Everything I do is not surrounded by models, stylists or makeup artists. I am not always on the fashion scene (hell hoodies and football jerseys do not constitute fashion). I don’t follow the latest trends of the new Must Haves. For the most part, I am just a man with a camera, viewing the world in my slightly skewed form. Dissecting beauty as I walk through the streets of New York. Most often I am in my own little world.
Photography is such a profound medium that sometimes we tend to take it for granted. Instead of recording a moment in time for the essence of the emotion, we’ve discarded it because the lighting wasn’t correct, the subject didn’t like their expression, or lastly, there wasn’t any Photoshop at hand.
So trying to pull the Annie Lebovitz’s reportage photography, you find yourself wanting to reach for your recording instrument, only to say “you know what? Never mind. I’ll remember it in here.” And you tap your temple and you keep it moving.
I say that to say this. I love children. No one would actually believe it, because of some of the horrific things I may say in jest about children (I still believe a single tablet of Benadryl and a swig of NyQuil and you can still have a wonderful night). But children are honest. They are true and they are pure. That is until we as adults come along and mess them up.
I have a dear friend who still believes in the purity of children and because of him and his foundation, he has made great strides in the inner cities of New York. His name is Goldin Martinez and his organization is called Get Focused (www.getfocusedfitness.org).
Get Focused was founded close to five years ago and the original reason for it was to combat childhood obesity. Mr. Martinez partnered with New York City’s fitness expert Yusuf Myers and together they began to build fitness programs and nutritional seminars teaching youth the importance of exercise, eating right and a healthy lifestyle. Through events known as Fit Days, Get Focused attacked obesity head-on not only by teaching children about the pitfalls of a sedentary lifestyle, but also educating their parents as well.
They’ve appeared on Get Morning America, I Used to Be Fat and was hired by The Police Athletic League (PAL) to bring an after school program to the children of Washington Heights. Mr. Martinez and Mr. Myers took a dream and built it into a solid foundation making changes in the community
As Get Focused progressed, Goldin and Yusuf branched off into other social forums. In the past year they’ve done the Get Focused Basketball Jams, Coat Drives and the most recent the Get Focused Toy Mania. Partnering with Ford Motor Company and The Malcolm X Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational System, they reached out to the community and the participants of Facebook to reach into their pockets and donate toys. Their goal was to try to receive 300 toys. They met their goal and then some.
To say it was a success would be an understatement. Our homes became Ground Zero for deliveries of packages from around the United States and the world. To see the joy and excitement on a child’s face to receive a toy made it all worthwhile.
Get Focused will be going strong in 2014. Be on the look out, because I will be there to record it.