Beautifully Broken

This past weekend, my wife and I attended The Warren Center’s gala, The Art Of Music. Singer-songwriter Ron Bultongez and I were excited to be this years Headlining Visual Artist for the event.  Ron wrote and sang an original piece for the gala and I created a few pieces of art to be auctioned off. The artwork raised over $10K for the charity!

However, my highlight of working with The Warren Center was donating my time to dive into and document some of the beautiful families they serve and show a glimpse of their lives. I took Ron’s music titled, Center Of It All and created a video project with my imagery titled, Beautifully Broken.

I think we are ALL broken in some way or another in our lives, but what I witnessed while documenting and learning about these families was a beauty in these children not held down by their disabilities. And just like that the title was born!

A value was instilled in me by my mentors throughout my military service. Give back as freely as it was given to you! Now that I am retired from the military, I choose and look forward to giving back to a military charity and a local civilian charity every year.

I hope you enjoy and share the video!

 

The Warren Center is a nonprofit agency that advocates, serves and empowers the children and families impacted by developmental delays and disabilities.  The Warren Center was created in 1968. Over the years, they have given parents access to the resources their children needed, and more importantly, hope and support. To learn more: https://www.thewarrencenter.org

Ron Bultongez is living the American Dream. From growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo to being named the “Hometown Hero” of Plano, TX and becoming a Top 24 Finalist on American Idol 2018. Ron’s dreams have taken him far. His journey, depth, and spirit are evident in his smooth yet raspy vocals and his bluesy, soulful songwriting. Check him out at: https://ronbultongez.com

My Last Smithsonian Instagram Takeover Post

I wanted to share with you all my last post for my Instagram takeover with @smithsonianmagazine through the week of Veterans Day! I salute all our present military and our veterans, but more importantly the ones that gave it all and never came home! #neverforget Here is a snippet of a ongoing project I have been working on for the last couple of years with our nations greatest heroes. Those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor!!!!

Throughout the week with the Smithsonian, I was sharing military images and some of my passion projects. I wanted to leave an impression with the viewer, a sort of call to action: There is soooooo much more to this world than what’s outside your front door! I challenge each and every one of you to go out and explore it, get off the touristy beaten track and invest time in getting to know your neighbors, distant lands & beautiful cultures! One only needs to start with a firm handshake, true eye contact and a warm heart!!!!

For those of you who followed along last week, I sincerely thank you!!!!

Jeremy Lock | Recipient of the First Annual South x Southeast Director’s Award 2018 | To Be An Apatani Woman

Wow, it has been a whirlwind of “on the road” work since June for me! I have been working at workshops, (one that I run), travels to India finishing up a personal project, living out of a car for a couple weeks covering Hurricane Florence and a bunch of guest speaking to include speaking to the Canadian military and NATO forces in Ottawa, Canada.

When I came home a week ago I had a beautiful email in my in box from a great mentor of mine congratulating me.

Congratulations on this wonderful South by Southeast Director’s Award. You deserve it and much more. This honor is an appreciation of the very necessary and powerful work you deliver each time you go out to do your work. You have made a personal step forward to make a difference. It shows that a person can deliver truth and beauty when they lead with their heart and soul.” – Eli Reed, Magnum Photographer

I was scratching my head until I then looked further down in my emails and found the official confirmation from South x Southeast. I was truly overjoyed!!!!!

This was a project that I had worked on last fall in Far East India with a great friend of mine Russell Klika and was an amazing Army Combat Camera man during his time in service. Just to get to some of our locations during the trip it took two days by train, 16 hour bus rides and finally around six-eight hour car rides. Russell big thanks to our trip and introducing me to this amazing culture! As you know I would travel with you anywhere!!!

This has been an amazing project to work on that has truly enriched my life! I couldn’t have even come close to finishing up this without the help of my AMAZING writer Taylor Nam who works to bring my interviews, perspective and thoughts into a beautiful story. I continue to love working with her on our projects!

So this story To Be An Apatani Woman has made it into the top 20 in Pictures of the Year International and now this award. It has been frustrating trying to find a home/publication for this project in hopes of bringing more awareness and understanding into our complex world. I am happy to be sharing it with you and in this way! Thanks again to Nancy at South x Southeast for the honor and belief in my work. I hope you will all take the time to read the story that accompanies the images and by all means please share!!!!

https://www.sxsephotogallery.com/2018/10/21/jeremy-lock-recipient-of-the-south-x-southeast-directors-award-2018-to-be-an-apatani-woman/

Kago Yapii, 70's When Yapii was five or six she had her modifications done. She says, "I really wanted to have this done and I had no fear at all"

To Be An Apatani Woman When the last tattooed Apatani woman of Arunachal Pradesh passes, the tribe will lay to rest one of the most significant parts of their history and culture–the coming-of-age ritual of nose plugging and facial tattooing, two practices that historically defined what it meant to be an Apatani woman. Up until 1974, young Apatani girls around the tender age of seven were forced to plug their noses with cane and tattoo their faces from hairline to nose and then across the chin using a tipe tere (local thorny plant). In this northeastern Indian state also known as the ‘Land of the Rising Sun,’ nose plugs and face tattoos were much a part of the journey to womanhood as was finding a husband and starting a family. News organizations have reported in the past that these physical modifications were made so that enemy tribes wouldn’t steal the famously beautiful Apatani women during tribal disputes. However, an Apatani woman named Manu gave another reason for the tradition as it was taught to her years ago by her parents: “If you don’t have tattoos and nose plugs, no boys will be attracted to you. If you want to get married, you need these.” However, according to the locals of Ziro Valley, these practices were banned by the government in the 1970’s. Some of the Apatani women expressed their gratitude that the rituals have been banned; they do not want to see younger generations go through the physical pain of plugging one’s nose and tattooing one’s face. Other women disagreed. They see the ban as a suppression of their identity. In the words of Apatani, Lulyo, “I want the younger women to keep on the tradition, because God has given them some kind of sign that they must follow the culture.” Yet, even those who disagree with the ban seemed to have reached a sort of individual peace with the changing culture, expressing a trust in fate, destiny, God or organization to the way of life that goes beyond the physical world. The ban represents both the movement towards modernization as well as movement away from what has always been. For as long as history has been passed from generation to generation, to have the plugs and tattoos is to be Apatani. Now, going forward, these women must decide what marks them as being distinct from the surrounding tribes and, really, the rest of the world. Story written by: Taylor Nam

Punyo Pui, 80’s

Michi Yaji, 75-80

Michi Yaring, 75-80 Yaring was 14 yrs old when she had her nose done and was tattooed at 15 yrs old. When her mother started to tattoo her she screamed a lot and asked to wait until her father came home from the jungle. Yaring said, “five people including her father had to catch her and hold her down”. Although it was very painful, she would like the younger girls to take on the responsibility and continue the tradition.

Tilling Manu, 61 Manu was 3 yrs old when her ears were pierced, 7yrs old when she received her nose plug and tattooed at the age of 12 or 13. She didn’t want to get the tattoos because she heard it was painful. She ran and hid under the house with the pigs until her parents pulled her out and tied her hands and legs before performing the act. When asked now about her tattoos and nose plug Manu says, ” I am very proud to have them because it is our own culture. I want to have these because everybody knows that I am Apatani”.

Michi Modii, 60

2018 EarthX

Finally getting around to posting a fun assignment I had this past April for the EarthX 2018 gala here in Dallas, Texas. I was brought in to do a little portrait session with some of the VIP’s attending the event. Wow, and to my surprise, I was blown away when Dr. Buzz Aldrin, one of my childhood heroes walked in to be photographed! He is a great person full of character and life and was so much fun on set! His attire is absolutely so fitting for him! In fact all the VIP’s I got to work with are absolutely amazing and it was a true honor to work with them all!!!

EarthX is the World’s Largest Environmental Expo, Conference and Film Festival. Their mission is Connecting a global community to create a sustainable world for all life and future generations. They have a vision of being the leading global connector and environmental forum to positively impact our world for a sustainable future.

Buzz Aldrin (born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr.; January 20, 1930) is an American engineer, former astronaut, and Command Pilot in the United States Air Force. As Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 11 mission, he and mission commander Neil Armstrong were the first two humans to land on the Moon. Aldrin set foot on the Moon at 03:15:16 on July 21, 1969 (UTC), 9 minutes after Armstrong first touched the surface. (Global Impact Honoree 2018)

Left: Miguel Hoffmann – Mexican Actor (Most recognized actor in Mexico). Right: Danni Washington is an on-camera personality and science communicator who is deeply passionate about our oceans. (Global Impact Honoree 2018)

Left: Ovie Mughelli – Former Fullback for the Atlanta Falcons. Right: Colbie Marie Caillat is an American singer and songwriter from Malibu, California. Caillat rose to fame through social networking website Myspace. At that time, she was the number-one unsigned artist of her genre. After signing with Universal Republic Records, she released her debut album Coco in July 2007.

Left: Sonja Morgan (The Real Housewives of New York City) is a fixture of New York City society. She got her start modeling in Paris and Milan and studying marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, representing high-end luxury brands while keeping her Berkshire-bred sensibilities and values. Sonja used her business acumen and social skills—along with rock-and-rollers, royalty, and the power set—to launch several award-winning luxury fashion brands and successful hot spots across the country. Right: Jorge Heredia is an award winning Host, Actor and Journalist who launched his career as the host of Emmy & Paoli award winning entertainment variety show, “Que Pasa Miami?”. The show garnered a global weekly audience of 22 million and was broadcast in 19 international cities. Jorge decided to expand his portfolio by working as an actor on independent films and television in the US.

Left: Dr. Cyrus Wadia is Vice President, Sustainable Business & Innovation, NIKE, Inc., where he is responsible for enabling the company’s sustainability strategy with the goal of driving change across Nike and the wider industry. (Global Impact Honoree 2018) Right: Cyrill Gutsch founded Parley for the Oceans to provide a collaboration network where creators, thinkers and leaders can come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate to end their destruction. Parley is known for renaming sustainability into ‘Eco Innovation,’ a concept realized through high-caliber collaborations and the introduction of Ocean Plastic™, a range of premium materials for the sports, fashion and luxury industries made from upcycled plastic debris collected on high seas, beaches and in remote coastal communities. (Global Impact Honoree)

2018 Kolkata, India

Its been a great couple of weeks here in Kolkata, India working on a project I started last November. I have been all over this “City of Joy” sometimes walking up to 10 miles a day. I will be excited to share my project when its completed. In the meantime, here are some images shot in-between my project.

Bike The Bricks, McKinney, Texas

This past weekend a buddy of mine said,  “Why don’t you come out and enjoy some beers and watch a race in the Historic Downtown of McKinney, Texas”? I was intrigued, I mean he had me at the beers, but what was this race he was speaking of? I looked it up and it turns out that it’s a bicycle race called, Bike The Bricks. This multiple bike race (11 races) puts these cyclist on a timed (20-70 min) multiple lap 1 mile L-shaped track through a beautiful neighborhood and McKinney’s Downtown. Spectators are inches from the action as some riders reach speed of 40mph.

I called my friend back and told him I am in and will see you down there!

I have never photographed a bike race before and a couple of free beers in-between had me stoked!

This is my take on the 2018 Bike The Bricks!!!

 

 

Honored To Be A USVAA Colleagues

I am Honored that I was asked to be a representing colleague with the United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance (USVAA). I am also very humbled to be among this talented group of amazing artist! I hope you will take the time to check out some of the other artist that make up USVAA’s, film, fine art, photography, music, literature & poetry, theater, television and technology.

USVAA is a multi-disciplinary arts organization composed of a diverse group of dynamic, extraordinarily talented military veterans and artists located across the United States.

Founded in 2004, USVAA seeks to open doors for military veterans to work and thrive in America’s creative economy by providing opportunities in the arts, humanities and entertainment industry. With a solid track record of programming excellence in place, USVAA works tirelessly with veterans, artists, supportive individuals and organizations within the arts and veterans’ communities to find funding and support for individual and collaborative projects in photography, literature, theater, film, television, fine arts and a wide variety of crafts.

In addition to our work with veterans and artists, we strive first and foremost to highlight the talents of military veterans and the history of veterans who have made significant contributions to the arts and humanities since the Revolutionary War. To date we have compiled biographical information on the over 550 military veterans who have made noted contributions to the arts and humanities since the founding of the United States.

 

Voices In The Streets When The NRA Comes To Dallas

This weekend the city of Dallas hosted the NRA convention and thousands of gun enthusiast. While others FOR and AGAINST the NRA took to the city streets to let their voices be heard. This is a combination of three rallies: Stand Up To The NRA, Rally 4 Reform and a open carry fire arm rally.

It was great getting out there and running into some old friends like Adrees Latif while working with a younger photographer I am mentoring. All the rallies went of great and from what I could tell I didn’t see any fighting from opposing sides. When I did encounter anything it was a discussion between the two.

March for Eternal Life

First Baptist, Dallas, Texas, Palm Sunday.
On Sunday March 25, 2018 my church, First Baptist experienced a night of worship with singer Sandi Patty and observed The Lord’s Supper. After service, the congregation led by Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress participated in the March for Eternal Life as they carried a lit cross to Klyde Warren Park proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ.

March For Our Lives In Dallas

On March 24, 2018 citizens across Dallas took to the streets in solidarity with the March For Our Lives and stand united in support of common gun laws. The event started with a march through the streets of downtown Dallas and ended with students speaking out to the masses.

The event was organized by local students with the help of organizers who have worked on past marches in solidarity with the national March on Washington.

Here is a look at my day documenting the event.