Interview with Fogo Island Photo Book Creator Leela Orr

I love meeting new people, especially women who want to make the world a better place. When I recently met Leela Orr at a local boardgames event, we chatted about our careers and were excited to learn we both were in creative fields. Leela told me about her Indiegogo campaign to help publish her photography book A Glimpse into the Beauty of Fogo Island. After exploring the Indiegogo link, I wanted to learn more about the project. Here is my interview with Leela Orr that came about as a result.

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Interview with Photographer Leila Orr

Indiegogo Project for This Photography Book

A Glimpse into the Beauty of Fogo Island by Leela Orr.

Hi Leela! Have you always been interested in photography? Please tell us a bit about this particular passion of yours.

I find photography very rewarding when I see how my photos evoke emotions as the artistic nature of the content touches the senses of the viewers. Then I know waiting hours and days for just the right light or situation was worth it.

Photography also allows me to be in the moment and to see more beauty in my surroundings and to have greater  appreciation  for nature.

Assisting others through photography is one of my mottos. I love learning, exploring different cultures, nature, and hiking. There’s no better way to share my passion than through photography. I’ve lived, worked and traveled in over 30 countries with a career in international community development and now photography allows me to explore from a different perspective. My most recent goal is to use all my photography as a fundraiser for various organizations.

I started photography a number of years ago. My ex-partner had purchased a lot of camera equipment and then never used it. At the same time, I thought so many wedding albums were boring “all the same posed photos” so I started taking creative wedding pictures for friends and putting them in albums for a gift. It soon became a business.

That was a risk! Weddings are only for a few hours, the photos have to turn out! I’m lucky they always did. After a couple of years, I needed more stimulation for my hobby/extra work and wanted to spend more time outdoors in my free time. Doing photography in nature is like a meditation, I am totally in the moment.

I love your comparison of photography to meditation. Now, regarding your most recent project, where exactly is Fogo Island?

Fogo Island is the largest offshore island of Newfoundland and Labrador, and is situated off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. One of it’s towns, Tilting, is known as the oldest Irish Settlement in Canada and in 2003 was designated a Registered Heritage District. It is also known as one of the country’s best-preserved collections of structures associated with the fishery and early farming in Newfoundland and Labrador.

How did the idea for publishing the book A Glimpse into the Beauty of Fogo Island come to you?

My idea to publish a pictorial book of Fogo Island with the goal of selling it to raise funds for mental health projects and heritage projects on the island started in 2015 when I was selected  for the international artist-in-residence program. My placement was located in Tilting. 

I soon realized the island was a feast for a photographer: the seascapes, landscapes, flora, fauna, the communities. In 2016 I  returned on my own accord  for 4 months  to become more familiar with the communities and to continue photographing for the book.

What will the funds raised by the Indiegogo campaign go toward? 

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Women Who Pay It Forward (Guest Post)

Hi all! Today I’m pleased to welcome Sharon Phillips to the blog to chat about networking and empowering women. Her project titled the “Empowering Women Exchange” provides an exciting opportunity for females that I want to share with you. Without further ado, here is Sharon:

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Empowering Networking Women to the Highest Degree

So many years ago, I discovered the power of paying it forward, and, once I did, the blessings and rewards began for me, and have not stopped. What a concept!

Then a dream project rested on my heart and I started “Empowering Women Exchange”  We shared business tips and ideas, showcased businesses along with quest speakers, and began relationships that I still have today, 4 years later. The Exchange doesn’t hold meetings anymore, however, empowering women never stops.

And then I discovered International Women’s Day, March 8, in 2014, and told myself, here is my chance to spread the word, not just on a local level, but on a more global scale.  And to bring Women together for networking and fundraiser events.

The first 2 years were a bust!  1st year, no one showed, last year, it was our guest speaker, and my self, ha! We had a blast, since we did a BLAB podcast, sharing our networking tips and suggestions.
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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham

I woke up to a beautiful surprise today! Thank you Sally for featuring my poetry collections in your cafe and bookstore ♥ I cannot even begin to express the gratitude I have for all who support my writing journey. May your day be amazing!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the start of week of author promotions and looking forward to placing the Poetry books of  Canadian writer Christy Birmingham on the shelves.  Starting with Versions of the Self

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

We find ourselves   By sir henry on November 21, 2016

It would be a mistake for one to approach Christy Birmingham’s “Versions of the Self” as…

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Pursuing Happiness: Why We May Be Missing the Point

Busy Pursuing Happiness

Rushing Around Every Day. Image via Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain).

Pursuing “the happy.” Being content, emotionally satisfied, and joyful. It’s a common goal, right? “The Pursuit of Happyness” was an endearing movie starring Will Smith, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” became a runaway hit song from Bobby McFerrin, and the happy face emoji lights up the screens of our smartphones. So, why can’t any of us seem to find our happy place? Or, have we found it and just don’t realize we’re there already?

Busy, Busy Lives

At first, I just wrote the subheading as “busy lives,” but then I realized life is getting even busier for most people. Just when you think more can’t be added onto the day, there’s another task at the office or one more email to send. Oh, and did you remember to phone Jackie or fill out the form for the school trip for your child next week?

So, yes, we’re busy. And it’s come with a price.

Lack of Connection

People are looking at their smartphones more than at one another’s faces while rushing to and from appointments. There isn’t the same level of intimacy between people anymore.

True, I’m generalizing, I know it. Not everyone is this way. But the last time I was sitting at Tim Hortons, I couldn’t help but notice the large number of people eating while staring at their phones rather than talking to the person on the other side of the table.

Losing a Sense of Connection

Staring at Smartphone, Missing the Chance to Make an In-Person Connection. Image via Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain).

Where Does the Time Go?

Family demands are juggled with work and daily chores. Many people feel there is not enough time in the day for all of the tasks that need to be accomplished. I used to joke that there should be 25 hours in a day. Now I realize that the extra hour would be spent with more activities rather than being spent relaxing. More time just means filling it with more stuff from a bigger to-do list.

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For International Women’s Day 2017: 5 Women Reaching for Gender Equality

Fighting Gender Equality is Hard Work, Like Exercise

Let’s Aim for Women and Men to be Equals.

The day is almost here! March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD) 2017. I hope this special day will be full of actions that help move the world toward being gender equal. On IWD, which dates back to 1908, let’s celebrate the accomplishments of women around the globe. Here are five of the many women championing for equal rights for women:

Manal al-Sharif

As a women’s rights activist from Saudi Arabia, Manal al-Sharif inspired a campaign for women’s right to drive. She went against the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia and was imprisoned for nine days after filming herself driving a vehicle and then posting it to YouTube.

Her 2011 Women2Drive campaign put pressure on the government to change the law, particularly when social media picked up the story of this woman who questioned why women did not have the same rights as men. She continues to speak out about female oppression in her country.

Alma Gomez

In the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, Alma Gomez campaigns against feminicide. She co-wrote a chapter of the Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Americas book, as well as penning several articles on the killing of women who were involved in human rights causes.

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