There are two topics — past and future — to share with readers of this post, both of which are beautifully combined in the above photo, Laura Lou luvs Ellen.
A few weeks ago, I held a Smooch! shoot at the Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Convention. Wow. The Smooch! Project really stuck out (no pun intended) in that crowd of decorated and pierced bodies! I was happy to have my trusty multi-shoot volunteer Elena working with me, as I had felt rather intimidated. Frankly, The Smooch! Project was likely the only thing offered at this convention that didn’t hurt! But we found lots of smoochers there — 49 of them, in fact. I also unexpectedly encountered some of the kindest, most generous strangers that I have ever the pleasure of meeting during a shoot. As Elena reminded me, one of the great lessons behind the The Smooch! Project is tolerance: learning how much we share with others, not how much we differ. It was a great lesson for me, as well as a great shoot. I am well pleased with the images I captured. Be sure to take a look. Here’s the link to the spot in the archive where the images from the tattoo convention begin.
For the month of October, The Smooch! Project will be embarking on new terrain. The long term goal is to bring the project to communities throughout the U.S., if not the world. Achieving that will require some seriously committed sponsors. I came up with a hilarious over-the-top effort to attract the attention of someone who I think would be interested in The Smooch! Project and would make a GREAT sponsor: Talk show host and comedienne Ellen Degeneres.
To attract Ellen’s attention to the project, I have decided to offer a month’s worth of multi-day Smooch! Ellen photo shoots at various locations throughout the Twin Cities area. I tested the idea during the tattoo convention and found more than two dozen Ellen fans who decided to participate and support this effort. For four weeks, from 7am to 3pm, Monday through Friday, Ellen (and Smooch! Project) fans are invited to participate! The calendar is posted on this blog. Like all Smooch! shoots, everyone is welcome. There is no fee. No reservations needed. Photographs are collected on a first come, first served basis.
As the images are collected, they will be posted on the website (to be re-designed to accommodate — soon!). In addition, there will be official certificates made that display each Smooch! Ellen shot and will include the names of the people in the photo, and a personal handwritten message from the fan. These certificates will be shipped to the popular talk show host at the end of each week.
How hilarious is that?! The more people I manage to photograph smooching this silly cardboard cutout illustration of Ellen, the better! Everyone is welcome. Bring your loved ones. Tell your friends. But please don’t bring your pets, as all the Smooch! Ellen shoots will be held in restaurants. Check the calendar on this blog to find out where YOU can show up to participate. Thanks for your support!
Smooches for Smooch! Great, inspiring work!!