We had a chance to chat with Preston about her upcoming journey.
Preston is a professional world traveler and a passionate story teller. She loves to tell stories, whether it be through her lens, on screen or on paper. Her childhood years were spent growing up in Hong Kong and after studying motion pictures and English literature at University of Miami, she returned to Asia to spend two years teaching English in Thailand. With a background in filmmaking and production, in Thailand she truly discovered her love for still photography and decided to travel the world with her camera in hand. She loves exploring new cultures, connecting with new people and lives for those raw, unedited experiences. Preston loves to shoot instinctively, spontaneously and in the moment. She currently lives in Denver, working as a photographer, a yoga teacher, and a substitute teacher in the charter school system.
What makes you passionate about helping the organization?
As a full-time photographer, a part time teacher, and an active traveler, I fully understand the importance of an open and safe space for children to fully experience their childhood. I currently work in the Charter school system here in Denver, and after traveling to different areas and different schools throughout the city, I have become acutely aware of the drastic impact a student’s environment can have on their learning capacity. Sometimes, simply looking forward to their time at recess or on the playground is a child’s main motivation to learn. In countries like Uganda, where this is not an expectation, but merely an idea or even a dream, I recognize the drastic improvements that the addition of even one playground could make in many childrens’ lives.
How do you believe your photography can make a difference?
I believe a successful image should open up a dialogue. A strong image should make one question, “who, what, where and why?” I aim to tell a story through my photography. My style is vibrant and attention-grabbing. I believe I can make a difference through the stories that my photos tell. The mission of East African Playgrounds is to “provide play facilities and play training for communities, helping children to gain the most out of their childhood.” My goal is to spread this message; to tell a child, a worker, or a town’s specific story. Ultimately, I hope to document the successes of this non-profit in an effort to evoke emotion through imagery.
What message would you like to send to your supporters?
The message I would like to send my supporters is to follow your dreams. A playground is a blank canvas for children to express themselves. By having a playground accessible to them, East African children will hopefully be able to extend their imagination above and beyond the precincts of their specific town or city. By going on assignment to Uganda, I am following my lifelong dream of being a photojournalist, while simultaneously bringing attention and awareness to this amazing organization.