kids

Gun Control and the Oregon Shooting

Did you hear what the Oregon shooter said?

"This is the only time I'll ever be in the news, I"m so insignificant!"

If a child grows up and feels they have no chance for success in life they can grow up and become our worst nightmare. On the other hand, if we make our children feel special it can have a profound impact on their lives and lead to greatness.

I know a lot of my  friends are tired of my posts about Future American President, but the reason why I created this project is to help children feel important. In How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie speaks about the importance of feeling special. If a child feel special the gun issue would be a concern.  I believe when a child grows up feeling special it can lead to a great future. The dangerous part is what can happen when  a child grows up feeling worthless.  Guess how the Oregon shooter felt about himself.

To inspire a child, it doesn't have to be our child, it can be a neighbor or a friend's child, but we all need to encourage kids to believe they have possibilities. I named my book project Future American President not because I was looking for children who want to become the president one day. I use the word president as a metaphor for greatness because if a child grows up believing they can become the president, they believe they can do anything in life.

To an adult, a picture of a child may just be a cute picture, but to the child it's a vision of themselves and endless possibilities.

Caption: Future American President

Caption: Future American President

Caption: Future American President

Caption: Future American President

 

If you believe in this message then please pledge 1 dollar today as a symbol to let others know this message is important and worth spreading. You can pledge here.

Caption: Future American President   

Caption: Future American President

 

Caption: Future American President

Caption: Future American President

 

We have only 7 days left to bring this project to life. If it doesn't hit its 10K goal then this project will go away forever and no more books will be printed. However, we have a chance to make an impact on a child and keep them from feeling the way the Oregon shooter felt. Today you can make a difference. Please join us in bringing this project to life.

For each person who makes a pledge I will give a public thank you mentioning your name on Facebook, on my podcast and on my daily Periscope broadcasts.

Pledge here: http://kck.st/1UOLOn0

Make a child feel special here: http://kck.st/1UOLOn0

DAY 7_AFTERNOON_I CAN BE-4644.jpg

Always dream big,

Matthew

T.E.A.M.

For anything amazing to happen in life there has to be a team. To learn how to become a great photographer, you need a team. For a child to grow up and accomplish great things they have to have a team behind them. Team stands for, Together Each Achieves More.

In two days, I am inviting you to join me to become part of the team, part of the community that will inspire the next generation to become great. 

FUTURE AMERICAN DREAM

ON 

KICKSTARTER.COM

A PERSONAL WAY TO INSPIRE YOUR CHILD

 


Georgia On My Mind

The day I arrived in Atlanta, Georgia it was extremely hot and humid. I was getting used to the intense travel schedule but at times the driving took its toll on me, especially on humid days. I carried a lot of lighting equipment because I wanted Future American President to have a consistent look throughout the book. The best way to achieve a consistent look is to have a consistent visual style and my lighting added that element.  I couldn't control the weather in each state, but I could control the lighting if I used the same lighting recipe throughout the project.

I was getting ready to shoot when I noticed my strobe battery was dead. I'd charged all my batteries before starting this leg of the trip, or so I thought, but when I shot my first test image my lighting pack was dead. I'd packed an extra battery but left it in my rental car thinking I wouldn't need it. The car was parked 15 min. away but I had no choice but to make the trip back and get the spare battery. The battery weights about 15 lbs, but I ran back with it so I wouldn't keep my subjects waiting too long. 

While most of my subjects were random strangers, a select few were people I had a connection with. My subject in Atlanta is the daughter of  two celebrities; The actor Leon and Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Cynthia Bailey.

The day before I left for Atlanta, Zendaya had agreed to write the books foreword and I told this to my subject as we began shooting.. She is a big fan of Zendaya's and was excited to be in a book that included Zendaya

After I finished shooting, Cynthia pulled out her cell phone and starting taking pictures to remember the day. I watched this identical scene take place over and over throughout the country and it always put a smile on my face.

The lesson from this trip was to always take my extra eqipment with me.. I was trying to cut down the weight of my gear, but I learned the hard way that it was better to have everything with me all the time.

Always Dream Big

 

 

This American Dream

Imagine a photograph having the ability to change a child"s future and change the way they see themselves. Imagine your child on the cover of an inspirational book that has the power to inspire them while teaching them about America, past presidents, and about iconic people from their state.

Coming this fall - Special edition version's of Future American President featuring YOUR child on the front and back cover jacket.


Always Dream Big

Memorial Day Traval

Two years ago, on Memorial Day, I was traveling from state to state, working on a book project entitled Future American President. As I drove toward Indianapolis, Indiana I spotted what appeared to be a large group having a holiday barbeque. From the highway I could see tons of cars outside the home and a big green and white tent. For the Future American President project, I approached strangers all over America and asked them if I could photograph their children. As you can imagine, it was a bit scary doing this.

When I first saw the house from the highway I envisioned a large family having a great time together enjoying the holiday. I thought an image of a family spending time together in this way would be powerful and that families all over America would be able to relate to such an image. Something inside me said, go and knock on the door and introduce myself…Then my internal fight started. Part of me wanted to knock on the door and tell them about my project, but then part of me didn’t want to intrude. What if they wanted to be left alone? What if they thought I was some crazy lunatic? Also, lets face it, what if they were scared, (or hated) Black people? This was the internal fight that went on in my head as I drove down the highway. Two miles later, I thought about the words, “you have not, because you ask not.” I turned the car around and drove back to the house.

I truly believe God protects me throughout my travels wherever I go, so I can never really be fearful. The fear is always in your head. As I pulled up to the driveway, my heart was beating a million miles a minuet. It seemed no matter how many times I approached strangers and told them about my project, it didn’t get any easier. I knocked on the door and was greeted by a smiling face who asked, “can I help you?” I introduced myself and started talking about how I saw the family gathering and told her what I was doing. She said, “well it sounds like a great thing you’re doing but you’d have to ask the owners of the house.” Then she invited me in and took me out back where I saw about 30 people having a great time. I was introduced to the couple hosting the gathering and told them about my project and why I decided to stop at their home on Memorial Day. I showed them images on my ipad of other families I’d photographed around the country and they loved the project. Then they said, “well, who would you want to photography because there are a lot of kids here?” I said, how about the youngest child here? The next thing I knew I was being introduced to a young mother with a 7 week-old baby.

Future American President   

Future American President

 

 

Last week, my minister at One Church spoke about audacious living, and defined it as “showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks.” He said, “you will never be as great as you can be without taking risks. Creating Future American President is a series of bold risks but I believe in the message of this project. I believe this book has the potential to make a profound impact on children everywhere by seeing themselves in ways they wouldn’t have imagined otherwise.

 

I want to have a stronger impact on children with this project. What if I could include every child in America in the book? Well, my team and I have figured out how to do just that. Very soon every family in the world will have the ability to put their child’s face on the COVER of the FUTURE AMERICAN PRESIDENT book with a special edition version of the book. Imagine your child growing up with their face on the cover of a book that is dedicated to inspiring children to dream big.

Photography notes:

To photograph this image I used Profoto strobe lights to overpower the sun. This image was shot during the middle of the day, when the sun is the most intense. I shot one stop over the daylight reading. The sunlight was reading on F 16.0 @ 1/125th, so i used my Sekonic light meter and adjusted the strobe to read F22.0, which is one stop over the sunlight reading and makes for an image that is dramatic and solves the problem of bad light from midday sun.


Always Dream Big