The Momenta Workshops have been on my radar (aka my "dream board") for a few years now and I was finally able to attend in February 2018. If you're not familiar, Momenta is a tight-knit group of storytellers from all over the world, with a focus on photojournalism and working with non-profits. Following a lengthy review process, Momenta's dedicated staff play matchmakers for photographers/filmmakers who would like to broaden their skill set, and organizations in need of quality imagery. My specific workshop took place in Los Angeles, CA, with presentations held at the Leica Gallery, and sponsored by the Leica Akademie.
I was expertly matched with the dynamic and community-driven L.A. Conservation Corps (and graciously hosted by Kea Duggan, Marketing & Special Projects Director). The Corps provides 18-to-24 year olds with the opportunity to complete their high school education, paid on-the-job training and a suite of additional support services, where young adults learn what it feels like to be hands-on members of progressive activities within their own neighborhoods. Their projects range from regional recycling and composting operations to neighborhood beautification efforts and graffiti abatement, to construction training/apprenticeship with partners like Habitat for Humanity, as well as marine conservation and education within their SEA Lab program (and that's just a small sample of what they're working on). Needless to say, their strong commitment to teamwork is the key.
Multiple days of intense image making, immediate feedback in one-to-one mentor reviews, peer collaboration, project presentations (and the pressure of a good old-fashioned deadline) resulted in a multimedia video presenting the experience of the Corps Members in their own voices, as well as a suite of rich images showcasing the wide variety of the organizations' efforts. To say that I was impressed by the level of determination within the hearts of these Corps Members is an understatement. Each brings a deep desire to learn new skills, uncover their personalities, conquer their fears, build healthy relationships, be positive forces in their community and—last but not least—to have a lot of fun, together.
*Images and audio captured by Bernadette Fox, with supplemental audio assistance from Jeremy Minter.