Prints for Prints: A Global Rally for the Printed Photograph
There aren’t a lot of photographers who generously offer their cameras (much less their time, energy and commitment) to strangers, but Joni Kabana does it on a regular basis.
Portland photographer, Joni Kabana is a force of nature. From a young woman, she yearned to be a photographer, but her practical parents restricted that journey and she ended up earning a degree in Psychology, loving her study of human behavior. She also holds post degree certification in computer programming and enjoyed an earlier corporate career working on technical interactive projects. In addition to her tech career, she also raised a family. But a camera was never far away.
The lightening bolt struck when Katrina hit New Orleans and she saw people running into their homes to retrieve photographs–she knew at that moment what was their most important possession. She then decided to leave her corporate job to concentrate full time on photography. During her travels and teaching, it became evident to Joni that many people do not only not print their images, they don’t have the ability to print images, especially in this digital age. “When I go into local historical museums and see photos of people, I wonder if we will ever see this record of humanity years from now, when we never print images any more. So another goal of this project is to adhere to our motto: HAIL TO THE PRINT!” And so she started Prints for Prints: A Global Rally for the Printed Photograph–an organization that brings the printed image into global communities that have no photographic legacy.
Upcoming projects will take place in:
The Prints For Prints project was created out of a desire to give photographic prints of elders to families in rural Ethiopia. Most of these families have never had a photograph of their families, and when I am there photographing on assignment, I see in their faces how much they appreciate being “recorded” on my camera. I always leave wishing I could leave behind a print for them.
Now I can. This November, a small team and I will be setting up makeshift photo studios and printing images of loved ones for families in small Ethiopian villages. We are able to do this because of the generous donations of beautiful prints from photographers all over the world. These photographs will be auctioned at an event and all proceeds will go toward the printers, paper, ink and in-country costs of translators.
Each photographer will be paired up with one local Ethiopian student who would like to learn more about photography, so there will be an exchange of technical skills as well as the building of one-to-one cultural awareness.
The response to this project has been overwhelming. Nike Foundation and Global Press Institute will be selecting Ethiopian journalists from their programs to work with us. The photographers who have signed up to go (and are paying their own way) are excited beyond reason. The donating photographers have been generous and quick to sign on. There have been requests to do this in small rural towns in places such as Alaska and Darjeeling.
Perhaps we all do value print, more than we realize. To all of our laid off newspaper photographers, we salute you. Your talent is immeasurable, and just because we have funneled everything into the digital drain, I believe there is a deep resounding appreciation for holding a faded photograph in our hands. Or even a newspaper.
The faces of our ancestors may be imprinted in our imaginations, but I can’t think of anything more celebratory of a human life than the lasting effects of a printed portrait.
So today I urge each of you to consider this, now, before the next fleeting thing crosses your mind: Print your photographs.
A family photograph is a precious thing to many of us, and especially to people who live in rural areas and often do not have a record of their elders.
Prints for Prints relies on the generous donations of photographic prints by talented photographers from around the world. These donated prints are auctioned and all of the proceeds go towards the creation of makeshift studios in rural villages, working with local student photographers when possible, for the purpose of donating prints to those who do not have photographs of their loved ones.
Prints For Prints is a volunteer run organization. We celebrate the value of a photographic print in this disposable digital world!
Your donation will help us pay for the following:
- Small mobile printers
- In-country transportation to location
- In-country translators or guides
- Transportation costs for local students
- Equipment to be donated to location students
- Minor event and promotional costs
Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.
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