Many writers, editors, publishers have those few “photog” friends. Those people to help you out in a bind or inspire you when you need it. I’m lucky to know a few awesome ones that have learned their craft from simply practicing it and without formal training.
Colin Shafer is a friend of mine from highschool. He was one of the most easy going, caring, open people in highschool there probably has ever been. He never limited himself, his friends circle or the love he has for life. Football quarterback, cheerleader, artist, peer leader….the list goes on and on. But most of what I remember about Colin back then is his ability to make me laugh and making light of pretty much any situation.
After graduating University, Colin moved to Malaysia where he has continued to teach and mentor hundreds of youth. He’s shown very strong interests in Malaysian politics, religion, social values and constructs, and you can tell he feels strongly about making a difference in a place that has very narrow views and tight controls over human life. He blogs frequently about Malaysian life from a foreigners perspective and he continues to travel and take photos wherever he goes.
A few weeks ago, Colin sent me a video he had been working on for the Everyone Has Hope project. This project started in 2010 and aims to allow Refugee children living in Kuala Lumpur to express themselves and grow through photography. Malaysia is home to more than 100,000 refugees and they cannot legally go to school or work as Malaysia has not signed the 1951 Convention on the Rights of Refugees.
Colin’s been working on another massive photography project for awhile. Through his travels, he is encapsulating culture by taking just portraits of people from whatever areas he stops in. These portraits are unbelievable. He recently traveled to Melbourne where he took, what I think, is some of his best work yet. These are some of the faces that represent the people of Fitzroy.
To view more of Colin’s photography, and show my schoolmate some support, please visit his facebook page entitled Colinizing Photography and his website. Also, to learn more about the Everyone Has Hope campaign, please visit their website.