We Shoot We Care – A.L.I.V.E.

A.L.I.V.E

” a group of non-profit, volunteer based passionate photographers and videographer who are motivated to make a different and would like to contribute back to local community by offering their photography and videography talent to shelter home. It’s not often that we have an opportunity come across our paths that allow us to use our talents and strengths to contribute to such a fantastic cause. We have recognized that our support will make a difference.”

 

Months ago, I initial the idea for using our photography skill on charity event and has been searching for the right charity organization and offering our help. Unfortunately, none of those major organizations response to my emails at all. Some of my buddies told me that there are too many red tape in between.. while I almost give up my ideas, one of my friends, Eugene manage to contact Ms Christine from Ti-Ratana who express that the children of  their home are looking for portrait photos of themselves as part of their memories when they grow up. From there onwards, we have gather total 9 of us including photographers and videographer (Brendon Liew, Edwin Tan, Eddie Lee, Eugene Kok, Jack Tan, Kah Woon, Nicholas Leong, Phoebe Wong, Sean Lim) to come up with a series of events including our very first portraiture session with all the orphanage at Ti-Ratana. Same time, the event was also interviewed and reported by The Star News Paper as below. We would also like to express our appreciation to Canon Marketing Malaysia who are very kind to contribute and sponsoring printing and gift for the shelter home on our series of events.

After our first event with portraiture session, we also having photography workshop sharing (which is just over on 29th Sept) , bird-park outing and photo competition (2nd Oct) , calendar printing and exhibitions  in the pipeline from now till end of the year for not only fund raising but spending our time with the children in Ti-Ratana

Do visit our page in facebook for latest update.

 

Source: The Star

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The quest to preserve memories for the unfortunate

By LEE MEI LI 
star2@thestar.com.my

It began with a simple gesture to contribute to the community. Now nine shutterbugs are making it their personal quest – offering time and talent – to preserve memories for the unfortunate.

TEN, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two … one! Christine Alphonse’s voice floats effortlessly above the ruckus.

Her attempt to restore calm works – at once, the excited children scramble to take their seats, settling down to form a sea of wide-eyed innocence. Only seconds ago, a young lad was making his rounds drumming on a biscuit tin-box as giggling girls and boys played tag.The day is a special one for the children of the Ti-Ratana Welfare Society in Salak South Bahru, Kuala Lumpur. Alphonse, the shelter home’s PR and event executive, has just brought nine individuals to meet the children, and they are unlike any visitor Ti-Ratana has received over the years.

Big, big world out there: A picture of Sofia Kwok Fuen Chin, four, taken by mechanical engineering student Liew Iu Lung.
The child calls the Ti-Ratana Welfare Society in Salak South Baru, Kuala Lumpur, home.The group is, in a fact, a band of shutterbugs – professionals and hobbyists – who are here to do what they do best, and it’s not practice shots that they’re after. Equipped with DSLR cameras and bulky bags filled with interchangeable lenses, they’re here to capture a few thousand words with their cameras, and for no other reason than to give the children of Ti-Ratana a voice.The pro bono effort is led by professional wedding photographers Edwin Tan and Eugene Kok, who have been harbouring a passion to contribute to the community in a way that would make full use of their talents. The plan clicked into motion when the rest of their trigger-happy friends – civil engineer Chin Kah Woon, 32, businessman Jack Tan, 31, mechanical engineering student Liew Iu Lung, 22, PR consultant Nicholas Leong, 30, interior designer Phoebe Wong, 33, wedding photographer Sean Lim, 33, and videographer Eddie Lee, 39 – jumped on board. “In the beginning, we tried contacting a few of the bigger charity organisations but never got any response,” says Tan, 38, deputy general manager at a shipping company.“A lot of my friends didn’t think that my idea would pan out because of all the red tape. They thought it would be too troublesome to organise a team of photographers for something like this. So they told me to give up. I almost did actually, until Eugene shared the good news that Ti-Ratana had shown interest in our proposal,” he explains.
Make it good, buddy: A portrait of Devada Thoo Jin Ken, one, by wedding photographer Eugene Kok.

Apart from having a shelter for teenage mothers and the elderly, Ti-Ratana currently cares for over 240 children, some from as young as three months. To keep everything up and running, the centre spends about RM160,000 every month – an amount sourced solely through public donation.“From my own experience, earning RM3,000 is hard enough,” Kok, 26, opines. “With the pictures that we’ve taken, we plan to organise a photo exhibition at the end of the year to help raise funds for the shelter.”While the group’s primary objective is to share the plight of the underprivileged with the public, they also want to ensure that the children have individual portraits to call their own. Canon Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd was roped in for support, and they readily agreed to provide full sponsorship for the photo printouts.“We want to make sure that all of the children get a chance to have their photos taken. That is the least that we can do as photographers,” Kok explains.

 

We’re all right: Hoi Mei Sabrina, nine, taken by wedding photographer Edwin Tan.

Alphonse, 33, says: “A lot of people snap photos of the children when they visit, but the kids never get any to keep for themselves. Photos are essentially memories – when the children grow up, that’s the one thing that’ll give them a glimpse of the past.”

Capturing emotions

According to Kok, what was initially a simple gesture to contribute to society has turned into something more personal – now, it is about embarking on a quest to preserve memories for the unfortunate. The group has since created a non-profit Facebook page called A.L.I.V.E., which stands for Awareness, Love, Inspire, Vision and Empathy, to document their journey with this project.Nevertheless, Tan still has his doubts as to whether everything will turn out according to plan.

Back from school: By wedding photographer Edwin Tan.

“With weddings, we know what to expect; I’m seriously not sure what the outcome will be today. What keeps me inspired is the possibility that the children will look at the photos 20 to 30 years later and be reminded of their care-free years.”Having been a freelance photographer for over four years, Tan is aware of the challenges involved in organising an event of such magnitude, especially since the portrait session is only the first in a series of activities that the group has planned for Ti-Ratana.In the works is a two-day photography workshop catering especially to the young. The kids will get to learn how to work a digital compact camera and master the art of taking better photographs. After that, the participants will go on a field trip to the zoo to practise their newfound skills and engage in a friendly photography contest. If this workshop is successful, more will follow.Ti-Ratana’s co-founder, the Most Venerable Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana, 63, believes that people know of Ti-Ratana, but aren’t aware of what is happening inside.

The photographers with the Most Venerable Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana at the Ti-Ratana Welfare Society.“What these photographers are doing is essentially using their talent to give us a voice. And for this, we’re truly grateful. We’re happy enough that they’re willing to spend some time with us,” he says. The children, despite knowing nothing about the photo session beforehand, are far from being shy – many are open to posing sweetly for the camera, only to inquisitively utter, “Let me see what you’ve taken!” after every shot. Some, like 14-year-old Jennis Lai, are thrilled at the prospect of being professionally photographed for the very first time. “I feel like I’m going to be famous,” she jokes. Her close friend, 16-year-old Carmen Tan, is more reserved and admits to being “a little nervous.” “We’re not here to make up any stories,” Tan stresses. “We’re here to capture the truth and share with the world what stories these children have in store for us.”
Follow the photographers’ journey at facebook.com/ALIVE.Cause.
Lend a helping hand to the Ti-Ratana Welfare Society. Visit ti-ratana.org.my or call 03-7988 1818 / 2287 3800 for more information.

 

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