After the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, there emerged volunteer efforts to find, restore, and return precious photos swept away by the waters. CNN writes of a similar effort being done in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy:
Jeannette Van Houten also lost her Union Beach home in Sandy, but buried among the devastation she found a calling — to return memories of happier times to the 1.8-square-mile township by reuniting residents with the family photographs that Sandy scattered to the winds. The day after the storm, Van Houten went for a walk along the shoreline to assess the damage and she stumbled upon a photograph of a couple attending a wedding. She leaned down, picked it up and, suddenly, her mission became clear. “Photos are the only things that hold us to the past [...]” said Van Houten.
She soon started a Facebook page where she uploaded the pictures she found, hopeful that through the power of social media, residents of the small community would see them and be able to identify the faces and families in the photographs. Since she started, Van Houten has uploaded more than 2,000 photos to the Facebook page [...] About 60 families have reclaimed photos so far, she said.
Finding joy among the wreckage: Family photos returned post-Sandy [CNN]
Thanks for sending in the tip, Rob!
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Back in September we shared the story of Teresa Berg, a photographer who volunteers her time to take professional quality adoption photos for dogs in shelters. Sadly, similar efforts to save dogs through photography aren’t always encouraged. A woman named Emily Tanen was fired from Animal Care and Control of New York City back in May for her photos of dogs scheduled to be euthanized. Her crime? Violating the group’s strict photo policy, which includes a rule prohibiting showing humans in photos. The New York Times writes,
When she started working at Care and Control, Ms. Tanen said, she believed that the animals were photographed poorly and that the images failed to convey the warmth of a potential pet.
With her art background from her studies, Ms. Tanen decided she could do a better job with her $1,500 Nikon.
[...] Ms. Tanen said she tried to comply with the rules, but sometimes felt her judgment trumped her superiors’. She continued to show people’s hands touching a dog, even after receiving a warning against doing so. “I think they just didn’t want photos of animals that they were about to kill looking cute and adoptable and happy with people, but they said it was because their research showed that photos with people didn’t encourage people to adopt,” she said.
You can see some more of Tanen’s photographs here (be warned: they show humans).
Fired From a Shelter After Photographing the Animals (via Gizmodo)