Written by Walter Grio.
More photos below.
When I started taking photographs, I had no idea that it would lead to Fashiontographer or Shoot for Change. I just wanted to take pictures. And I took lots of them. And when a makeup artist in Stockholm, Sweden asked me to help her with her portfolio, that’s when it clicked.
All of these photos were taken within the first six months of buying my first SLR, an entry level Nikon D50 (with the standard 18-55mm lens). I created this video to show during an exhibit Dallas, TX in 2007. But as I look back today, it’s both humbling and fun to see how it all started in November 2006. The initial video sequence is the photoshoot in Stockholm that led to the idea behind Shoot for Change.
I still remember sitting there in my hotel room in Stockholm when a friend asked if I would take her photos when I came back to Seattle. She asked me about the cost and I had to Google it as I had no idea. After thinking about it, I told her that I wanted to donate the money to charity instead and for her to choose which one. She selected The Alzheimer’s Association and when I was in Seattle later that week, we did the shoot at the Seattle Public Library and ArtCore Studio (librarian meets tattoo artist).
At the time, I had no idea what I was doing. But I loved it and I loved taking pictures. I didn’t really care too much about the technical aspect or lighting or anything like that. I simply enjoyed the process.
I first picked up a camera 7 years ago and at the time, I didn’t think that it would affect me in such a profound way. I have met so many incredible people because of photography and I can’t imagine how my life would have been without them. Shoot for Change was meant to serve others while doing something that I loved to do. I just didn’t realize that it would change mine too.
Special thanks to Jill Harris Cloke, Marissa Alkhazov, Juli Lollis, and Joby Dorr for their friendship and support during those first few months. I didn’t know what I was doing then, but somehow, they thought I did. And when people believe you can do something, anything is possible.