One of the major goals of having our first ever intern was to complete our first AAD photoshoot with our first line. Obviously, a lot of firsts keep happening here.
So, we had our intern, we had our first line, and we picked our first location for this endeavor; Baha’I Temple (House of Worship). We chose this location, because it was supposedly the prettiest and greenest (while still being public) place to take photos. It didn’t disappoint with being pretty and green. It did disappoint with being public, because we brought a puppy to enjoy the greenery with us, and little Rue and her owner Lindsey were forced to stay at the gate, because they have a strict no dog policy [nowhere posted though]. We are as disappointed as you must be of the lack of puppy in the pictures of AAD’s first line.
Anyways, Yi Yi will take it from here [I’ll let you know if I steal the mic again].
On our way up the hill to reach the temple, we were given a brief explanation of the religion and its history…which to be honest, I didn’t really hear much of. My mind was too busy trying to figure out how this second photoshoot of mine was going to work. If I had learnt anything from the first one, it was that I had a lot of work to do before becoming anywhere near halfway to being professional. But what I heard was that followers of Baha’i accept all religions because they believe that all religions are actually one.
This would be AAD’s first official photoshoot. Our official goal today was to have photos that could be put on website for sale, our unofficial goal was to have fun while getting as many photos of everyone in AAD shirts as possible. What turned out to be a small photoshoot with two models ended up being a slightly larger frolic around the gardens with five young women that was almost reminiscent of one of those large Vanity Fair photoshoots of celebrities that I have seen on the shelves of newsagents. Though forgive me for my lack of model-ism, I was dragged from the safety of being behind the camera.
While we were there, unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos inside, but the architecture on the outside was what grabbed me. The sun was glaring down on us, making my skin rather sticky, and that made being professional rather difficult. But the models maintained their professionalism to the very end.
My favourite part of the day was when Sandra first saw the models wearing her shirts. The look on her eyes and the way that she grabbed at Sarah and said, “They look so good!” was an unforgettable moment for me (that I wish I had been able to capture). Sandra was on a high for the whole shoot as the models changed from one shirt to another, and that reminded me once again of the work that AAD is doing and what they are trying to achieve on a larger scale in Uganda. I could not have been more honoured to be interning at this NGO.
Check the photos out on…
P.S. [Sarah here]. My favorite part of the day relates to Yi Yi’s. Because, I was behind the scenes [minus our mini “modeling” shoot while waiting for the models to change and then again when we all felt like frolicking around the grounds] I got to chat with Sandra the entire time. Seeing the uncontainable joy and having Sandra say “I made that! They look so good!". It didn’t hit me until that moment that sometimes we ALL forget to look at the big picture.
I constantly get stuck on what tasks HAVE to be completed and what isn’t getting done, and the frustrations of bureaucracy. I forgot to take a step back and realize that Sandra works diligently in school and in the workshop, but hadn’t actually witnessed her product being worn and enjoyed by women in real life. Watching her eyes light up, having her tug at my arm to give me a suggestion on how the models should pose, and explain to everyone that her dream was to “have my own line” was definitely a proud mamma moment.
Meg started this journey to make big dreams happen. I think its safe to say that AAD is doing just that.