Women's Way Calendar Project

Awards are nice. Unexpected awards are even nicer.

It turns out the Women’s Way calendar project recently received the National Public Health Information Coalition 2010 Gold Award for Excellence in Public Health Communication in the outsourced print/graphic specialty project category. The 18-month calendar, which features my photographs of North Dakota women, is being distributed by the state Department of Health as a tool to promote regular screening for breast and cervical cancer.

What’s great about this award is that I didn’t even know the folks in Bismarck had submitted the project for consideration. And, neither did our project manager Anita Hoffarth over at Reach Partners, a Fargo-based consulting firm that specializes in health communication.

That’s what I call a nice surprise.

Happy Wednesday, Ann

P.S. More photographs of the beautiful women of North Dakota and more details about the project are online in a previous journal entry. Feel free to take a look.

Women's Way Calendar Project

Fargo portrait photographer

In honor of Labor Day, I thought it would be fun to share a few photographs of future American workers. These images and others like them were shot earlier this summer for The Village Family Magazine‘s August/September 2010 issue. The magazine’s cover story – “Hot Jobs” written by Meredith S. Holt – offered a look at the top 10 fasted-growing careers through the next decade based on reports by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, U.S. News & World Report and other sources.

My job was to create a series of photographs that featured local children dressed up in attire appropriate for a variety of occupations. A Fargo, N.D., daycare owner agreed to let me use her garage as a temporary studio. A number of folks were involved in sharing props and attire for the shoot. And, the kids did a fabulous job. Several of them just may have a future in theater!

Happy Labor Day!

Fargo Portrait Photographer

Fargo Portrait Photographer

Fargo Children's Photographer

A recent Sunday morning portrait session appeared to have everything going for it: two cute kids, a good location and no time constraints.

Ahead of time, I’d asked the boys’ mother about her intentions and ideal outcomes.

“My #1 goal is to capture what the boys looked like at 6 and 2 years old and how they interact with each other,” mom Kirsten wrote to me on facebook. “They love each other so much and I want pictures that show that.”

Perfect. I’m naturally drawn to photographing people interacting and responding to each other. Pictures that show relationships are more interesting. Plus, knowing what the family hoped to achieve put me in a position to create images that complimented their goals.

Enter reality.

It was HOT and muggy and humid. The mosquitoes were so bad that dad Travis went to the store in search of bug spray. While little Reid was amenable and easily occupied, his older brother Davis was just plain grumpy. Did I mention it was unbearably hot?!

One lesson photojournalism has taught me is that photographers cannot always wait for the ideal situation, the perfect subject or better light. I have to be creative and figure out a way to make the best of any situation. Even if it means flipping a couple of kids upside down!

Fargo children's photographer

Fargo children's photographer

Fargo children's photographer

Fargo children's photographer

Fargo children's photographer

Fargo children's photographer

Women's Way

North Dakota is home to more than its share of beautiful women. Throughout the month of May I had the good fortune to meet and photograph 19 women who are participants in or advocates for a breast and cervical cancer early detection program called Women’s Way. The North Dakota program, which is under the auspices of the state’s Department of Health, has helped provide nearly 11,000 screening services since its inception in 1997. Nationally, there are more than 60 similar programs.

The portraits and accompanying stories – written by colleague Kimberly Cowden – are featured in a 19-month calendar, which has been distributed around the state in recent weeks. A total of 7,000 copies were printed.

In my view, the finished piece serves as a testament to the value of Women’s Way and its broad reach. I am grateful to Reach Partners, who skillfully managed the project and coordinated my travel schedule. I also remain inspired by the woman featured in the calendar. You are all uniquely beautiful.

To view a few photographs from my travels around the state, feel free to peruse previous journal entries North Dakota Road Trip [Part I] and North Dakota Road Trip [Part II]. I have one more batch of roadside attraction and related photos to share. North Dakota Road Trip [Part III] will be coming soon.

Meanwhile, enjoy a selection of photographs from the Women’s Way calendar project.

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way

Women's Way