Celebration
me and my camera
renaissance2010
The big news today is that the competition has got a corporate sponsor! I am beyond ecstatic. This means I can stop waking up sweating in the middle of the night, about covering the event costs without eating into the charity profit. See, the problem is (was!) that the Gallery and the Party events have to be booked way before the competition closes - and we never know how many photo entries or event ticket sales we'll get until the last min. So I have to take a gamble (from my own pocket) on how big an event to book. And its a real juggling act: the more glittering the party, the higher its profile, the more likely it is to be successful as a fund raiser...but the bigger the risk. I have always managed to pull it off somehow (£65K direct to Lavender Trust so far, and no personal debt! Yet...), but recession 'n' all, I've literally been losing sleep this year.

Remember when you were in school and you were terrified no one would come to your party? Thats always how I feel! Getting the sponsorship is kind of like the most popular kids turning up, with the beer kegs/cases of wine (depending on where in the world you had your formative parties) - oh yes, the party is in the bag! (well, nearly - got to do a lot of work on the celeb guest list still)

Right, off to order champagne & canapes...

Japanese daydreams & circular luck
me and my camera
renaissance2010
I am either the luckiest, or the unluckiest person a live, depending on how you look at it. Sure, there is the whole cancer thing but I count myself very lucky to have found it so early (...which incidentally, only happened because I was unlucky enough to need doc's follow-up for something else). But I'm also an eventful traveler: I've been evacuated from Israel (gulf war), hit by a car in Mexico (bone surgery whilst awake), had surgery on a glass splinter in my eye and had amoebic dysentery in India (oh and it was also freezing, so in my pics of the Taj, I look like something out of the first world war - gaunt, blanket-wrapped, huge backpack and full-head eye-bandage!)...and this year, I was in a plane crash (unlucky, right? hey, on the other hand, I'm still here!)

Ok, ok, I exaggerate - not an actual collision-crash, but a bloody scary emergency landing with wheel failure, spark-showers, smoke-filled cabin, full-on panic and exit slides. It still really shook me up & started to feel a bit like the plot of Unbreakable. Anyway, the airline in question have been lovely - and now i have two tickets (business class!!) to the destination of my choice. Result!

I'm thinking of taking my sister to Japan. Has anyone been? Where should we go? Whats good to see/do? What dangers do I need to look out for?!!!

I was thinking of booking for spring-time (cherry blossom etc) - also that will give me a rest & something to look forward to, once the Renaissance Photo Exhibition is finished. It (the competition) is such a massive undertaking I'm always deflated & exhausted afterwards. For me, this bit now is the most difficult stage of the organisation: there is still loads to do. The launch had its own momentum, and later on it gets easier/more fun: there's usually a last minute flurry of entries before the competition closes; the judges are all set up & I don't have to do much; and by the time it gets to the finishing touches for the exhibition & parties, its feeling like fun again - but right now, this middle bit sometimes feels a bit like swimming in treacle. We need to reach the talent - if you know any photographers who might be interested, please pass on the link www.renaissancephotography.org - it really helps!

addictions
me and my camera
renaissance2010
I can see this is going to be seriously addictive - I woke up this morning writing a virtual post in my head (& was excited to see if I have any new friends - thats really sad, right?!) Between LJ and checking the website performance on google-analytics every 5 mins, I'll be in danger of losing my real job!

Google analytics is my new toy - it gives a graph of the traffic to www.renaissancephotography.org so I can see if hits are up, what sites visitors came from, and a world map visitor's countries - how cool is that! LJ is a surprise new referral-source entry at number 24 - I'm SO grateful to the moderators of the photography communities Creativephoto & Photographie for letting me post adds. The more I can get the competition out there, the more we'll raise for The Lavender Trust.

Meanwhile, my mother has decided that since all her (grown up) children are coming home for Xmas, we are having a Victorian themed Christmas...as in, complete with costumes. Don't ask! Fortunately my sister has a whole collection of corsets (from the days when she'd stomp about camden in her new rocks) so we've had fun putting outfits together. Not sure she will persuade my brother into a top hat though - he only just wore a tie for his own wedding! Hey, I could get used to the whole corset thing though - infact I've borrowed a couple from her for the party season - a look that works equally well with black trousers as the ankle-length petticoats! This isn't related to Renaissance at all, except that I might wear one to the party in March. Its nice to feel sexy again. Last year - when the youtube video was taken - I was still on Zoladex & didn't feel so great about my self. Really want to be a knock out for next year's party video ;)

twibbon frustrations
me and my camera
renaissance2010
I am having a hugely frustrating day. With only 11 or so weeks to go, we really need to get the competition profile out there. I thought twitter might help but I don't really get the whole twitter thing. I just spent hours and hours trying to make a twibbon so we could be a supportable twibbon cause...and I totally failed for reasons I dont fully understand.

The photo entries are coming in everyday - seeing the new ones on the gallery always gives me a little thrill. Reflections & Movement categories are lagging a little behind Landscape and People in terms of numbers - funny, I would have thought they were the most interesting and open to artistic interpretation?

I'm getting the hang of LJ, and finding my daily blog quite cathartic. SO impressed with the amount of talent on some of the photography communities - really really want some of them to enter (if only it wasn't for charity, i'd be tempted to offer freebies!) I got the nicest message back too - really lovely to feel support out there!

Rembering why I do it
me and my camera
renaissance2010
I've just watched Dawn Porter's "My breasts could kill me". Sensational title (at least there was no exclamation mark!), but actually, i was really really impressed.

I don't watch a lot of TV (apart from my CSI addiction of course) & I think it was on Sky months ago. My lovely sister records anything and everything about breast cancer for me...along with random things she thinks I'd like, like Bring back the Kids from Fame (oh no! Leroy died). It's a habit she got into when I lived in France and she'd send me mercy VCR-packages of UK & american TV shows (the days pre-satellite). Anyway, the point is, I've only just seen it.

It was a tough-watch for me - my sister and I both cried - so many things struck a chord. Her Mum was only in her thirties, so Dawn Porter particularly explored younger women's breast cancer issues (like facing it as singleton, or the fear of leaving a young family). One of the women was in her early twenties - I can't imagine how I would have coped 10 years earlier. It really reminded me why Renaissance is so important - its such hard work organising it along side my real job, I'd almost lost sight of that. Reaffirmed!

Right, better get on with the organisation-side of all this. I have a long list of celebrities to invite for the March exhibition - that may sound glamorous, but actually its almost always done through their agents & often feels like trying to sell double glazing! Still, we've make the party pages of OK! magazine two years running, so confident of the hat trick. I'm so grateful to people like David Mitchel and Lisa Snowdon who've been so supportive of Renaissance.

Meanwhile on the photo side, the entries are coming in steadily - there are pretty much new pictures in the gallery everyday (the gallery of photos entered so far) There is always lots of debate in our house over which are the favorites - but of course I'm not doing the judging!

First post
me and my camera
renaissance2010
I'm a livejournal rookie, so bear with me whilst I learn the ropes.

Several of my friends have said the Renaissance Comp should have its own Livejournal/Twitter/facebook etc...so I'm giving it a go. It feels a bit like my baby has grown up and got it's own teenage-online-identity! hey, I guess it has: Renaissance is so much bigger now than the little idea I had lying in my hospital bed, when I was recovering from my surgery 3 years ago. (But like all children, it still needs me to drive it everywhere! )

Now I know I should have got to this when the 2010 competition opened back in Oct - ah, neo-phobia. The competition closes on the 11th Jan (whats that, like, 8 weeks?!) ...so it total brinkmanship, but at least this will be practice for next year if nothing else.

Actually, now that I've had a play with LJ, done a few searches for key words like breast cancer, I am wishing I'd found it 3 years ago when I was sick (but, then, did it exist then?). It is a real community (!) and I think I would have found it really comforting to be in touch with other women going through the same thing. Seeing how many people list photography an interest was quite exciting too. *wanders off to join some groups and seek friends*

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