Orphanage Casa Hogar Alegre

A smiling boy at the Orphanage Casa Hogar Alegre

A visit to the orphanage Casa Hogar Alegre

I had the privilege to visit the orphanage Casa Hogar Alegre in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico in December of 2000.

 

It was a great experience and it was the first time I had to work with lots of children around me and documenting them in their environment.

 

I was amazed to see the joy and curiosity in these children, even after all their life troubles they have gone through. Their smiles and openness melted my heart.

 

The people I travelled with left the orphanage to do a scenic tour of one of the National Parks nearby, but I felt it was much more rewarding to stay and interact with the children.

 

One thing I notice was that they were not camera shy.  It takes lots of patients to get a photo without children jumping in front of the camera, but the more they get to know you, the easier it gets. By staying put in the orphanage I was able to become part of their environment and I could then document them playing and interacting with their friends.

 

The evening before I left, I loaded my computer with all the photographs and showed the children the a slideshow of what I have photographed.  It was a big hit as they laughed and watched them selfs and their friends on the computer screen.

 

It was really hard to leave them behind when I left. Tears were shed, both by me and the children. I felt connected with them on a deep level and to this day I still think of them.

 

I still have a wish of going back to document it again, to bring more awareness to the public about all the good work that is being done to these children.

 

You can read the story about the Casa Hogar Alegre and the children of Chiapas, at http://mydy.com/occ/dec27.html

 

If you want to know more about Casa Hogar Alegre, or make a donation to the orphanage, please visit their website at  http://casahogaralegre.org .

Wildfire Boot Camp

wildland firefighter recruits boot camp 2011

Wildland firefighting training

Wildland firefighting recruits participating in the 2011 boot camp, held by Canadian training agency and wildfire contractor Boulder Mountain Contracting Ltd. in Barriere, BC, May 2011.

Twenty four recruits spent seven days in class rooms and in the field learning wildfire suppression for the 2011 wildfire season.

 

 

 

Below is also a short video with footage from BMC Boulder firefighter Marshal Chupa during the 2010 fire season.

A night with a homeless man

Back in early winter of 2004 I was covering a story in downtown Calgary for the Christmas Fund edition at the Calgary Herald.  A reporter named Linda Slobodian and I spent a night with Marc Nault, a 46 year old man living in cardboard boxes, located by the 5th Street underpass by 9th Ave SW.  Marc has been on the streets of Calgary for the last three years, and during that time been homeless.

These are a few of the photographs from the night.  It was all photographed with a Canon D2000.

Photographer Mikael Kjellstrom, Calgary Herald

 

Anna Mogutova photo shoot

A test shoot of Russian model Anna Mogutova in the sand dunes of Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain.

The model was lit with a single flash, a DynaLite Uni400 jr without any diffuser, and powered with a Jackrabbit pack. It was windy conditions with flying sand, and with no extra help, I could not put up an diffuser or a reflector to help with the lighting. The photographs were taken at 11:30 am when the sun was the strongest and most difficult to work around. If I had a choice, I would have chosen to photograph in the early evening as the sun set and the light is more on the side.

…Mikael

test shoot in sand dunes

View Podcast