Last week I posted about the book “A Thousand Words,” created in two years for International Medical Corps after culling more than 10,000 photos. This week I bring you word of “Onè Respe, A Photographic Benefit for the Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake,” a magazine created in less than 48 hours and thanks to Lane Hartwell, a Bay area photojournalist with a passion, plus her partner and friends who contributed.
The pictures in Onè Respe are not of tragedy, but of beautiful Haitians enjoying themselves fishing, eating, playing, and laughing. This is what the aid to Haiti is meant to restore.
Noted photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark and photographers Chet Gordon, Kari Hartmann, Peter Pereira, and Lindsay Stark, donated their work. The title “Onè Respe” comes from a traditional Haitian greeting meaning honor and respect. This seemed to be shared among Hartwell’s team, as well.
“We did it so fast because we had a great team,” says Hartwell, clearly amazed at the process. “It had a life of its own. I got the idea the morning of the 13th and contacted Derek Powazek at MagCloud and he got back to me right away. He said he had time the next day to lay it out.”
In the meantime Lane and her partner Michael Biven began brainstorming.
“I chose Peter Pereira’s essay about village life, but we didn’t have a theme until I saw the old Kodachromes from Chet Gordon. So we began looking for pre-quake images.” As she scrambled to contact photographers and get images, Hartwell thought, “What the heck have I gotten myself into? I was supposed to get all the images to Derek to lay it out and I didn’t have it!”
Miraculously, everything came together the next morning and in two hours the layout was done.
Hartwell had a good lesson in not listening to the naysayers. “Some said I shouldn’t do it and some photographers said they could get us images in a few days.” But she needed them that night. “We knew we had to get it (the magazine) out fast. Now we have these historic images, and they’re hopeful.”
They used social media to spread the word. “Michael’s company paid for a press release and a friend put one together for us. Everybody did what they were good at and delivered. We tweeted and put it on Facebook.”
A friend checked the analytics and Hartwell said that in 50 tweets they reached about 70,000 people.”Bloggers and new media picked up on it more than old media.”
And there’s an advantage to just sending the Red Cross a few dollars. “With this you have something to discuss with your kids and family for just $12 and postage. All proceeds go to the Red Cross and you’re getting a beautiful print-on-demand 40-page publication on high-quality FSC-certified paper.
Even better, says Hartwell, “Anybody can do this. With print-on-demand you don’t need money up front.” So, yes, there may be a follow-up issue, after some time passes.
“The media is going to be leaving soon. I would be interested in seeing what it’s like there in a few months,” says Hartwell.