As a child, I had a proclivity towards experimenting with the body and balance. I used to ride a unicycle to grade school and tried to get a gymnastics program going at my high school. Today, I still do handstands all over the world in my travels. Which is a good segue into explaining the photo below.
A few weeks ago I did a photo shoot at a safe shelter for teenagers in downtown Fairbanks. The service is provided by Fairbanks Youth Advocates in conjunction with the First Presbyterian Church. The teens had been informed that I was coming and their participation was optional. When I walked in, one of the kids said, hey, will you take my picture? I said, sure. He said, how about a picture of me walking on my hands? I said sure, I do it all the time. He said, you can walk on your hands? I said yes. He said, do it dude! And so I did, breaking the ice so to speak for the next hour of photography.
I’ve been wanting to write about this organization for a long time but I’ve waited until I had a photographically related subject to discuss, since this blog is about photography. And the reason I’ve wanted to write about FYA is that its part of my non-photography life. I’m proud to serve on the board of directors of this excellent organization that seeks to facilitate at-risk youth in life transitions. Currently, our focus is the construction of a temporary shelter for homeless and runaway teens between the ages of 12-17. This new shelter called “the Door” is in the construction process and is scheduled to open in November of 2013 in downtown Fairbanks. Until then, the other shelter was opened to fill in the gap.
FYA offers critical shelter services for the youth in the Fairbanks community, and the statistics suggesting the need for a shelter are shocking. On average, 10-20 kids per night are currently staying at the shelter. Check out their website for more information. The photos on the home page slider are the ones taken during my photo shoot. I plan on going back for another shoot and look forward to some ideas from the kids themselves. These are the end product images from the shoot used on the FYA website. And one final plug…if you are in the Fairbanks area on May 23rd, Thursday, from 6:30-8:30 P. M., the Credit Union 1 University Avenue Branch is sponsoring a fundraiser. There will be free bear & wine, hors d’oeuvres, and all funds raised will be match by CU1.