December 22, 2011

The Longest Night Of The Year

Every winter solstice the Friends of Starkweather Creek start a bunch of wood on fire in Madison's Olbrich Park and celebrate the gradual return of sunlight. At the end of the event, paper hot air balloons are launched into the night sky. They say it's safe, and it's rather magical as they float out of sight. Ironically, the star in the middle stays close to the ground.

Happy Solstice!

December 21, 2011

Help-Portrait Photo Distribution at The River

This evening with some fellow photographers, I went to The River Food Pantry to help hand out the portraits we made for the Help-Portrait project.   It was wonderful to see the reactions and heard the stories of the recipients.  One gentleman was so thrilled that he was going to have a Christmas gift for his girlfriend living several states away.  

It was also sobering to see the large number of people who had come for a meal and get food from the pantry.  The River is an amazing resource for people in need during these tough economic times and can always use the support of donors and volunteers. 

October 22, 2011

Mike & Annie - Post Wedding Engagement Portraits

When Mike decided to propose to Annie, he picked their favorite spot in Madison, Observatory Hill on the UW Campus.  It is one of the more beautiful views in the city overlooking Lake Mendota a Pick Point.   On their wedding day, they had planned to come back to spot where they were engaged for photos.   Unfortunately, due to a scheduling error with the limo service and it being a UW Badgers game day, they didn't have the time to do it.   So Mike's sister-in-law asked me if I'd be willing to do some post wedding portraits of them, which we did a couple weeks later on a beautiful Fall day.

July 28, 2011

Jimi - Needle Exchange & HIV Prevention Specialist

Jimmi - Needle Exchange & HIV Prevention  (c) Kelly Doering / Stick Peole ProductionsSince 2006,  Jimmi and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) have been doing overdose prevention training and Naloxone distribution. Naloxone temporarily blocks the opiate receptors in the brain, allowing for the overdose period to pass. It is what EMT's carry in case of an opiate (heroin, morphine, oxycodone. etc..) overdose. Since beginning of the program, there have been 581 reported overdose saves from individual's using the Naloxone (brand name Narcan) to save their friends. There have been 102 lives saved in just the first 6 months of 2011 alone. By giving the drug users Naloxone and training on its use, it saves lives, time and money.

Needle exchange is also an important aspect to saving lives and reducing the spread of blood borne diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV from sharing of dirty needles with other users. James also distributes safer sex packets and harm reduction kits to further reduce the spread of HIV and other STIs. Many believe that providing this type of service promotes continued drug use and risky behavior, but given their addiction, a user will find ways to use whether they have access to clean needles or not. The benefit is lives saved, reduced spread of HIV and other STIs, reduced medical costs and burden on public services.