1. What motivated you to take a workshop and why did you pick Momenta?
I take about 1-3 workshops each year to continually advance my skill sets and learn new perspectives. I picked Momenta because I am passionate about working with nonprofit clients and this is one of the only workshop company around who spends time working specifically with nonprofits. I liked the idea of having a team of coaches to continually give me feedback on both the work/sequencing as well as business relations as I was working with the nonprofit. There’s so much that goes to photography and Momenta’s attention to the business side of things is so incredible. It’s the side of photography that isn’t as glamorous but once you can get a solid hold on it allows you to be better equipped to chase your dreams.
2. What surprised you most about the location you visited or the experience of working with a nonprofit?
I lucked out in the sense that my nonprofit was really on board with photojournalistic storytelling right away. I pitched them on doing 2 photo essays on their clients and we connected right away on the importance of storytelling. They helped me gain access to wonderful clients who wanted their story to be told. One thing that I think a lot of people find surprising (which Momenta emphasizes really well) is to treat the nonprofit not from a volunteer aspect but rather as a contractor. If we want to continually work with mission-driven organizations we need to pay rent also.
3. What was the best lesson you took away from your workshop?
Jamie talked about how, as the photographer, you are providing the vision for whatever shoot or story you’re working on with the nonprofit. A lot of times nonprofits don’t have access to a creative director or art director, so they’re relying on you to steer the ship. You run the photography and lead the team, not the other way around. That’s a lesson I carry with me with all my clients.
4. What was your favorite photograph from this workshop & why?
One of my favorite images is where one of the clients Francisca is attending a Coachart class and I photographed through the window to create a double exposure look. For me, it draws you in to try and understand what is happening. You stay a little bit longer on the image and look out on the city while also being confronted with the joy of this beaming young girl who lives and overcomes the challenges of living with chronic illness daily.
5. What would you tell a potential student to help them prepare for their experience with Momenta?
Try something new, push yourself out of your comfort zones and take charge! You got this!
Allison Zaucha’s Biography:
Allison Zaucha is an international independent photographer currently based in Los Angeles, California. She is passionate about working with nonprofits and social issues while also accepting various news and commercial assignments worldwide. She hopes to empower viewers to think about the universal conditions that affect humanity and to promote positive change in their communities. Allison is an active member of WPOW and NPPA.