In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love. We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.
The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.
Dan was our first ambassador of the Supply the Love program! As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.
Dan in Malawi
The Ntchisi Forest Reserve is Malawi’s last remaining rain forest and is surrounded by subsistence farming. Children waved to our jeep from villages on the un-paved road up to the forest. I thought I would have better luck taking photographs at these villages than at the police station where we caught our ride to the forest. My first attempt to take portraits resulted in three young boys running away from me in a field.
We stopped near a village to take instant portraits the day we left the forest. Our driver explained the instant portraits in Chichewa to the villagers and a few agreed to photographs. I took photos and started handing them out. People were now really starting to like their portraits. More and more children showed up and they started raising their hands wanting to be next. I took the portrait of a small boy wearing a New York City t-shirt and a small girl with a baby on her back with elaborate hair. My friends in the jeep were opening up new film packs as fast as I finished them. The boy with the NYC shirt raised his hand to be photographed. I was sure I already got him, but I did not see him holding a photo. Was I about to take his portrait before but ran out of film? I took a photo and gave it to him. I expected that the kids were hiding their photos so that I would take 2nd ones for them. I asked our driver to explain one portrait per person and some order was established. The driver said that everybody had one now and that we were good to go. I grabbed my digital camera to take photos of kids holding the instant portraits and then I started to see a few of them holding doubles!
At a gas station on the road from Ntchisi to Lilongwe we stopped to check our tires. An attendant walked over to my open window to say hello. I asked if he would like to have his photo taken and he said sure. The attendant was very grateful for the photo and asked if a second one could be made. Unfortunately because it was still early in the trip I said I could only do one photo so that I would not run out of film.
I was visiting friends in Malawi that lived in a townhouse within a gated courtyard similar to what retirees enjoy in Florida only without a pool or shuffle ball courts. Or good water pressure. Or A/C. The complex had guards who worked all hours. My friends got to know the guards and would practice Chichewa by greeting them when we would enter or leave the gate. The guards were very friendly and professional despite earning low wages. Prior to leaving for Lake Malawi, I had a chance to take their portraits. One of the guards asked for the below photo to be sent to his phone via Bluetooth but the phone did not have enough storage available.
At the end of our trip we stayed one night at a lodge on an island in Lake Malawi. I asked two gardeners how they were doing and offered to take portraits. The gardeners called over other lodge staff and I was happy to have the opportunity to give out more photos.
Print the Love facilitated interactions with the Malawi people that only occurred because I had an instant camera. I feel very fortunate for what I experienced in Malawi. I learned about Supply the Love while attending the Alec Soth event which I randomly saw advertised on Little Brown Mushroom’s Instagram feed. Thank you Print the Love for the opportunity to bring a moments of happiness to the people I met.