Tuesday, June 3, 2014

MAY 30, 2014 - Jenn’s Jems ALS Fundraiser Market After Dark Friday, May 30,6 pm - 8 pm

      On Thursday of last week, the stars aligned, fate was in my favor, and all the while God was watching. I was judging the Spirit of the Strip photo contest at the Pittsburgh Public Market; and while walking around I had the fortunate opportunity to meet the very nice and extremely talented woman, Debbie Jacknin.  Her family makes elegant, beautiful, handmade jewelry, mosaics, and a variety of gifts anyone would want to receive.  

         We started talking, and right off the bat I knew our personalities were very similar; kind, inviting, and warm.   As I perused her treasures, we started talking about why I was there.  I said I was a freelance photographer, and due to a major operation I was not able to compete in the Spirit of the Strip photo contest, which I had been looking forward to for months.   Luckily, I was able to participate still as a judge, and meet the wonderful sisters that head The Neighbors in the Strip

          Debbie then informed me that she was waiting for an answer from another photographer for the next night's ALS fundraiser she was heading, and if it didn't work out would I be interested.   I was full of emotions all at once. I was excited, nervous, didn't want to get my hopes up and at the same time really wanted the chance.  We exchanged numbers, and an hour later she called stating if I still wanted to shoot the event, I was needed.  

          I came home ECSTATIC, and started to get my camera gear together and set up.  I pulled out 15 shirts, 3 pants, and started to decide exactly what I thought would look most professional but not overdone.  The next morning, I stopped at a friend's house for a quick bite to eat, a prayer, and overwhelming support from Mrs. Nazif and her best friend Leslie. 

         I had lunch with girlfriends later that day; which helped calm and reassure me I would do great.  From lunch I joined a friend for a little bit shopping, and then headed down to the Strip District.  I stopped at Luke Wholey's Wild Alaskan Grill for coffee and a small salad before heading to my destination.   

          The evening went wonderful, and it was awesome to see so many people show up and support Debbie's husband, Larry: and the ALS Association of Western PA.  I began shooting photos of the different vendors, displays, and people who came to help make a difference.  

         I decided to create a Facebook page entirely dedicated to the event. I did it this way so it links up to each vendor's website or Facebook page that participated.  I then invited all the people who were in pictures and on Facebook, so I can tag them later  to show they cared to participated.

          Below you will see all the pictures taken, but please visit the Facebook Page "Jenn’s Jems ALS Fundraiser Market After Dark Friday, May 30,6 pm- 8 pm" also that is in greater detail, and again links to each vendor directly.  Thank you so much Debbie, Larry, Jenn, and Jacklyn for this amazing oppurtunity.  Hope to see you soon,and on my way out of the Strip I couldn't help but to reward myself with a nice, quiet, and peaceful look at the world around me.  Coffee, Pistachio cheesecake, and Yeats accompanied me.

Amber Y. Fitzgerald 
Saved By The Small Things Inc. - Freelance Photography