ADDYs 2013

Every year some of the greatest creative minds of the Greater Lansing Area come together at the  Mid-Michigan ADDY awards.

According to the Mid Michigan Creative Alliance (MMCA), the “ADDY Awards are the advertising and marketing industry’s largest and most recognized competition” and “the local ADDY Awards are the first of a three-tiered national competition … Local winners then compete against other winners within their regions in one of 14 District competitions. District winners are then forwarded to the National ADDY Awards competition.” The ADDY awards are also a host to really impressive entries from college-level students for the student competition at the ADDYs.

As you will see in the photos below, the theme this year was Mad Men and this is also a testament to how well dressed Lansing folk are. Many thanks to the wonderful folks at MMCA for putting on such a fun event. I was awestruck by some of the student work. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such incredible design talent in our city.

Way to be creative Lansing!

The wonderful Kat Cooper was the master of ceremonies at this year's ADDYs.

The wonderful Kat Cooper was the master of ceremonies at this year’s ADDYs.

The programs waiting for the guests

The programs waiting for the guests

This man is always wearing nice hats.

This man is always wearing nice hats.


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Mad Man



Help Portrait Lansing 2012

Help PortraitCntrl – C

Cntrl – V

Those two keystroke combinations have made photographer ever more possessive about how their images are shared online. Plagiarism and theft of intellectual property is not news but this digital realm has made it much more prevalent. This obsession with copyright has created a new culture of gaudy watermarks and has kept photographers from sharing their images online.

In light of the prevalence intelectual property theft, it is rare to you see photographers giving their work away. Then again, we live in Lansing and there is such a great collection of kind hearts in this city. For the third year in a row, Lansing was host to an incredible event. Lansing photographers and numerous hard working volunteers got together once again for Help Portrait. If you didn’t hear about Help Portrait last year, it is a worldwide event where photographers and volunteers get together to take portraits of people, edit those picture, print them, and give them away for free.

Here is a break down of the numbers from this year:

  • 68 family groups and individuals registered
  • 246 individuals photographed
  • 3 Printers
  • 8 Editors
  • 8 Photographers
  • 49 volunteers
  • 350 cups of popcorn
  • 100s of snacks and cookies
  • 100s of photo frames

Help Portrait

Help Portrait


Banff Mountain Film Festival

This past Thursday, April 12th, 2012 was the evening chosen for, hands down, my favorite event of the year. Started in Banff, Canada, one of the most pristine (and most visited) landscapes in the world, home of Canada’s oldest national park, is a film festival. However, this is not your ordinary film festival. Combine Banff National Park, National Geographic, and the North Face along with film makers and the most extreme non-traditional athletes of the world, and you have the most stunning visuals and unpredictable action you have ever seen or experienced. It is truly an experience.

Located in Alberta, Canada, the Banff Centre receives approximately 300 film applicants per year. Top films are chosen, and shown to approximately 75,000 audience members at the Centre. Then the film festival goes on a World Tour, in 30 + countries, reaching 280,000 people. Michigan State University Outdoors Club sponsored a viewing on campus, for a 3 hour showing. MSU chose the films, with each film length varying, some up to 45 minutes long, but most approximately 15. Last year one clip was only a few minutes.

The films are breathtaking, and the action has you at the edge of your seat. The trailer (which I watched about 4 times prior to the show) is here: It includes a few ads, but I feel they do an excellent job of incorporating the incredible natural footage we want to see and then the ad or the plug to the company and gear.

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A perfect weekend at CCFF

Captial City Film Festival logo

Last weekend the two of us (Khalid and Shannon) jam packed our schedules with Capital City Film Fest fun, and for anyone who says there is nothing to do in Lansing, well, I call your bluff! We took advantage of the $50 festival pass deal and were able to come in and out of various films, parties, and shows for the festival’s four day entirety. There was so much to do this year that we had to carve out unique paths through the weekend festivities to make the most of all CCFF.

I went to see a bunch of the films and as you may have read in my previous post, I was especially anticipating the series of films directed by women. – Shannon

For me, the film festival was more of a music festival. I came out of the CCFF weekend with wonderful concert memories and new musical crushes.  – Khalid


This is how we spent our weekend….

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Lansing Residents Giving Back with Pictures

As we approach the holiday season, there is a sudden hum of anticipation amongst shoppers getting presents for gift exchanges, people planning visits to see their families and friends, and right about now we start anticipating the embrace of a new year. Breaking form the norm, this upcoming weekend,  65 Lansing residents will spend most of their Saturday volunteering their time to give back to the community. A few incredible community volunteers have come together to organize one of my favorite Lansing events; HELP Portrait.

Help Portrait was founded by Jeremy Cowart, a revolutionary Nashville photographer. The project is based on the idea that pictures are for giving. Even with the omnipresence of the digital camera in our day-to-day lives, many people never get the opportunity to have professional photographs of themselves and their families.

These portraits are not for your portfolio, website, or for sale. Money isn’t involved here. This holiday season, you have the chance to give a family something they may have never had before—a portrait together.  -Jeremy Cowart

Help Portrait transcends the question, “May I take your picture?” to  “May I take your picture in a studio, edit it, print it, frame it, and give it to you for free?”. This idea has created a worldwide community of photographers and volunteers working towards a goal to give people free high-quality pictures.

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