her personality – she’s always smiling and enjoying herself.  I’m disappointed by the feet on the stairs. Though, they bother me less and less every time I analyze the photo so I thought I’d go ahead and post the photo.  I think this close-up is nice – I love the three simple yet vibrant colors and the shadow on the wall.

I hope to continue working with strobes, I enjoyed them more than I expected and loved the possibilities it opened up for me.

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