Taking Care Portland

Taking Care is an amazing group that works to educate and support people surviving cancer. Massage therapy, music therapy, meditation therapy, and movement therapy – all provided by volunteers – are combined under the watchful eye of Taking Care’s founder, Daniel Miller.

Taking_Care_1121With his restaurant background, Daniel has also built a strong component of nutrition and diet into the mix to help equip survivors with the knowledge and skills to eat for their health without giving up eating great food. Years ago, I worked with Daniel on a popup restaurant concept; when he told me about his recent work with Taking Care, I was eager to get involved any way I could.

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I had a chance to donate some time to document a Taking Care event last year, and it was both inspiring and fascinating. Portland Monthly just ran a feature on them with a few more of my photos. As a food photographer, I’m particularly interested in how food and nutrition can play a role in healing.

Taking_Care_1183I learned so much about what foods are good for you, what foods have particular cancer fighting properties, and how easy the rights foods are to prepare; not only does Daniel provide all the participants with a great experience in holistic therapy so they can see what works for them, he makes sure there is a healthy and delicious meal is available at the end for everyone. (Even the photographer!)

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The Blanchete House Charity

This may be the first post I’ve ever done without all sorts of super special photographs to show you; what I’ve got this time is a simple shot of a piece of paper on a desktop.

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The paper is a letter that I got in the mail. It’s from the The Blanchete House, who does some amazing work with homeless men, women and families; at a glance, it’s a pretty ordinary, run-of-the-mill donation letter saying thank you, detailing what’s been given, and giving some obligatory tax information. There’s one part of the letter, though, that made my jaw drop: the very last line, which says that in 2014, Polara donated over a half ton of food to this charity.  That’s right – more than 1,000 pounds of food last year.

Where did that food come from?  It came from all of you, and by “you,” I mean all the food clients who have shot their products at Polara and were generous enough to donate every leftover to charity.  It’s you food clients who really deserve this letter, and on behalf of the whole Polara team, I wanted to take a moment to say how impressed and grateful we are to have such wonderful clients. Thank you, thank you very much, you –  the best and most generous clients in the world!

Think Local

Think Local. Ride Circa, is the motto of Portland bike manufacturing start-up Circa Cycles. Recently I had the pleasure of shooting Circa’s newest creation, a beautiful gold urban style bike called “Goldie”.

Circa was founded two years ago by Rich Fox, with a goal of re-inventing bicycle manufacturing. His aim was to create an affordable custom frame that was made in America. Another priority was to make a frame that had a short wait time, some custom frame manufacturers have a wait list of 3 to 5 years.

Goldie was created as a show bike for this year’s Handmade Bike & Beer Festival at Hopworks Brewery in September. Goldie is based on Circa’s Trillium frame set and anodized a beautiful gold color. Built with a Shimano internally geared hub and front disc brake, fenders and rack. A Brooks England leather saddle and bar grips top it all off, making it one of the most stylish city bikes out there.

One of the most unique features of Circa’s bikes is the weld-less frame construction, and almost infinite customization. This is very clearly illustrated by “Goldie” and the Trillium Road bike. They both started as essentially the same frame, but end up in two very different directions. Because of this modular approach Circa has been getting a lot of attention in the industrial design world, like articles in Design Boom and Fast Company.

I’ve really enjoyed working with Rich on this project. It was truly a collaboration creating these images. While we were shooting he set up his iPad to record a time lapse video of the shoot. It’s fun to see an hour of shooting fly by in twenty seconds.

If you’re thinking of buying a new bike and want something truly unique, Think Local, Ride Circa.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanks and giving are our two favorite words at Polara. We are very grateful for such creative blood that runs through our studio family, however it wouldn’t be complete without our clients. We would like to give thanks to you all who bring such beautiful and creative vision for us to collaborate and photograph or video. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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A little story behind this turkey that Steve Cherry photographed for Norm Thompson Sahalie Catalog. We had him in the studio for a day and took care of him, bathed him, pet him and fed him. When we returned him back to the farm where he came from they found him to be so friendly that they kept him as a family pet. He never became a Thanksgiving turkey.

Keep Calm and Gobble On –

The Polara Studio Family