Photo of the Week: New Year’s Resolutions

January 29th, 2015

In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator

With the end of January looming ahead of us, it’s almost time to reflect on our New Year’s Resolutions. What was your resolution this year: to get back into shape, to spend more time with family, or to pick up a new hobby? Whatever it was, we hope you’ve been pursuing it for the past month, or at least are planning to pursue it for the rest of 2015. For us at CEF, 2015 will be filled with exciting new projects, photoshoots, and more–remember to keep up with all our news through our blog and social media channels!

Photo of the Week: More from Cambodia!

January 22nd, 2015

In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator

Take a look at more photos from our board members’ recent trip to Cambodia! Lakena, pictured here, is a grade 8 student in Kompong Khleang, where CEF is providing clean water to the community in collaboration with Kids International Development Society (K.I.D.S.). Stay tuned for more from our Cambodia trip!

Photo of the Week: Pool Party

January 15th, 2015

Krystele Chavez, Social Media Coordinator

The month of January always leaves us in the North Hemisphere trying to stay warm in our thick coats. A great way to beat the cold is by reminiscing about summer fun, as shown in this week’s chosen image taken by Steven Errico. Steven has volunteered his world-class talent to CEF for 8 of CEF’s 9 years, and also accompanied our CEF board members on their recent trip to Cambodia. See more of his extraordinary work on the Getty Images Collection – we’re sure you’ll find many images you could use!


Photo of the Week: CEF in Cambodia

January 8th, 2015

Krystele Chavez, Social Media Coordinator

Compassionate Eye Foundation board members Leah Lockhart, Communications Chair, Sue DickProjects Chair, Dan Rogers, Board Chair, and Michael Glogowsky, Board Member on Projects, are currently in Cambodia to see firsthand the positive changes that are occurring thanks to your continued support. This photograph, which was taken by Leah Lockhart at the Kompong Khleang School, shows the older students putting on a short play explaining the importance of clean water for the visiting CEF and Kids International Development Society members. We hope you continue to stay updated with our board members’ trip via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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CEF Ends the Year in Cambodia

December 26th, 2014

Dan Rogers, CEF Board Chair

It’s been a very exciting week. December 21 was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. For many this is a time for reflection and “lighting the night”. Lantern festivals and Christmas lights abound in Vancouver. And we can now look forward to the days getting longer and the nights getting shorter.

My holiday season will be quieter than normal at first and then likely not so quiet after that.  I am one of three CEF Board members travelling on December 27 to Cambodia, with the first stop in Phnom Penh (I was advised to carry ear plugs for this vibrant city). Leah Lockhart, CEF Communications Chair, Sue Dick, CEF Projects Chair, and I are travelling together and stopping in Phnom Penh for four days en route to Siem Reap to meet up with one of our great project partners, Kids International Development Society. We will be joined in Siem Reap by Michael Glogowsky, our San Francisco based Board member, and Steven Errico, a fabulous commercial photographer from Vancouver who has contributed his work to CEF for most of our nine years of operation.

We will be travelling with KIDS founders Adrianne and Rick Lennert for seven or eight days, viewing projects we have funded and reviewing others we may fund in the future. This is such a great opportunity for us to see firsthand as “CEF ambassadors” the changes your work and donations have wrought. As with our trips to Ethiopia and Zambia, we will be blogging from Cambodia and posting pictures. Watch the CEF blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates as we learn, explore, and celebrate.

Whatever your reason for celebration, thank you for being part of the CEF family this past year and for watching us grow and change. It has been a great year and one of many challenges and changes. And there is more to come as we move towards our 10 year anniversary. All the best.

Photo of the Week

December 11th, 2014

In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator

With all the gloomy weather lately, it’s hard not to long for summer. This beautiful shot captures what we love most about summer: carefree days under the sun. Don’t forget to check out our Getty Images collection for images for every season!

Photographing Food: Tips and Insights from Jessica Beisler

December 6th, 2014

Eunice Sotelo, Social Media Coordinator

Social networks like Instagram and Facebook have changed the way we look at photography. As smartphones and compact cameras approach ubiquity, it’s not unusual for us to share all aspects of our daily lives through pictures, including the food we eat. When it comes to pictures of food, whether a piece of fruit or an entire meal, we have the capacity to appreciate them on an intellectual and visceral level.

So what does it take to make food photography visually appealing? CEF volunteer photographer Jessica Beisler shares her passion for the subject. A food and lifestyle photographer based in Vancouver and San Francisco, she considers the human story behind the meal as equally important as the tantalizing imagery.

CEF: Can food photos tell a story?

Jessica: Since food is one of our most basic needs as human beings, it has this great ability to unite us in that common experience. When I meet chefs, restaurateurs, farmers and other food enthusiasts, it’s essential to share what they’re passionate about. Food photos can definitely tell a story, and it’s up to the photographer to choose how to tell that story. It’s important to know the look and feel you want the image to convey. Lighting is one of the best tools for communicating that message. If you don’t have good light, you don’t have a good shot. I typically prefer to shoot in natural light, using modifiers to bounce or diffuse it. Of course there’s a time and place for studio lights as long as you know how to control the lighting to get the look you’re after.

CEF: What goes through your mind when composing your shot?

Jessica: When shooting food, keep in mind the purpose behind the image. I ask myself: what vantage point would make me want to eat the food? If it’s something I’m shooting in the studio, I’ve typically gathered tear sheets for inspiration as part of my pre-shoot planning, which could include colour schemes, props, backgrounds, lighting and mood. I see a studio shoot as a collaboration between the food stylist, prop stylist and photographer, each playing an important role in creating the image. If I’m on location shooting an editorial piece, the props are generally part of the natural setting. And no matter the subject I’m shooting, I’m always looking at the frame. How can I frame things to be the most visually interesting so the viewer’s eye moves around the image? Make conscious decisions about where your frame lives to avoid distractions especially around the edges, which can deter from the composition.

CEF: What are your rules of thumb when modifying composition?

Jessica: I try to do my best to “crop” while I’m shooting, so I can rely less on post processing. My style is more natural so I typically stay away from HDR images or heavy saturation. In terms of post-production, I use Lightroom and Photoshop the most. Lightroom makes editing thousands of images manageable, which is a new challenge for the digital age.

For more behind the scenes on food photography, read our Q&A blog on this year’s Toronto Food Shoot.

Photo of the Week

December 4th, 2014

In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator 

Giving Tuesday 2014 was earlier this week. This Photo of the Week is a throwback from our Giving Tuesday 2013 photoshoot with Hubert Kang! The images from this sports-themed shoot are now available on our Getty Images collection. Thank you for to all those who volunteer and support CEF, especially those who contributed time, energy, skills and monetary donations to this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign!

Giving Tuesday Donation Matching

December 1st, 2014

Leah Yee, Social Media Manager

InfographicSustainability is a cornerstone of Compassionate Eye Foundation’s mission. Not only do we want to fund worthy projects in developing countries, we want to facilitate a sustainable and long-term positive impact in communities. We know that our supporters want to see their contributions have this same effect. That is why we’re excited to announce that all donations made up to and on December 2 will be matched by CEF and a sponsor.

Donate now and your generosity will triple in impact! One dollar given becomes three dollars to fund the Peer Literacy Program in Sierra Leone, which provides literacy and leadership training for secondary students. For every student who becomes a qualified tutor, 48 primary students benefit from after-school classes to improve their reading and phonics skills. Since 2009, CEF and CAUSE Kids have been able to help over 5,000 children strengthen their education. We ask that you help us continue this program and give the gift of education to even more students in 2015.

Giving Tuesday: Q&A with Monashee Alonso

November 30th, 2014

In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator

Monashee Alonso -2014On the morning of December 2, this year’s Giving Tuesday, CEF Project Pillar Chair Sue Dick and photographer Monashee Alonso will be promoting the Peer Literacy Program and CEF on Global Morning News. Monashee sat down with us to answer some questions about her upcoming shoot with CEF, Giving Tuesday, and what inspires her to volunteer.

CEF: Tell us about the concept of the shoot.

Monashee: It’s a women in business concept, so the idea would be in a business location with women being the focus. Whether that means women in leadership roles, women who are mothers, women who choose not to be mothers. It’ll touch on the specifics of being a woman in the business place. There might be something like a woman bringing her child to work for the day, or dropping her kid off at day care, or power women within different roles in a company.

CEF: What would be the typical audience for this theme?

Monashee: It’s stock photography, so the end user could be anywhere from a financial institution to a blog about working mothers balancing home life and work life. But probably some of the images could be used in more than that specific sense, and used in more areas, such as a banking ad.

CEF: Have you been a part of Giving Tuesday before? What does Giving Tuesday mean to you?

Monashee: This was the first time I had heard about Giving Tuesday. Susan McDonald told me what the concept was, the idea being that after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when people are spending money on themselves and their families, they give to people out of the goodness of their heart. I think that it’s a nice idea to bring to people’s attention, to be able to give and have a day that recognizes that so that it’s brought into public consciousness. 

CEF: How and why did you become involved with CEF?

Monashee: I’ve been involved since not quite the very beginning, but close to the beginning. It was through work, so I got involved because I was working with a lot of the people who were involved. I sat on the board for a year. After that, I moved to LA and I was mostly involved as a photographer, doing some of the production. I did that in Vancouver as well, before leaving for LA.

For me, it’s always been such a great concept, because it was a natural thing for me to do and be involved in, because it’s something that I love to do. I don’t have a lot of money, so what I can give monetarily is not going to go as far as my time and my skills. The fact that I can give my time and my skills to generate money for people in other parts of the world who maybe don’t have the resources or just need some basic health care. That is really cool to me, that we can do that without handing over dollars. It ends up being dollars, but the fact that it’s royalties and it accrues over time…that a photoshoot that everyone is contributing to can raise thousands of dollars is great.

The community factor has always been really amazing to me. When we originally started, the shoots happened once a year, all on the same day. It’s not realistic to do it that way anymore, but when that happened, that communal feeling that there was another crew in another city doing a photoshoot and that there were communities receiving our funds to build schools or put in irrigation systems is brilliant. And it makes you feel that sense of community, that we’re all working together.

CEF: Which of CEF’s development projects do you find most inspiring?

Monashee: The thing about the women in business concept is that CEF funds some projects working with women and giving women educational tools. That’s something that I’m passionate about. That tie-in is really nice, that there’s this concept of women in business and that there’s women in Guatemala or Sierra Leone or wherever the project is, working to build their communities up. If you teach a woman how to read, she takes that back to her community and teaches others. Women in a lot of the cultures that CEF is involved with play that role of disseminating knowledge. 

Thank you to Monashee for all her hard work. Stay tuned for updates on our upcoming photoshoot with Monashee and more on Giving Tuesday!