I have kind of neglected the project blog for too long. I really struggled to do many engagements last year. Mainly for one reason…..finance!
We have been fortunate to have been looked after by a number of companies, Manfrotto UK and Elinchrom to name two. Without their support The Veterans Portrait Project UK would not have gotten off the ground.
Taking the project on the road incurs costs. Fuel, accommodation, feeding etc. Until last year I was able to meet these costs from my own pocket. Something I remain happy to do where I can. I tried a new strategy last year, to get more bang for the buck by cramming as many engagements as possible on each visit to UK, whilst at the same time trying to raise funds to assist in meeting our costs.
From the outset I decided that I would not make any personal gain from the Veterans Portrait Project. Also, I would not accept financial assistance from any of the charities or organisations who do so much for our Veterans and Forces Personnel. I believe this is better spent elsewhere.
I have, however, found reluctance in generating donations from corporations who deal and make a profit from their dealings with the Forces . The Veterans Portrait Project UK is a social undertaking, aiming to raise awareness. We are not a charity, we do not provide assistance or services and I believe this may be the reason for their reluctance.
At the end of 2016 I found my own finance pot was running dry and found myself with 2 choices.
1. Let the project fold.
2. Carry on regardless.
Having been involved with the Veterans Portrait Project UK for 2 years now, I still am bowled over by the reaction of the Veterans, Service Personnel and the families of those whom I have the privilege to photograph. I have also had a fantastic reaction from many outside the Forces community The thing is, they get it! They get what we hope to achieve.
I have opted for the second choice. It’s not about the money, I will continue to fund the Veterans Portrait Project myself and hopefully we will achieve our aim. It may take a bit longer than planned, but we might just get there!
We held our first portrait engagement last week and already have a number of further engagements planned throughout the year. If you have an event you would like to invite us to, please get in touch.
The VPPUK Team