A huge thank you to everyone who made the successful funding of this project possible - I couldn't have done it without every single one of you! IF YOU MISSED THE DEADLINE, BUT WOULD STILL LIKE TO PLEDGE TO THIS PROJECT, YOU CAN DO SO ON MY WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/WO2XVh
Any additional funds raised over the $12,000 will go towards photographing more couples and exhibition costs. The ultimate goal for this project is to have a touring exhibition around the US and a beautiful coffee table book. The costs of producing an exhibition are high (a minimum of $25,000 in this case), including large scale prints for the exhibition, framing, transportation of artwork between galleries, design & print of the exhibition catalog. Every dollar over my goal for this Kickstarter will go towards enabling the next stage of the project: to have it seen by people all over the country, including leaders & key decision makers in the government & military, to encourage them to take the necessary steps to repeal DOMA.
**I have had over 200,000 LIKES on one Facebook page alone!! If I had just $1 from every LIKE, this whole project would be more than fully funded, so please know just $1 from you WILL make this project happen!
Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal, so if the $12,000 target is not reached, this project will not get funded and cannot move forward! No pledge amount is too small, so please pledge whatever you can and encourage everyone you know who supports marriage equality to do the same!
It is the courage of soldiers like Stephen Snyder-Hill, who was booed on national television during a republican debate when he asked whether the candidates would reinstate Don't Ask Don't Tell, that have inspired me to do this project. The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell has given us the opportunity to finally honor the loyal men and women who have bravely served their country for so long, in spite of the discrimination they faced. By documenting same-sex military couples at this historic crossroads, we have the chance to fully acknowledge their humanity, dignity & love for each other and fight the next battle for full marriage equality with them: the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA prevents the military from recognizing same-sex marriage. This means that even if a gay soldier is married, they are not entitled to many of the benefits, support and rights their heterosexual counterparts automatically receive. The irony is that these soldiers are fighting for the very freedoms they themselves cannot enjoy. My art project is part of the fight to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
I believe that at the very heart of change is connection. When individuals connect, the transformation that takes place within them becomes the groundswell for societal change. Art has the honor and responsibility of creating the possibility for these connections to arise. The couples who have participated in my project have given us the opportunity to connect with them in a very special way; they have welcomed us into their homes, shared with us their most private space, and invited us to see that they are no different from any one of us.
I started shooting the portraits in September of this year and so far I have photographed 9 couples. My goal is to photograph at least 50 couples by July 2013. I am based in the Washington DC area, but I have been contacted by gay military couples from all over the US who are very excited to be part of the project. So far I’ve traveled to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio. I have volunteers who are ready and waiting to be photographed in Portland Oregon, Kentucky, San Diego, Rhode Island, all throughout the south & mid-west.
This is where I need your support. To enable me to photograph the additional 40+ couples I’m aiming for, I need the funding to get me there. So far I’ve covered all travel and production expenses myself, but that’s not a viable option for the larger scope of this project. The money raised from this Kickstarter project will be used to cover travel expenses and the numerous test prints I’ll need to prefect each piece for exhibition.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and thank you so much for your support!
MEDIA & INTERVIEWS:
*Any same-sex military couples who are interested in participating in the project, please get in touch!
Please note: the views expressed by service members by their participation in this project do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Defense or any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Risks and challenges
Coordinating the availability of couples in the various cities I will be traveling to. For example, if I'm in Portland for three days and I have 3 couples to photograph, ensuring that they're all available within those three days could potentially be challenging.
To deal with this issue, I have given myself a large lead time to complete the portraits and mapped out (literally!) all the couples with their availability, which has allowed me to plan a route that is the most efficient and cost effective. Of course people's schedules are ever changing, but the couples are prioritizing the photoshoots because they are as determined as I am to make these pictures happen.
- (20 days)