The Daya Project in St Lucia

While filming in St. Lucia for the tourism board I was lucky enough to see every inch of this tropical paradise.  However for me, the real beauty lay not with it’s white sand beaches but in the people who call this place home.    On the morning of my departure, I was faced with two options:    1) Relax by the pool and wait for my afternoon flight or 2) race up North 1.5 hours, buy some groceries from a local supermarket and drop then off at a local charity. I of course chose the latter!  

 

  After a quick call to my taxi driver at 6:30am and we were off on my first volunteer experience for the The Daya Project!   I had spent the last week with my driver, David, as he patiently chauvered me and my team around the island. He was a quiet, unassuming character who rarely spoke a word. But all this was about to change. As I jumped in the car he questioned why he was up so early on what I was soon to realize was his day off! I began explaining The Daya Project and how it can impact on the lives of local people and how travellers like myself can give back. It was as if I had turned on a light…for the next 45 minutes, I couldn’t get a word in. For the rest of the journey David passionate shared story after story about his lovely daughter who was blind from birth.  He hadn’t heard of anything like the Daya Project and was thrilled at this great opportunity to help those who need it most.  

On our way to the Holy Family Children’s Home, David asked that we pick up the supplies from his local grocery store, so we made our pit stop and overloaded a shopping cart full of supplies – everything from toilet paper, laundry detergent, and garbage bags; to a 50 lb bag of rice.  While zipping through the aisles, David was doing price comparisons to make sure we got the best deals – he was also eager to spread the word as he enthusiastically told every other shopper about the Daya Project.      When we arrived at the Children’s Home, we were greeted by the charming Sister Anthonia David who embraced us with a warm hug and thanked us for the goods that we had brought.   I was fortunate enough to be given the grand tour of the site and learn about the incredible work that is done there. Meanwhile, David got the opportunity to speak with the children and the volunteers and hear their wonderful stories.  

The visit was a complete success!! Both David and I were overwhelmed with the experience.   As we arrived at the airport, David rolled down his window and said, “Thank you for sharing this day with me.  I’ve been in the neighborhood a hundred times, but didn’t know this project was there. You’ve opened my eyes to my own country…please say  thank you to the Daya Project for me.

” What a difference a day makes.   -

See more at: http://www.thedayaproject.org/projects/holy-family-childrens-home/

New Campaign: Travel Together w/ USTOA

Egypt w/ Abercrombie & Kent

Traveling with Abercrombie & Kent through Egypt was an absolute treat!  Seamless, stylish and full of mind boggling information I've wanted to experience first hand since I was child.  This was actually my thrid visit to egypt, but this time around it felt real.  Our guide Mohammed, tapped into a side Egyptian culture that I'd never seen. Take a look at this new series w/ Kelley Ferro sponosored by USTOA.  

 

 

South Africa w/ Swain Destinations

 Food+Wine+Safari pretty mush sums up the trip!  Kelley Ferro and I had the pleasure of traveling with the Founder of Swain Destinations on a custom tour!!  If the star scale wen't beyond 5... This experience would have been a 12!  From the delicious food at Singita Castleton and the glorious game drives across the Sabi Sands to the One & Only in Cape Town we were treated like kings.  Take a look at our trip above for some gorgeous imagery + insight to the beautiful country of South Africa. 

Operation Smile UK is heading to Mexico with Duncan Bannatyne.

On June 12th Duncan Bannatyne is travelled to Guadalajara in Mexico with a team of international Operation Smile volunteers. Campfire Creative joined Operation Smile in Mexico and documented Duncan's experience.  We shot and delvered hundreds of photos as well as a few videos for Duncan to share with his followers.  If you would like to learn more, visit www.operationsmile.org.uk/duncan-in-mexico/

 

 

Media Guide of the Year: Valarie Duran

Valarie's incredible imagery and energising smile have earned her Campfire's 2012 Media Guide of the year!  Whether it's early mornings, long days or creating short films in her spare time she always manages to return with beautiful imagery.  Campfire is truly lucky to have her on board and can't wait to put her on a plane for another adventure.  Thanks for all your hard work!!  

 

Enjoy some of Valarie's stills from Costa Rica 2011 here and Gautemala 2012 here

and videos here:  

Guatemala 2012 Explorer: Adiós Guatemala from Walking Tree Travel on Vimeo.

 

Valarie Duran attended the University of San Francisco, a school with a mission she truly believes in: “Educating hearts and minds to change the world.” After graduation, she volunteered with the Peace Corps as an English Language teacher to exchange cultures and inspire students. For this program, she is most proud of initiating drama and film clubs for her fourth-eighth grade students to build their confidence and enjoyment of the English language.

Since then, she has worked independently alongside Kontent Films, Remedy Editorial, Redford Center, StageWrite, and many others, including her work with Campfire Creative and Walking Tree Travel. She hopes to continue using her multimedia and theatre skills as tools to inspire and teach children about the world around them.

Media Guides 2012

Rebecca Yale
 Rebecca Yale works in many photography fields, but her passion lies in photography’s potential to effect social change. Inspired by the early documentary work of Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine, she seeks to inspire change. One of her ongoing projects, Threatened, is a photographic series of endangered wildlife in their natural habitat.
Since graduating from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University — where she studied photography, journalism, and aesthetic philosophy — Rebecca has traveled and volunteered in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Ecuador in the Amazon and the Galapagos. In Rwanda, she worked with UNICEF and documented its projects. Her work has been showcased in such publications as Nature’s Best Photography Students Magazine and the National Geographic.
For Campfire, she looks forward to documenting other young people making a difference in the world; she hopes people will be inspired by their work and that they, too, will become involved.

Personal website: www.rebeccayalephotography.com/

Giselle Kennedy

For Giselle Kennedy, documentary videography and photography has always been her format of choice. It allows her to take a deeper and more intuitive look at the real world. This experience has contributed to her six years working as a Filmmaking Instructor with uCamps Summer Camp, where she shared her passion and skills with kids aged 11-18 while documenting their experiences. Now, she’s ready to merge her love of travel with her work as a video producer and photographer.

Giselle caught the travel bug when she traveled from her Los Angeles high school in 2002 to Tijuana, Mexico, for a service trip. Since then, she’s taken every opportunity to travel and explore other cultures. A graduate of the University of San Francisco, she’s had plenty of experience as an instructor not only of photography and videography but also of dance. A hardy traveler and a hard worker, she hopes to share the enthusiasm of the young Walking Tree participants as they have eye-opening experiences abroad.

Personal website
: http://gkennedycreative.com/portfolio/

Dustin Wise
Dustin Wise’s love of travel was fueled when he recently filmed a travel documentary with two surfers in Sri Lanka, where he immersed himself in the culture. A graduate of film school at the University of Texas at Austin, he’s worked for One Story Productions and is currently a freelance editor, cinematographer and production assistant in Portland, Oregon.
Last summer, he was a camp counselor at Camp Longhorn in Texas, and he’s also coached swim teams and swim camps — he’s a skilled swimmer from competing for the University of Texas. Dustin loves working with kids and wants to mold active and confident young students. He’ll bring this enthusiasm to his work with Walking Tree, and he looks forward to fusing his love of travel and his video skills with a good cause.

Personal website: http://www.dbobwise.com/

Nicolas Lockerman
Nic Lockerman is a producer and director from Pittsburgh, PA. He’s been in the film business for the past six years and founded a company, Lockerman Studios, with his brother, Chris Lockerman. He’s made spots for numerous organizations and companies, from a spot for USA Insulation to a promo for Alia Musica Pittsburgh, a consortium for emerging composers. Nic has studied at both Elon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

With an undying thirst for travel and a love for nature and exploring new territory, he’s excited to work with Walking Tree. He plans to teach them from his experiences and learn from theirs.

Personal website: http://lockermanstudios.com/            

Elizabeth Gottwald
Photography began as a hobby for Elizabeth Gottwald soon became a passion. As she became addicted to the art of telling stories through the lens, she also began traveling more often. The two interests intertwined — after all, she was raised on the idea that “travel is the best education.”
A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she’s photographed polar bears in the Arctic and been on a safari in Botswana. A traveler since the age of 7, she’s also been to New Zealand, Australia, France, and Spain. After college, she worked at a camera shop, selling DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras while teaching the customers. She’s also worked for Glimpse.org and as a wedding photographer. For her trip to the Arctic, she was featured on National Geographic’s blog.
As a Media Guide for Walking Tree, she hopes to inspire others to travel as much as possible and, through videography and photography, create memories for the students to remember for years to come.

Personal website: http://elizabethgottwald.com
 

Teri Lyshorn
Based out of San Francisco, Teri Lyshorn is a photographer/videographer with a thirst for adventure and soft spot for stories of the human experience, as well as the aesthetics that illustrate them. A graduate of the University of Oregon, she’s worked for Fundación Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos in rural Honduras, where she was an onsite photographer, writer and information officer for the orphanage of more than 400 children. She continued this service-oriented track as a volunteer translator for RotaCare Bay Area, Inc. and when she documented philanthropic work as a Media Guide.

In addition to freelancing, she’s a bilingual paraprofessional for San Francisco Unified School District, providing one-on-one support to a child with learning differences and acting as a parent/teacher liaison for Spanish-speaking families. She loves to shoot and provide material to fuel her clients’ often courageous endeavors.

Personal website: terilyshorn.smugmug.com

Valarie Duran
Valarie Duran attended the University of San Francisco, a school with a mission she truly believes in: “Educating hearts and minds to change the world.” After graduation, she volunteered with the Peace Corps as an English Language teacher to exchange cultures and inspire students. For this program, she is most proud of initiating drama and film clubs for her fourth-eighth grade students to build their confidence and enjoyment of the English language.

Since then, she has worked independently alongside Kontent Films, Remedy Editorial, Redford Center, StageWrite, and many others, including her work with Campfire Creative and Walking Tree Travel. She hopes to continue using her multimedia and theatre skills as tools to inspire and teach children about the world around them.

Personal website: http://about.me/valduran

Sandra Garcia
Sandra Garcia has been traveling since the age of 19. After her first excursion on her own to Europe, she came back knowing that traveling would always be a part of her life. She loves exploring places that people rarely find access to.

A 2009 graduate of San Francisco State University, she has degrees in photojournalism and television production. She is bilingual in English and Spanish. Currently, Sandra does freelance work with video, stills, and content editing. For her work in the Bay Area, she’s worked on a number of photo and video assignments for major clients. Her favorite gigs are those that pay her to travel.

Personal website: www.sandgar.com

Tucker Adams
Tucker Adams is a photographer, filmmaker, animator, and student. His dream is to travel the world and learn as much as he can about other cultures. He constantly pushes himself to become a better artist and has quite a bit of experience in his field, as he’s done freelance work for Redbull, Mammoth Media and others.
Currently, he’s a student at Full Sail University studying 3-D Computer Animation. Tucker is learning to become a compositor and texturing artist. One of the latest videos he’s filmed, “Only Our Bodies Get Older,” was chosen to be put into the Kansas City Fat Tire Film Festival. He looks forward to being part of the team, traveling the world and documenting it as he goes.

Personal Website: http://rekcutsmada.tumblr.com/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/29579955@N08/

Marcelo Honrada
Marcelo Honrada is always looking for a new adventure to embark on. A photographer who’s recently taken up multimedia, he’s had seven years experience shooting, four of which were spent at the Academy of Art. He’s also done a workshop with National Geographic a few years ago in New Mexico.
He has a passion for life, which he aims to show through his photographic work. While he’s based in San Francisco, he loves to travel and meet new people.

Personal Website: http://www.marcelohonrada.com/

Zac Cranshaw
Besides pursuing his education in photography, videography and media design at the Academy of Art University, Zac Cranshaw has travelled the world and put those skills to use. He’s documented group travel and created some incredible photos.
He worked for nonprofits and for-profit organizations, with teens and with professional clients. As a first-generation American whose family comes from Nicaragua, he brings cultural awareness to his work and is fluent in Spanish. Zac has been on two international distribution trips for the Free Wheelchair Mission nonprofit organization and has worked in multimedia production for a start-up fashion company in San Antonio, Texas. He was also a media intern for the youth media program at the Museum of African Diaspora, where he worked to encourage digital media skills for underprivileged high school students. He looks forward to visiting more places around the world as a Media Guide.

Personal website: http://www.ztcphotography.com

Campfire Returns from Laos

The Highlights of Laos with Travel Indochina was an adventure to say the very least.  Our trigger fingers were firing on all cylinders and here are a few images to wet your appetite.  We will be creating a series of 15 videos for TIC to help raise brand recognition in conjuction with the India Project from Last year.  In the coming months we'll be prepping for the remaining 8 countries, but until then, we are headed to Nepal for a few personal projects and 3 weeks of trekking. 

http://campfire-creative.smugmug.com/Travel/Laos

 

THE ORIGINS OF CAMPFIRE CREATIVE

 

After a long, arduous process of searching for the right name to represent our creative vision for telling stories we have finally chosen Campfire Creative for the new production company!

Community, warmth, travel, light, and telling stories are all things that come to mind when we think of a campfire. Those just happen to be the aspects that we focus on as well.

It all came together when Justin and I were in Dallas having a brunch with some clients after a long week of filming. A women asked the barista what was in the s'mores coffee and Justin said, "Campfires". A light bulb exploded in my head and I wrote down the word 'campfire' on a piece of paper and slid it over to Justin who's eyes lit up immediately.

During our quest for an identity our graphic designer and marketing specialist Damon Anderson (http://www.illfed.com/work) gave us some homework to help us along our journey. One of the tasks was to go through the alphabet and write down words that resonate with us for every letter and looking back on it 'camp' and 'fire' and 'creative' were all there. It was meant to be.

Teamwork makes the dreams work. Go Team!