George Soules Photography recently became member 2,852 of 1% for the Planet. Why? If you're old enough, you'll remember those Remington Shaver TV commercials where Victor Kiam says "I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company." Well, I liked the staff at 1% so much, I joined the organization!
I first met some of the 1% staffers last August in the wake of destruction left by Hurricane Irene. They were volunteering as a cleanup crew at a local Vermont church where I was taking pictures. I asked them to pose for a group shot as they were filling wheelbarrows with plants from a farm garden that had been destroyed by the flood. There were four men and four women so we staged the shot to look like a wedding with rotting vegetation as the bouquet and the church steeple in the background. You can see that and other Irene photos here.
I remember thinking at the time that these people were pretty cool to volunteer their time and pose for a crazy picture. I sent the photo to the "maid of honor" Brittany, and we stayed in touch. This spring I contacted her about taking 1% staff portraits as a way to donate something to 1% and build our professional portfolio. Though I've been a photographer since I was in high school, I kept my day job as a software architect for over 30 years. Now in my mid-fifties, I'm pursuing my passion for photography and seeking ways to use it to help others.
Our business had recently formalized its giving mission when we learned what 1% does. We realized that they could help us accomplish some of our goals more effectively than we could do alone. How? First, this is a great group of people as I learned from spending time with each of them during their photo sessions. They are committed to creating a healthy planet – that's their job. Second, there is strength in numbers. To date, 1% members as a network have channeled over $70 million to environmental organizations worldwide. Now, as a 1% member myself, I can honestly say that our business contributed and that's a good feeling (last week we made our first 1% inspired donation of $250 to the Vermont Land Trust).
When you feel good about what you do and where your money goes, it shows in your work and it shows in your smile. Below is proof in the faces of the team at 1% for the Planet in Waitsfield, Vermont. From left to right, top to bottom: Group, Terry, Pauline, Leah, Brodie, Rebecca, Barbara, Gaelan, Brittany, Kerry, Danny, Melody.
Thank you guys and gals of 1% for letting us take these portraits — the pleasure was all mine.