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Sacred Places: Photographing S.E. Asia's video poster
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A six week journey photographing sacred places throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. To be exhibited in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on March 16, 2011.

A six week journey photographing sacred places throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. To be exhibited in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

About this project

Check out my awesome rewards ---> $50 1- hour photo shoot with a chance to win a custom framed photo! $500 to photograph your wedding! (more info below)

Sacred Places: A physical and spiritual journey

Hello! I’m Tom Ulch and I’d like to start by thanking you for watching this! Over the past five years or so I’ve been working on a photography project where I travel around the world and take photos of sacred places. To date, I have visited over 30 countries. Some of the places like the Vatican in Rome, are obviously sacred. Others however, like the concentration camps in Europe, become sacred because of events that happened there. My vision is to document these places through my images. For this portion of the project I hope to be traveling through South Eastern Asia. As an educator and an artist, I have a passion for sharing the world I see with others. I want us all to take this journey together. So you will share in the experience through not only the photos, but also an interactive video blog. We’ll travel together on a slow boat down the Mekong and watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We’ll have noodles for breakfast in Vietnam and follow the monks on their search for alms in Laos. I want us to travel together, so join me on this epic voyage!

I travel like a local, even though I usually stand out. I consider myself an ambassador to the world. Most of my family are Canadian but I do not fly a maple leaf on my rucksack. Yes, I said a rucksack because I don’t use a suitcase. I’m proud to be a citizen of the United States. I am very conscious of and try to break the stereotypes of the ugly American. My command of the local language is always non-existent but I try and then we all laugh. We’re all family, all of us. We are just cousins that haven’t met yet and I love to meet new cousins! I firmly believe that what you leave behind is more important than what you take away. The people who live in the places you visit will carry on the impression of you long after you are gone. I want these people to remember me with the same smile that I remember them.

These are some of the sites I’ve visited so far. For this project I define sacred in three ways. Places that are sacred because we deem them so. Places the like the Vatican and the Coliseum in Rome, the Duomo in Florence, Tikal in Guatemala, Tulum, Coba, Chichen Itza and Ek Balam in Mexico, Copan in Honduras, Cahal Pech in Belize, Sonsonate in El Salvador, Paris, France and Oahu, Hawaii. Places that are sacred because of their natural beauty like Antelope Canyon in the Navajo Nation, Coyote Buttes or The Wave, Monument Valley, The Mojave and Death Valley in the South Western United States. And places that are sacred because of things that happened there. Like Normandy in France and Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Dachu in Poland and Germany.

So what can I do to help and more importantly what do I get for it? Well at the 10 dollar level you will receive a thank you e-mail, a jpg from the trip and access to the interactive video blog. At the 25 dollar level you’ll receive a thank you e-mail, access to the video blog and a signed, limited edition, 8x12 print. At the 50 dollar level you’ll receive a thank you e-mail, blog access, plus a one hour photo shoot in downtown Ann Arbor. At the 60 dollar level you’ll receive the 50 dollar level rewards plus a memento from the road. This will be a trinket bought from a local artisan. At the 100 dollar level you’ll receive a thank you e-mail, blog access, a trinket from the road, plus a three hour photo shoot, this is perfect for families or for building portfolios. At the 300 dollar level you’ll receive an archival quality, 16x20, signed print, limited to only one photo. At the 500 dollar level, I will photograph your wedding in Southeast Michigan for you. I will provide you with a DVD of the images that you can keep. You can’t beat this deal…OR, you can specify a locale in the region and I will visit and photograph it for you. Contact me for further information about this reward. At the 1000 dollar level, you’ll receive any of the previous rewards plus dinner with the artist in downtown Ann Arbor. Please donate whatever you can because if we don’t make our goal…we will be very sad!

Thank you!

Joining me for the first time on this trip is a good friend of mine, Ardee Ducklee. Now Ardee has traveled before but he’s never been to Asia. So, he finished up his homework and then grabbed his passport. Now Ardee will be blogging from the trip, so you can ask him questions about the places that we’re visiting. I’m very excited, as it will be a lot of fun.

Your donations will also but put toward a month long exhibition of this project at That Ann Arbor Gallery in Ann Arbor Michigan.

Tentitive Schedule: 5 to 8 weeks Bangkok, Thailand Luang Prabang, Laos Vang Vieng, Laos Vientiane, Laos Hanoi, Vietnam Sapa, Vietnam Danang, Vietnam Saigon (H.C.M.C), Vietnam Siam Reap, Cambodia Phuket, Thailand

Video Blog I will blog from the trip on a donors only website. You (and your children) will be able to ask Ardee Ducklee or me questions and/or ask us to visit places that we will be near in our travels. This blog will be updated every few days.

VIP Reception For donors of the $50 level or higher. Will be held in mid July at That Ann Arbor Gallery. There will be a signed framed, 8x12 that will be given away at this time as well. Every donor of $50 or more that is in attendance will have a free chance to win this photo! The photos from the trip will be on display. Refreshments will be served and many stories told! I hope to see you there!

Photo Shoots Will be in Ann Arbor and are transferable. So you can donate at this level and give the shoot as a gift to someone else.

Wedding Shoots I will provide a DVD of the photos that YOU KEEP. This means that you won't need to pay your photographer every time you want prints. Prints are NOT included. Must be within 100 miles of Ann Arbor, Michigan. I will photograph the wedding and the reception as long as they are within 2 hours of each other. Please contact me with any questions you may have!

FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    1 backer

    A thank you e-mail.
    A jpg from the trip.
    Access to the interactive video blog

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    5 backers

    A thank you e-mail and jpg from the trip.
    Access to the interactive video blog.
    A signed, limited edition 8x12 print.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    6 backers

    A thank you e-mail and access to the video blog PLUS
    A one hour photo shoot in Ann Arbor!
    This reward is transferable so it is
    great for school photos or for head shots!
    You will also receive an invitation to the VIP reception in Ann Arbor

  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    5 backers

    A Thank you e-mail and access to the blog,
    a one hour photo shoot in Ann Arbor PLUS
    A small gift from the trip. To be purchased from a local artisan

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    5 backers

    A thank you e-mail, blog access, a gift from the road PLUS
    A 3 hour photo shoot in Ann Arbor.
    This will be a comprehensive shoot. Perfect for
    multiple people or as a great portfolio building session

  • You selected
    Pledge $110 or more

    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    A 3 hour, one on one photography workshop. We will walk around Ann Arbor and take photos. I promise you I can make you 100% better in one session!

  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    1 backer

    A signed, archival quality 16x20 print with a limit of one print.
    This will be your photo alone.
    I will print this and destroy the file!

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers Limited (1 left of 4)

    I will photograph you wedding in Southeastern Michigan (or anywhere else with travel expenses). I will take the photos and provide you with a DVD of the images that you can keep! You can't beat this deal! or
    I will travel to a destination of your choosing (within the bounds of the project) and photograph it for you. You will also receive a signed, archival quality 16x20 print of your choosing.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    All of the above PLUS
    Dinner with the artist in Ann Arbor

Funding period

- (45 days)