Since reconnecting with some old friends, I have also reconnected with an old high school teacher of mine who has since become the Executive Director of Food for the Poor. He led me on my first mission trip in High School and I have been in love with serving God through short-term mission trips ever since. Angel Aloma is an inspiration to me and everyone who has known him, and his work at Food for the Poor is passionate and continues to spread into the hearts of all those he has spoken to about Food for the Poor. Food for the Poor strives to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children they serve throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Angel has invited me as a photographer several times to witness first hand their work and the fruits of their labor. These experiences have made marks on my heart, and continue to tug at my soul to be a part of this labor of love. The labor to return to them, the essentials of life that we have far surpassed and so readily take for granted even in the poorest areas here in America. The labor to care for the men, women, and children who have suffered so much through circumstances in which they have been brought into this world. I encourage everyone to become aware of the atrocities that exist in our world and begin to understand what we have even in the smallest sense is an abundance that we can offer to a world in need. Helping one person, one family, one community at a time. Progress begins with one. Giving is easy, and can be done in many ways. Here are some ways and stories of inspiration. Donations, Gift Catalog, Florida Marlins build homes for Haiti, Local Girl builds homes for Haiti, read about more stories like these at Food For the Poor Facebook page.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Photography has been taking my heart and God continues to show me so many beautiful things through this art form. During the summer of 2009 and through the end of the year I was experiencing a renewed energy and love for photography. I began taking my camera everywhere I went, because the summer storms had created some wild skies and lighting for photography, Facebook chats with old friends were turning out to be a photo opportunities that I had not really had exposure to eventually leading me into new markets of photography. While in the Florida Keys, a stormy summer afternoon brought the fishing boats in early from the ocean, and the fishermen were skinning and filleting the fish by the water. Eager for a free meal a great white heron approached without timidity, and I took a wide angle photo from about three feet away. It was a pretty awesome sight. Getting back into some low light concert work for a friend was great fun, and reconnecting with old friends will be leading me into my next couple of posts. This is just a collection of photos taken on my personal adventures in photography including my first trip to the everglades.
Posted by Toby Brooks at 3:12 PM
In June of 2009, I taught a six week intensive photography course for the youth of Coconut Grove, FL. While each class was spent learning some fundamentals of photography, each class we also strived to walk the streets of Coconut Grove, and it seemed as though the community was smiling and posing at every corner we stopped at. Here are some results from 2009 Soul View Photography Workshop sponsored by Urban Resurrection. The first four photos are mine, and the last six photos are from my students Paule Jackson, Antwone Walker, and Almustafa Irshad. They will be continuing this program this year at the beginning of August. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or Urban Resurrection about involvement.
Posted by Toby Brooks at 2:15 PM
The Roots Ministry that I volunteered for brought high school students during their spring break to Mississippi to rebuild homes of those who have been long forgotten by many and overlooked by many more since the storms of 2005. These high school students served their hearts out and received many amazing experiences and lasting memories. Some of them were returning as Juniors and Seniors after coming here in 2007 as freshman and sophomores to rebuild a church and school. We got to see the finished buildings and have service in the church that these students helped put the walls up in. Since leaving this ministry I have sincerely missed these students and continue to be rewarded by watching them continue into college and travel the world and serve in many great ways becoming young men and women that I am proud to have been a part of their lives!
Posted by Toby Brooks at 1:36 PM
Monday, July 5, 2010
This Blog post is many in one, and it is just a collection of my favorite picks from jobs, travels, and personal pictures I have taken in between some more substantial photo-shoots/jobs. Special Thanks to Coral Gables Congregational Church (Conservatory Concert), Beckman Coulter Inc. (Backyard to my day job, and resident iguana), Urban Resurrection (Community Development Team in Coconut Grove), friends in New York City, Chi-town for a Community Development Conference, an old teammate for asking me to do some springboard diving pictures, a Horse Whisperer, Sal Landa, founder and director of Horse Tamer Ministries, and friends Jason and Jenise Burris and their beautiful daughter Zoe.
Posted by Toby Brooks at 6:04 PM