My Story: Raising Awareness for CHAIR-ity

Untitled Chair 4Like most people that stand for a cause, I lost a close friend to ALL in 1997. After Doug’s death, I silently promised him I would do something in his name.

Let’s fast forward to 2011. There was an article in the local newspaper, here in Dubai about a young girl needing a matching donor. No one in her family was a match so they were reaching out to the public looking for that perfect person. The article went on to say that out of the 15.5 million registered donors only 45 were from this region. I was astonished after reading those stats. I thought WOW, someone should really do something about this. I quickly realized I was THAT person. I spent the next couple of months designing a creative project that would reach the masses.

Being a professional photographer, I knew I would use the tools I know best, photography. For the project to be successful it had to be different and stand out. Everyone is shooting with digital cameras, so I decided to shoot with film. Everyone loves polaroids!

Some people jog or run or play polo for a cause. I’m using photography and art which gives us a fun and positive platform to discuss the issues that need to be discussed.

Usually when people first meet the red chair, they first react with curiosity, which then turns into creativity. The only rule I have during photo shoots is that people not look directly at the camera. After that, they decide for themselves how they want to pose or not pose with the chair. No two photo shoots are alike.

Every time I photograph someone with it, I ask them to sign it. Signing the chair represents sharing the project and cause with friends, family and colleagues. The story of the chair grows with each portrait I take. The chair is beginning to take on its own identity with all of these great signatures on it.

The red chair serves as a consistent visual element that helps to tie the photos together. Every time I take it out for a photo session, it immediately attracts attention, which is what I want to have happen. The chair carries a message of enlightenment and hope.

You can find more information about The Untitled Chair Project on the following social media sites:

– Written by Sean B.; Professional photgrapher living in Dubai, raising awareness for this incredible cause.

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