1. So long summer…

    A lady carrying a large bunch of bananas on her head, Uganda.

    September! How did that happen? It doesn’t seem five minutes since we logged off for our August digital detox. We hope you all had a great summer. Did any of you do any thinking ahead for the campaigns you have coming up, as we suggested in our planning post?

    I did my own version of thinking ahead and made the most of the quiet time when most of our clients, (and Ben!) head off on holiday, to get on top of some Mile 91 housekeeping. All those behind the scenes things that keep things running smoothly when it’s busy, like having up-to-date portfolio pages, a neat and tidy Dropbox and a head start on some of our autumn blog posts. And although we weren’t tweeting I did keep an eye on what was going on. Here are some things that made me smile.

    The Independent Happy List 2019

    Our good friend Jude Habib, founder of sounddelivery and Being the Story Network made the Independent’s Happy List 2019. This is the 11th year the list has been published and it celebrates 50 of the most inspirational people whose kindness, ingenuity and bravery have made Britain a better place to live. One of the people who nominated said: “I don’t know anyone else like Jude. She devotes so much time, energy and personal funds to helping disadvantaged people. I’m proud to know her”. We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations Jude!

    On your marks, get set, BAKE!

    If ever there was a time the UK needed the light-hearted escapism of the Great British Bake Off it is now, so we were pleased to see it back on our screens. We were even more excited when we discovered that contestant David Atherton is VSO’s International Health Adviser and a former volunteer. As many of you know VSO is where Ben and I first worked together and they are still a client so they’re very close to our hearts. Better still, David is good friends with Ben’s sister Emily and Ben has previously tasted the delights of his baking. So he’s Mile 91’s showstopper this series!

    A joyful rebrand

    Send a Cow was the first NGO Ben worked for after he left VSO.  He has shot for them in Uganda (twice) Ethiopia and Lesotho. It was in Uganda that Ben met Mile 91’s good friend Aggrey, who shared his views about the challenges of telling the Africa story with us earlier this year. Reading this Charity Comms post, we were nodding along as we read that the “brand essence of ‘joyful development’, though not a key message, runs through everything the charity does.” We couldn’t agree more! Our joyful banana lady, captured on a Send a Cow shoot, is one of our favourite photos ever. We love what Spencer Du Bois have done with the rebrand and think the spirit of Africa that we love so much really sings in the new look. Bravo!

    Informed consent: why conversations are crucial

    If someone you had never met turned up at your house and started taking photos of you and your family how would you feel?” This is the question posed by Tamsin Maunder and Jess Crombie on this really excellent post about informed consent. Although focused on the NGO sector this post is relevant and useful to anyone involved in photography in the charity sector. And while we’re on the subject of excellent NGO we want to give a shout out to the excellent actionaid photography campaign Women by Women. I fell down the rabbit hole of their Instagram feed on World Photography Day and if you do the same I defy you not to come out smiling!

    So now I have shared some of my summer highlights I guess I’d better open up that new notebook and get out a fresh pen! Do get in touch if we can help you with any of your story gathering or training needs – we are rested and raring to go.



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