Dear Friends and Family,
Who would have imagined that in 2020, our lives to go from this…
So I wanted to check in with you, because we have been through a lot of life together.
Over the past 15 years I have photographed close to 200 weddings, and at least twice as many families, one birth, and one almost birth (thanks to rush-hour traffic crossing the Bay Bridge on a Friday). I’ve documented birthday parties, anniversary parties, before and after cancer journeys, and most recently I photographed a couple who just learned one of them is facing a terminal cancer diagnosis.
I’ve photographed a documentary film, 20 books, dozens of small businesses, artists, non-profits, and some of those for over 10 years.
It has been an incredible honor to be invited into so many lives, and a gift to be able to support my family through photography.
To those who are struggling during this time, because of health and or financial reasons, I am sending my deepest love. This is the hard. Really hard.
My family has been lucky (so far) to have our health, but because both my husband and I are self-employed, we are likely not receiving much help from the government, so we are definitely nervous about the future. We are trying to figure out what jobs are fire proof, recession proof, drought proof and pandemic proof. (Let us know if you have any suggestions that would work for a photographer and a musician/farm educator.)
But we are the lucky ones. We have an incredibly supportive and encouraging family and community… we know we will be ok. This is a challenge for us to get creative, downsize and try new things.
We know that so many other people have a much harder reality and are struggling with much bigger challenges. If you are struggling, please know I am here for you, for your family, for your business, if you ever need me. Together we will make it through this.
If you need photography for any reason, once the shelter-in-place order has been lifted, please let me know. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. I want to help artists, small businesses and non-profits, who have struggled the most, get back on their feet.
This time has made it very clear that our teachers, doctors, nurses, grocery workers, farmers, garbage collectors, postal workers, and first responders keep our bodies alive.
But our artists, musicians, authors, dancers, comedians and nature keep our souls alive. Our bodies can not live without our souls, and our souls can not live without our bodies.
I am excited about the stories of wildlife making a come back, air pollution clearing up, animal shelters being out of animals, and local farmers finally getting the recognition that they need. It gives me hope that because of this pause, we will see what is broken and take the time to fix it.
This article really inspired me and I encourage others to read it and I’d love to hear what changes you’ll make when life eventually starts up again:
This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullsh*t and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud. We care deeply about one another. That is clear. That can be seen in every supportive Facebook post, in every meal dropped off for a neighbor, in every Zoom birthday party. We are a good people. And as a good people, we want to define — on our own terms — what this country looks like in five, 10, 50 years. This is our chance to do that, the biggest one we have ever gotten. And the best one we’ll ever get.
And now for my Stimulus Pledge to YOU. For those who are financially secure during this crisis, and who anticipate getting a stimulus check and can afford it, please consider pledging some or all of your coming stimulus check to prevent homelessness, hunger and illness for our hardworking immigrant families through the Stimulus Pledge: https://stimuluspledge.org/
I don’t have the money to donate right now, but for those who donate, please send me an email with proof of your donation and I’ll put your name in the hat for a free all day photo shoot. That is up to eight hours of photography for whatever you want! Or you can donate your photo shoot to a non-profit of your choice (in the SF Bay Area).
I am grateful that we are all in this together. As my middle school motto taught me. “Together we can.”
With love and gratitude,
ps: check out our friend Christian’s drawings. He’s making them again and that makes us happy:
About the author paige green
Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.
Give me Louisiana
My Brain On War… (And FREE Photo Shoot for those who match my donation to relief efforts in Ukraine)
When the World Feels Upside Down… Together We Can (plus: bonus photo of me in middle school)