Local man seeks funding for Iran photography projectWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Torrie Jadlocki, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
One Northwest Ohio native is attempting to change the world’s perception of Iran one photograph at a time.
Timothy Weaver, 25, of Sandusky, has turned to Kickstarter to fund a trip to Iran by April 1. Weaver hopes to document life in Iran through a photographic study. The goal of his campaign, “Mending a Broken Image: Iran,” is to be to change the negative perception some Americans have of the country.
“My primary focus is Iran as a whole,” Weaver said. “I will be staying all over the country for three month, and will be with a family primarily, and two other families.”
Weaver hopes to illustrate that there is no difference between the people of America and Iran.
“There are small differences, as far as religious differences,” Weaver said. “But there is no real difference between us.”
“How would we feel if other countries judged us, America, based on the decisions our government made?” he added.
Weaver said his ultimate goal in this project is to eliminate the negative perspective the world has on Iran.
“I want to be able to document their lives, to put everyone on an equal playing field, and to eliminate the negative perspective, that ignorant mentality [some] people have,” Weaver said.
Weaver’s interest in Iran has gone back many years.
“I love indulging in cultural traditions,” Weaver said. “I love learning culture. And when I worked at Cedar Point, I met people from many different countries. Those people from Iran are the most loving people I’ve ever met.”
Weaver has had friends who have freelanced in Iran.
“A group of college students took my friend in, to make sure he had a place to stay and food to eat.”
“These people go above and beyond for others, and yet are still labeled as terrorists,” Weaver said. “I want the world to see these people are open-minded.”
On his Kickstarter page, Weaver has partnered with two businesses to help make this project a reality. Perrysburg-based American Frame is providing printing and framing for the project.
“They’re local, and they’re so supportive and loving,” Weaver said. “They’re just willing to help, because they believe in the project.”
Weaver is also working with Adorama, out of New York City. The company will provide the book printing for the finished project. It will also provide lens and camera rental, when the project calls for it.
“They are just willing to help out,” Weaver said. “They will be printing both versions of the book.”
As part of the Kickstarter perks, two versions of the finished photography book will be offered. One will be a traditionally bound, full color photography book, and the other a limited edition binding.
“It’ll be bound in Italian leather,” Weaver said. “Some collectors like that special, collectable, unique aspect.”
There will only be 10 copies of the limited edition book made.
“This is a much grander scale than anything I’ve ever took on,” Weaver said.
Before this, Weaver did a photo study in New York City that contrasted the poverty in the city with the side more commonly seen by tourists.
“I wanted to show the differences in both sides of what it’s known for,” he said.
Despite some setbacks, Weaver has seen much success so far.
“I’ve had a number of people that I’ve reached out to turn me away, for religious reasons or whatever, but so many more have helped,” Weaver said.
He messaged 90 to 95 groups for support, and hopes people will put down their anger and want to help.
The project had only just begun, and Weaver began to see progress. The project became the 16th most popular photography project on Kickstarter.
“It’s something to help people,” Weaver said. “A way to show their faces to those who are ignorant.”
“It means the world that people are willing to help, and that they believe in the project,” Weaver said. “It’s going to be a difficult fight, to change people’s perceptions. But, people are willing to help, and any support is welcome. Every dollar counts.”
For more information or to donate, visit Weaver’s Kickstarter page here.