volunteering at the food bank

This was a week ago, and some of you may have seen a couple of these on instagram, but here they are again, in the proper format and color-corrected to my liking (mostly). So, the company I work at does volunteering as part of an effort to give back to the community; we’re part of the Pledge 1% member companies; and we’re trying to do that with time.

In two hours, we moved about 12.5 tons of carrots out of those big bins (called macrobins) and into boxes for distribution to individual centers that provide food to those in need. We also moved about 3 tons of pears from macrobins to boxes, for the same reason. The food distribution is run like a farmers’ market, so people can pick and choose what they want to eat. They do it that way so people can have at least some agency in their choices. It’s amazing what giving people a little agency can do for how they feel.

The warehouse we were in serves about 40 (38 is the number I remember, but could be more or less) of smaller nutrition-based aid services in the San Francisco and Marin county areas. They move 48 million pounds of food, about 24,000 tons. Volunteers like us contribute 150,000 hours of labor per year, or the equivalent of 70 full time workers; the money they would spend on those workers goes to buying more food. This place is more like a regional warehouse for a grocery store chain than anything else. According to the warehouse manager (our supervisor, anyway), we helped feed 30,000 families.

Now, you might be thinking, ‘That’s a lot of people that need food!’ and you’re not wrong. 1 in 4 people in the Bay Area need some kind of assistance; which is wild and crazy and I can’t believe nobody is shouting it from the rooftops. How are we not moved by that? Twenty five fucking percent. For my friends not in the bay area, you’re probably not getting off any easier. Oklahoma, where I grew up, is about 18%, or one in five. Look up your local food bank, they’ll surely have stats for your area, and send ‘em some love in the form of hard currency or time. I give a few dollars here and there to charity, but going and doing work for a while feels a lot better. Also, start hassling your congresscritter about universal basic income (and if you’ve got someone on the phone, tell ‘em you’d also like to see single payer healthcare).

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-06 06:55:35 +0000

rad last june

So, this was probably the June edition of Radical Art Directors, which is really a meetup of a bunch of artists more than art directors; there are about half working artists and half people like me that do a day job to support all of this. It’s a good event, pretty much always, and good to get together with artistic peers and talk about stuff. Sometimes there’s structured discussion around the topics, and sometimes it’s just pretty free-form. These are rad people.

This (and one more wedding post) is the last of the film work. I’ve got half a dozen rolls that I need to process, but I’ve almost completely stopped using the film camera now that I have the Leica. End of an era. might pull it out of the cabinet if the mood strikes me, or if for some reason I need something small and light again. we’ll see.

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-04 06:02:38 +0000

wedding reception

The reception, I mean, what can I say, it was a wedding. Lots of fun. lots of drinking, everyone seems really happy. The legally required scenes all happened: the best man toast, the maid of honor toast, the cutting of the cake, the dances. I covered it all as well as I could.

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-02 07:29:44 +0000

yesterday and today

So it’s been… three whole days? and here I am with my second blog post with photos I’ve shot in the last 48 hours. That should tell you all you need to know about how I feel about the new rig, but here, an analogy, because why the hell not:

Have you ever ridden a bike? And you’ve been going for a while, but you’re not tired yet, and for a moment the wind gusts at your back or the terrain levels out, and you and the bike just meld together and it doesn’t really feel like there’s any separation between what you want to do and where the bike goes? Just a sort of joy in the moment? It’s like that.

So even though these aren’t perfect, my hit rate is way up and the way I feel about shooting with the Leica: yeah, it’s like that. Click click click. Some of these have been on instagram, but cropped, which is against my religion, so here they are as they’re meant to be seen. I know this is a lot of street shots, but that’s where I’m at right now. Should have some good times with people I know better and can maybe make some real portraits over the weekend. Now, to work on my odd salon talk.

Posted by Matt on 2018-08-31 06:00:10 +0000