Wednesday, May 09, 2018
By Hayes Photography
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My last blog post talked about the photography project I've been working on for about 6 months titled We All Have a Story. I wanted to add to it because it's now exhibiting at the Webster Public Library throughout the month of May and I couldn't be more pleased with the final results.

My good friend Lori Coleman of Lori and Erin Photography helped me put up the display which I'd never done before.  Her graphic design background really helped in pulling it all together and I am truly grateful to her.  It looks fantastic!

Another friend, Kathy Pieters of Kathy Pieters Photography is responsible for my beautiful headshot that accompanies the project description.  She is a lovely, funny, talented woman and I'm blessed to have her as a friend.

The opening reception was amazing!  Family, friends, coworkers from Webster Thomas HS, neighbors, the people who were the subjects in the project and their family and friends helped make up a nice group of attendees to celebrate what I feel is a truly remarkable, unique, touching exhibit.  It was so fun to see the subjects getting their first look at other participants photographs.  There were hugs, lots of smiles and even tears (not just mine) as people wandered from image to image.

I want to thank so many people (am I at the Oscars?) for helping me with this exhibit, from the subjects themselves to my loving and supportive husband and daughters, to the school district and the library.  This project has changed me not only as a photographer, but as a human being.

My hope is that people will come to view this exhibit and walk away with the thought that the stories they viewed and read about are the stories that we all share.  By getting to know each other better, we can all grow to have a deeper understanding of one another and, in turn, we all can become better people.

Make sure to visit the  WHEC-TV 10 story!  

Tuesday, May 01, 2018
By Hayes Photography
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Almost six months ago I embarked on something that scared the heck out of me, but in a good way.

It actually began a little before that at the end of August.  Yes, I'm a professional photographer, but I'm also a teaching assistant at Webster Thomas High School.  That day in August, I attended the superintendent's opening day meeting for the upcoming school year.  Carmen Gumina had some wonderful remarks for the day, but one really hit home.  He talked about the fact that we all have stories to tell. By sharing these stories within the One Webster family and beyond, Webster CSD colleagues become even more connected to each other and the students they serve. 

As someone who's always been a talker and a lover of being around people, his message really resonated with me.  I spend my days, during the school year, working with students, talking with many people learning who they are, what makes them happy how they click.  I thrive getting to know people. The photography part of my life finds me creating images of people of who they are, what they like doing in places that they like spending time.  It just made sense to combine these two ideas

I'd been searching for a personal project idea and I knew this might be it.  I met with Carm and talked about a partnership to allow this idea to come to life.  Fortunately, he was on board and the process began.  

After hundreds of emails, over thirty interviews, 25 photography sessions and a lot of editing time, the culmination of all that hard work has paid off.  My exhibit "We All Have a Story opens today, May 1, at the Webster Public Library.  

I'm exhausted, scared, nervous, anxious, excited!

I'm so grateful to the district, Superintendent Carmen Gumina and those who opened up their lives and their hearts to me to create this exhibition.  My hope, if you're able, is for you to make some time and come see these unique, emotional collection of images, read the narratives (written by the subjects) and reflect on the fact that as human beings, we all have a story.  What's yours?