May 26, 2022

Meet the Team Who Makes the Magic Happen!

By Denise
Meet the team photo on Mt Longonot Kenya

On May 15, the United Nations observed the International Day of Families. That inspired us to take a closer look at our Family and share some of our stories with you. We are a global group of photographers, artists, educators, business leaders, and nonprofit experts who are dedicated to a common goal: Helping children in various circumstances find their voice and gain skills that will spark positive change in their world. 

Meet the Team:

Scroll over pics to see name badges. 

What impact has photography had on your life?
David: Photography has been one of the most important things in my life. It is my passion, my pleasure, my escape, and I love to teach other people how to engage in it. I have met some of the most important people in my life through my photography network, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. My cameras have led me around the world to explore and live in different countries, meet fascinating people, make new friends and dive into different cultures. Ultimately, my passion for photography led to the creation of Photo Start, which has and will continue to make a great impact.

Jeri: Photography literally saved my life. I was a depressed stay-at-home-mom with two kids under two and the camera gave me a break from my “overwhelming” life and helped me see the beauty in all the chaos.

Gillian: Photography has made me become curious. I have grown to become a person who is always looking for a story to tell using my pictures and my videos. It has made me learn that in whatever career we choose, perspective and creativity are always key. On top of it all I believe that photography has made me a great trainer. Studying the art and teaching it are two very different things. Teaching photography has made me feel very fulfilled and content. It gives me peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment. 

Do you remember the first photo that moved you?
Gaireyah: Yes, it was in a magazine of a boy with a dungry on with his arm around his dog just looking one way. There was so much story in the picture. I even made a collage later from the photo.

Denise: Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California. I saw it first in a college photography book. You can feel the weight of her sadness. That’s when I knew photography could move people. 

Thomas: Yes, right after I bought my first camera, a Nikon D3300, I took a sunset silhouette photo that same day after watching tutorials. Never been so proud.

What is your favorite way to spend time with family?
Silvia: As I am from Italian heritage, special moments will always involve food. A great Sunday lunch with family is so, so special.

Elizabeth: Taking long drives while enjoying beautiful scenery with no destination in mind is our favorite family bonding time.

Jim: Just sitting around a table and talking.

What is your dream for the Photo Start family?
Stephen: …one of the greatest dreams I have for Photo Start as the liaison person is to network/partner so that they can spread across the 47 counties of Kenya; this would be a dream come true for myself, too.
 
Zach: To grow to a level where we are recognised globally and earn red plates (awards) for everyone in the organization.

Abby: To reach young people on six continents and have Photo Start community/family members who are on seven! 

If you could take your family anywhere on vacation, where would you go?

David: Kenya

Abby: Antarctica, before we can no longer visit there!

Silvia: Definitely a coastal holiday, in South Africa. With lots of sun, laughter and good walks on the beach.

Stephen: Mombasa

Elizabeth: Italy!

Gaireyah: My dream is to take (my kids) to a holiday house that has a pool in the yard so they can swim as much as they can and want. 

Denise: Yosemite National Park or Redwood National Park – both are magical!

Thomas: Cairo, Egypt

Gillian: Mykonos, Greece 

Jeri: Zanzibar to swim with the turtles, watch dolphins and jump down waterfalls into pools of clear blue water

Jim: Machu Picchu

Zach: Japan

Meet the team photo on Mt Longonot Kenya
A Photo Start Kenya Family Vacation. Photo by Gillian

Tune in to our social media channels for a closer look at everyone. And watch for big announcements next month about our growing family!