The Project To Change World Perspective
My name is Timothy Weaver and I am a 25-year old Photographer from Sandusky, OH. Ever since I was little, I have always been heavily involved with art. With being a Percussionist, a Filmmaker & a Photographer, I have always dreamed of making a change in this world through my art, whether it's through music, film or still imagery. I want to show everyone what life is truly like around the world so that we may end all of this needless hate and fear of one another.
I started a project in August where I went to New York City to document the lives of tourists and those in poverty in order to give different perspectives of life in the Big Apple. It was a fantastic and eye-opening experience that allowed me to look at certain things from a completely different perspective.
This is exactly why I want to go to Iran. I feel that with the political tensions between the United States & Iran, there are so many misunderstandings and needless hatred towards one another. As Americans, a lot of us (Not myself) look down on countries like Iran because they might not be as wealthy as us or because they are dominated by a different religious belief. Instead, we should be looking at them as equals as they do with us.
The major factor in this is that we hate Iran because of the actions of their government--which is a terrible and wrong way to look upon others. How would you feel if we, as American citizens, were judged by the world based on the actions of our government? That doesn't sound fair, does it? The citizens of Iran are innocent people who love everyone and want to stop the fighting with the U.S. & Israel just as much as we all do.
This is why I want to go over there and document their lives. I feel that I need to do this as a service to the World and to the innocent people of Iran so that we all may look at them equally. A lot of you might not know, but these people drink coffee in the mornings to wake up, they read newspapers, they take subways to work and even carry around iPad's. Do they sound so different now?
How will I accomplish this?
I will be staying in Iran for 3 months to stay with a family I have been in contact with for years and know personally. They will also act as my guides around Iran since by Iranian law, all non-citizen's/tourists are required to be with a guide at all times when walking outside. They will be taking me around many cities to give me different perspectives on life there.
Also, a portion of the time will be spent showing their lives as a normal Iranian family, while the other portion will be out documenting other lives in the public. This way, you can get a unique look into the public and privates lives of citizens there.
A great question indeed. A lot of people do not know the many costs of doing something like this and the costs associated with making sure that as an artist, I have the right equipment for the best possible imagery. Let me give you some examples:
- Camera's are not cheap. Even though I own my DSLR, the insurance to cover theft, damage and other issues isn't cheap. It's usually around $300-$600 depending on the policy you take out.
- In the Photography world, everyone knows that the lens determines the image quality (Next to the individual holding the camera). In order for me to ensure beautiful imagery, I need certain lenses to help with this task. I work with certain lens rental companies that will help me with this, that way I'm not using your money to buy my own lenses (Since that would definitely be rude).
- I will also need to cover backup equipment so that nothing goes wrong on this adventure. For example, I will need to rent a backup camera and nab an external hard drive just in case something happens with the other hard drive, that way I don't lose my files.
"What else is my money going towards?"
Your money isn't being wasted, I can promise you that. There are a variety of things that your money is being used for like:
- Travel costs
- Shots required when traveling to Iran
- My Visa for which is required for me to be there
- Travel insurance for coverage of my equipment
- Food (To help them out with covering my food costs in exchange for me living with them. I feel this is morally right to do)
- Equipment rental
And most importantly.....
The quality of your gifts!
As a campaigner, I am trying to make this project amazing, but also ensure that you have quality gifts for believing in me and making a dream of mine come true. It's not about me, it's about US.
I will be personally working with American Frame, a famous professional printing company here in Ohio to give you all the best quality images possible. The books will be personally designed by me!
• $1: A HUGE THANK YOU!!!! Even the littlest amount is a big contribution :) Also, you will be invited to my blog to give you exclusive access to the entire trip, and your name will be under the "Thank You!" section of the book!
• $5: We'll put your name under the "Thank You!" section in the book, give you access to the trip blog and give you the "I Helped Iran!" wristband!
• $15: You will get a postcard with a personal message written on it from me, a thank you in the book, the "I Helped Iran!" wristband and exclusive access to my travel blog!
• $25: This will nab you a 5x7 high quality matte photo of your choice, a thank you in the book, exclusive access to the travel blog and the "I Helped Iran!" wristband!
• $50: You will get an 8x10 high quality matte photo of your choice, plus a thank you in the book, the "I Helped Iran!" wristband and exclusive access to the trip blog!!
• $100: THE BOOK: The official book in all its glory!! Also, you will get a thank you in the book, the "I Helped Iran!" wristband and exclusive access to the trip blog!
• $125: EXCLUSIVE PHOTO: This one is definitely my favorite--you get the book, a thank you in the book, the "I Helped Iran!" wristband, exclusive access to the trip blog and a photo that I will give only to you. What does this mean? Your photo will not be in the book, nor will it be given to anyone else but YOU! How this works, is that I will take a special picture that is exclusive to you and have it professionally printed out in an 8x10 and have it sent to you.
• $275: LE BOOK: A Limited Edition copy of the book is covered in rich Italian leather and will feature 30 pages of high-quality imagery. Also, you will get two 8x10 high quality photos of your choice, the "I Helped Iran!" wristband, a thank you in the book and exclusive access to the trip blog!
• $700: TALK TO ME: A Limited Edition copy of the book is included. You also get three 8x10 high quality photos of your choice, a calendar with photos from the trip, a thank you in the book, the "I Helped Iran!" wristband, exclusive access to the trip blog and the chance to ask me as many questions as you like on Skype or Google+ Hangout!!
• $1,500: THE ULTIMATE PACKAGE: First off, you will get everything from the $700 package (An 11x14 framed photo instead of the 8x10) plus, I will take you out to lunch and dinner and I will make you a producer in the book credits!!!
What are the differences between the regular edition of the book and the limited edition?
First off, I want to elaborate on the books. These books are exclusive to Kickstarter backers ONLY. I have no interest in making money off of books. They are for you lovely people and you alone. The regular edition is a hard cover book with 20 pages of high-quality photos that is perfect for any photography enthusiast! This will all be printed on beautiful HD glossy paper for the best look possible!
The limited edition book is surrounded with rich Italian leather and filled with 30 pages of high-quality imagery! This will all be printed on beautiful HD glossy paper for the best look possible!
The books will be done by Adorama in New York City! They are a fantastic company and the quality of their products made the choice a no-brainer.
Here are some examples of my work:
Q: Why should I donate to your campaign?
A: Why shouldn't you? This is a campaign that is all about helping an entire culture of people who have been greatly misunderstood and looked down upon by the rest of the world because of political nonsense. My goal is to use the money to help me document their lives to show to the rest of the world.
Q: Why do you want to help them?
A: Do you know what it is like to be bullied? Ever witnessed someone getting picked on by everyone else because of misunderstanding their sexual choice, religious belief or disability? I have. I have a left leg that I will never be able to bend for the rest of my life. I was always picked on, bullied and laughed at for being a 'freak' in the eyes of those who greatly misunderstood me as a Human being.
The same goes for Iran. There are political differences between U.S./Israel & Iran and that has led to a complete misunderstanding and misjudgment of Iranians. Their government might not make smart decisions, but can't the same be said about the United States? Israel? Britain? Germany? The world doesn't judge Americans based on the actions of our government, so why should we pick on them for the actions of theirs?
Q: Will the project still happen if you don't meet your goal?
Sadly, no. I can't do flexible funding because every penny is needed. You see other Kickstarter campaigns doing crazy trips on low budgets because of connections they have, sponsorship's and other reasons, but my project is a difficult one that I want to take on and is something that I am doing myself. I am not tied to any corporation or organization, so this project is on me.
My Final Words
As mentioned above, this project is very close to my heart. Just like other Photographers who travel the world to help other countries, I feel it is my duty to help Iranian citizens by giving them a chance to be looked at as equals in life. Every dollar that is donated is one big step closer to making this dream a reality and it's all up to you. I want to thank you all greatly for taking the time to read everything here and I hope that we can all mend this broken image together!
If you have ANY questions regarding this campaign, questions that I might have not answered or media inquires, please contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Every question is a good one and I will answer every single e-mail. Also, make sure to keep your eyes peeled to the updates at the top as I will be giving out constant updates on the entire campaign!!
Risks and challenges
In the Photography world, there aren't an atrocious amount of things that can go wrong, but the few that can are usually preventable or fixable. Some of the issues that can occur for a project like this are:
• The memory card breaking or faulting out.
• My equipment is stolen.
• Damaging of the camera.
How do I combat these? I will have a variety of backup equipment including other memory cards, my laptop, an external hard drive and another camera. If the camera gets damaged, I will have another one with me and also have insurance on them just in case of them being damaged or stolen.
I just want to make this clear that Iran is not that dangerous like the media will have you believe. Whether you want to believe that or not is up to you, but the people there are absolutely kindhearted and loving and do their best to look out for you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)