Dear Visitors,

THANK YOU for your time.

My name is Holly. I am a Global Health Professional, PhD Candidate, Mother, Wife, Photographer, and Writer.

The purpose of this small, simple webpage is to provide instructions on how to vote for my "dream photography assignment." Put simply: I have entered a contest to win support to return to two areas where I have worked, taught, and traveled for the sole purpose of offering photography to document families, individuals, and community members in a respectful and collaborative manner -- and to give copies of these photographs to those captured in the frame. The assignment also includes regular blogging and documention, so I will also be writing about these communities, the coversations I have with the people who live and work there, the process of learning about the realities of living there, and how the experience is changing our family at the same time. I believe that my unique background as a professional in Global Health, an advocate for the poor and vulnerable, a mother and a wife, and a photographer with training and experience in using photography as a tool for social change and awareness, all make me a perfect candidate for this assignment.

I need to be in the top 20 of total votes in order to be evaluated by a panel of judges. Which is how you can help -- by voting! Below are details for how to cast a vote....

(Note: for more details, I have a list of Frequently Asked Questions at the end of the page... for more information, please feel free to email me at coldspaghetti at gmail dot com)


This is my "idea" page, where you can read about the assignment:

Then you need to register (Click “register” in the box on the top right.)

Check your email, click through the verification to bring you back to the main page of the website. This is where it gets tricky, because you have to find my idea again. Do this by going directly back to my “idea” page in the link above, OR, by searching for it using my “name” — coldspaghetti.

The official name of the assignment is: Giving Back a Treasure: Providing portraits to impoverished families.

Once you are on my Idea Page, click the yellow “PIC IT” box. It is to the left of the assignment description, under the number of votes. It will change from “PIC IT” to “PIC’D” which means that you have successfully voted for me.

Then leave me a message so I know you’ve voted (if you email me, coldspaghetti at gmail dot com) I will send you a personal thank-you! (This part gives me warm fuzzies.)

Extra bonus step… Spread the word to your friends, family, students, co-workers, kids, neighbors, mailman, hairdresser… and ask them to vote, too!

More information? I talk about the assignment on my blog:

Also, you can view a small portion of some of my photography work at my professional website:

THANK YOU thank you thank you... for your support, help, and spreading the word!



Frequently Asked Questions:

What makes this assignment unique?

This assignment does not have the flash and glamour of reaching dozens of destinations or hope to capture the entire world. It is looking at specific communities where I have some history and contacts. In short, in areas where I have a cultural attache that can help me gain repore with the community. What I love best about working in Global Health is the ability to sit and talk to people about their lives. Usually this is focused on health-related issues (like waste removal, water use, recent illness, ventillation, vaccination, or birthing practices), but always it includes details about work and family life. On my last overseas assignment, I was asked to take photographs for Global Health Magazine covering the experiences of the course I was helping to conduct. When I asked to take photographs, it was imparative to me to try and return copies of those photographs, but I found it to be an incredibly expensive and difficult goal. In some cases, like when visiting rural villages in the flooded Amazon, returning photographs was not feasible. As a photographer entering an incredibly poor and vulnerable community, I felt that the least I could do was to offer a photo to the people I met -- especially when I knew that they had no means of documenting their own families and memories in this fashion.

My dream is to be able to provide this to these communities. In doing so, I will hold to my professional traditions of talking to families, stating my intentions, and returning over several weeks and months to build relationships. In addition to holding sessions for portraiture, I will photograph daily and post online (as I do now with my personal blog). I will accompany photographs with stories told by community members, much as we do within Photovoice -- a technique I use with community participatory projects in the United States.


How feasible is this project?

My husband, Paul, telecommutes full-time. This gives us tremendous flexibility for living abroad, as we have done in the past. We have managed to live and work in Honduras and in Peru with this arrangement. Our children are young enough to not be affected in terms of their education. Both of them have constant exposure to a second language (our son's first language was Spanish) and will only grow from the experience. Because of the limitations with the funding, Paul and I will play for their travel expenses. The contest will cover the travel for Paul and I, only. The remaining funds will be to help support the project (in-country travel, printing expenses, equipment, honoriaria for any assistants, etc.)


What will be the lasting impact of this project?

In the end, the project will encompass months of detailed documentation, stories, and photographs revealing an in-depth perspective into the lives of four very different communities (a rural Himalayan community and an urban slum community in India; an urban shantytown and rural village in the flooded Amazon region in Peru). Photographs and stories would be available for exhibition, publication, or simply to live on the internet as an educational tool for travelers, global health professionals, artists, or others interested in learning about daily life in these communities.


Why not just do a traditional photography "assignment?"

Photographers cover so many aspects of our world in beautiful and amazing ways. My dream is not to replicate any of that, but to simply give back to people who don't get a chance to see photographs in their daily lives.


I hope you will help me work towards this dream. Thank you for your time!