Tag Archives: 2015

Selfies for a cause: Dressember!

Slavery is alive today in the shadows of our culture. I’m participating in Dressember because I believe in everyday advocacy. I am hoping that by raising awareness and talking about it, we can all help to shift this culture that looks the other way, or believes that we are powerless.

Dressember day 1.
Dressember day 1.

The first step to change is being aware of the problem. The next is finding ways to support programs that are already working toward that change. And the hardest of all, will be self-education so that we don’t accidentally support the conditions that make it the only option for people around the world.

I’m going to do my best at raising awareness, and invite you to help by sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Email!

But, first some details…

According to the US Government definitions of slavery, there are several different types:

Dressember day 2.
Dressember day 2.
  1. Forced Labor. Immigrants are the likely victims of this, as they pay for their passage to another country.
  2. Sex Trafficking. It is what it says, forced sex workers, coerced or forced into work through fear tactics and manipulation.
  3. Bonded Labor. This is more straight forward, paying off a debt through employment, often in less than safe conditions.
  4. Debt Bondage. Just like bonded labor, but usually through more organization when an employee relies on the employer for being in another country.
  5. Involuntary Domestic Servitude. Servants who are isolated and work in domestic areas away from other workers.
  6. Forced Child Labor. Children are victim to sex trafficking, bonded and forced labor.
  7. Child Soldiers. Yes, it is what it says. There’s a high likelihood that kids in this area are sexually abused, both boys and girls.
  8. Child Sex Trafficking. This one requires quoting, “According to UNICEF, as many as two million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade. International covenants and protocols obligate criminalization of the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The use of children in the commercial sex trade is prohibited under both U.S. law and the Palermo Protocol as well as by legislation in countries around the world.”
Dressember day 3.
Dressember day 3.

Now, if that list doesn’t make you want to cry, and angers you to want to take action, you can do an online training, “Human Trafficking Awareness Training.

Still with me? Okay, time for more…many of us, myself included, assume slavery does not exist in America. But, it does. Mostly in the sex trafficking area, but others as laborers. We have one of the lowest percentages of slaves per capita, just .02% (60,000) according to a Washington Post article.

CNN Money reported in 2014 about slave labor in America – specifically in the areas of agriculture, construction and hospitality.

Business Insider did an article on Sex Trafficking. I’ve read about it before, but this is an good overview of the topic and how easily young teen women fall into it.

Dressember day 4.
Dressember day 4.

There are several organizations working to combat the circumstances that enable slavery today around the world. Dressember was started by Blythe who wanted to engage her love for fashion with social activism. It’s really quite brilliant in that it encourages us to participate in the dialog and raise money for these organizations.

This year’s campaign is raising funds for International Justice Mission, and A21. While I did setup a campaign page to officially register, I encourage you to go directly to each organization and give what you can to the one that does the work you believe in the most.

And, feel free to follow along with my on Instagram: @holli.with.an.i as I post a selfie a day to prove I’m wearing a dress a day!

xo,

Holli

New Year, New Direction!

FBCover14ReviewNot all of the portraits and special events I had the pleasure of capturing in 2014 fit in this collage – but it’s a good representation of what the year has held.

Since August 2014, when I decided to pursue portraiture and not solely fine art nature photography, I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for each portrait I had the pleasure of capturing.

What a year of learning and growing! I honestly love to learn so it has been a fun year, even thought those learning curves brought a lot of self-doubt. I am sure I will always be my own worst critique. But, I am proud of what I can do to capture each of you…here’s a peek at the ways I’ve grown in a year:

BA_Sue

Onward to 2015!

Changing Focus: This will be my year of growing the Portraiture side of my business. I will keep capturing beauty in fine art photography, but will only be showing that in the Etsy shop. In an effort to hold myself accountable and actually get new work up, I will be rotating the photographs in there quarterly to match the season.

Building Business: One of the most important things I’ve learned last year was about how much I love to collaborate and help small business owners tell their story. So, while I will still be offering portraits to families, and pursuing my dream to learn non-profit photography with my Bolivia trip, I’ll also be helping local businesses.

Keep In Touch: I honestly haven’t been consistent with my email newsletter. Now, I have to confess that I will miss the art shows and craft fairs, because that was the only chance I had to connect with those of you who love my art photography. Those two things will mean that I will keep in touch more often via email!

To a brighter 2015,

Holli