UPDATE: I've reached my goal, but for those of you who still want to get on board and back the project, you can still do that up until it closes on Sunday. Many of the rewards are exclusive or in an edition limited to this fundraiser. So if you want item, please be sure to pledge before the deadline.
I personally still have two more goals for this Kickstarter campaign.
One, I want to have as many of you as possible on board to vote for some of the photos that I will include in the book. If that sounds interesting to you, go pledge $5.
In the summer of 2010, I slept on 50 different couches in 50 consecutive nights.
I took photos of the couches, my hosts, and their homes. I conducted interviews. I was treated to home cooked meals and intimate secrets. I was cared for when I was ill. There were sleepless nights and busy days and times spent discussing the past and dreaming about the future. I drank a lot of coffee.
There were old friends who became closer and acquaintances who I now call my friends. There were even strangers who invited me into their homes.
Threads were woven among them all.
My photography skills were honed as I practiced my craft on a daily basis. I learned many things from my hosts and about them and I continue to learn many things about myself.
These experiences will stay with me always.
HOW IT BEGAN
This journey was initially born out of necessity. These tough economic times had taken their toll on me. I was trapped in a small, dingy apartment in Hollywood with little paying work and not enough money to both keep the bills paid and live a life. But I was also encouraged by the response I was getting to my photography and I was hopeful that things would improve. I knew that now was not the time to quit. I knew that there had to be a way to pursue my dream and keep a roof over my head. But I was plugging away at things in a boring and monotonous way. I was blending in with the scenery. It was time to shake things up and reclaim my future. So, with equal parts of inspiration, encouragement, and deep thought, 50 Couches in 50 Nights was born.
I stopped doing the things that were wasting my time. I reduced my expenses and discarded the largest of them, my apartment. I had a camera and a 50 day schedule of couches to fill.
I put the word out and asked the world to invite me into their homes for a night, to meet them and their couches, and to allow me to document the whole experience. People quickly stepped up and embraced the project and the process and helped it to become a success.
Sleeping on 50 Couches in 50 Nights was the best decision I ever made.
The fruits of this labor have been both emotional and spiritual as well as societal. I’ve grown so much. By doing something that people just don’t do, I connected in a different way with these friends.
Many people are struggling to survive in this economy and by sharing with you my frustration and joy, I hope to help you to understand your friends or family members that may also be struggling; how many are also increasingly isolated in this online world. And I hope that by showing the importance of opening your doors and sharing a meal with people, you will be encouraged to reach out and get to know your friends and neighbors. By sharing with you my unique experience of seeing how others live and understanding what’s important to them, it will encourage you to listen, really listen. Only by understanding each other and lending each other a hand, will we make it through these challenging times together and with hope.
To accomplish all of this, as well as to entertain you, I created a blog (http://50couchesin50nights.com/) to share my adventures with you.
I gained a special understanding about society as a whole. I tapped into something that is still developing . As it develops I will continue to share this knowledge with you and give you a way to share it with others.
I hope that you will also share your experiences and your thoughts with me.
I’m currently working to finish the next phase this project, a book* containing the photos of all 50 Couches as well as photos of my hosts and our experiences. I’ve been working on this myself, but now I need you to join me. By backing the project, you will not only ensure that I can complete this book and get it printed, but you will also contribute to the process by sharing your thoughts and helping me to pick some of the photos.** And there are some very cool and exclusive rewards in exchange for your help. All these rewards help to further the message. By putting a postcard on your fridge, a book on your coffee table, or even me on your couch, you become a stakeholder in the project and help it to grow. Kickstarter is an all or nothing fundraising platform. If I don't raise all of the money, I don't receive any of it. So I'm counting on you to get involved.
Trying to accomplish all of this while keeping the bills paid continues to be a challenge. But it's also a wonderful adventure. I am very grateful for all of the help and hospitality I have received along the way. I have encountered so many people along my journey who believe whole-heartedly in the project. It makes me smile when I think about it all. As this journey moves forward and this project grows, your continued support, both financial and emotional, is crucial to my success.
Today, I still remain without a home of my own. 50 Couches in 50 Nights turned into what’s now been nearly 2 years of house sitting. I’m dedicated to this project and will keep working at it and learning from it until I have a couch of my own and beyond.
*The book will be over 100 pages.
**There will be a special section in the center of the book which will feature the photos that my supporters most want to see. These are photos that found their way on the editing room floor, but which I just can't seem to part with. When the rest of the book is nearing completion, I will be uploading these photos to private site for voting and sending out a link and instructions.
- DEFINITION - EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED EDITION, UNIQUE, ETC. - All postcards are exclusive to this campaign. All print editions are limited by the number of supporters for that reward. Any prints noted as "unique" will be single image editions (1 of 1). The standard hardcover book will be noted as a first edition. The linen hardcover book will only be available via this campaign.
- PRINT SIZE - Sizes of prints mentioned only as a reference. They may be a similar size or larger size depending upon the dimensions of the image.
- FRAMING - All prints are shipped unframed unless noted.
- FOREIGN BACKERS PLEASE NOTE - Any backers not based in the U.S., please add $5 for any reward under $50, $20 for any reward over $50 in order to cover higher shipping costs. Thank you.
- REWARDS $500 OR HIGHER - The specifics of these rewards will need to be discussed and agreed upon. Please contact me if you wish to discuss further.
- QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? SUGGESTIONS? Feel free to contact me on here on email me directly at Dean@50Couchesin50Nights.com
- (50 days)