Since starting The 100 Project back in October, we've been amazed by the amount of support we've received, and from where that support has come. We've been given free advice from local management consultants, offers of help from shops, cafes, and all sorts of businesses around Cheltenham. We even made it to the BBC to talk to Claire Carter at BBC Radio Gloucestershire - that was quite a day!
We've been to Nottingham, Manchester, Birmingham, London, Kent, and Usk, as well as several towns and villages in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. We've even photographed a proper cat-walk model! You'd be surprised how many people don't like having their photo taken, but come to meet us anyway.
Several people have told us that they love the idea, many have said that they're grateful to have been asked to be part of it, most tell us they're not photogenic, but they're wrong - they're camera shy! Some even cry when they see the photos, but I'm pleased to say that I've been assured that they were happy tears. One of the kind sponsors said this when she saw a photo of her friend:
"The picture of her is so beautiful and I just started crying on the bus when I saw it, thinking of how ill she was then and how great she looks now."
We'd originally hoped that companies would sponsor a photo for upwards of £10, but although we're not yet approaching them we're already averaging £18 per photo, which convinces us even further that The 100 Project is worthwhile and something people are excited about. We've found individuals to be extremely generous with their support, too, be that rallying around for volunteers or putting money against the photos. If anyone ever says that the world is getting worse, point them at The 100 Project - it's proof that it isn't.
As photographers, hearing people talk about the photos, using them on their Facebook profiles, and sharing them with their friends and family is high praise, and praise that we don't take lightly. Sharing them ourselves is one thing, but seeing them on other people's timelines is something else - something special./p>
We're based in Cheltenham, and The 100 Project is something we work on in our free time. Working for ourselves means that our free time is often flexible, so if you're in or near Cheltenham, we could easily meet you.
Over the next couple of weeks we'll be visiting Caerleon (my home town), Cardiff, and London. When we travel to meet people we try to arrange to meet several volunteers on the same day. As The 100 Project is self-funded, with nothing being drawn for expenses, we're sorry that we can't get to everyone. When we went to London we met 12 people, and went to Manchester to meet 13, so we're open to invitations! If you know anyone in Berlin who'd be interested in helping, we'll be there on Tuesday 4th - Thursday 6th February; short-notice, I know, but if you don't ask...
During the last couple of weeks we've had enquiries and offers of help from as far afield as South Carolina, Ohio, and Sydney. People in other countries are equally as enthusiastic as those in the UK. Some are suggesting ways that they could be part, so perhaps one day The 100 Project will feature people from all over the world.
We have big plans for The 100 Project and can't wait to share them, but for now, they're a bit hush-hush. What we can say is that, for us, it's looking to be a beautiful, exhilarating, and terrifying ride. Without the help of people who meet for photos, those who offer advice, and those kind & generous people who've donated, it would be nothing but an idea. Thank you to you all - you're already awesome.
Fancy getting involved? Go on - get in touch. We're nice people, just like you.