Article ‘Grit for Gold’ featured in VSCO Journal

VSCO Journal Post "Grit for Gold" Featured in the 27th Edition of VSCO's Explore Community Journals.

VSCO Journal Post “Grit for Gold” Featured in the 27th Edition of VSCO’s Explore Community Journals.

In April I was more than flattered to have one of my photos from the 2015 Freestyle Wrestling World Cup selected for VSCO’s curated Grid.  Today, another pleasant surprise; my Journal post Grit for Gold was featured in VSCO’s ‘Explore Community Journals’ section.

To read my full article click HERE.

Thanks VSCO for the nod!  We really enjoy being part of the creative community you have fostered.

The Power of Storytelling in Nonprofit Events

Infographic for Beat the Streets Los Angeles - design by Brian Guerrero

It’s Event ‘Design’, not Event ‘Planning’

As April wraps up, it’s with great satisfaction that we look in review at the 2nd Annual Benefit for Beat the Streets Los Angeles, a nonprofit where I direct a lot of my creative energy at.

For the last blog post of the month, Beat the Streets LA published this infographic (above) titled ‘By the Numbers’.  As the dust settled after the April 10th Event and figures were calculated we were affirmed that non only was the Benefit successful as a quality event in telling our organization’s story, but it was equally successful in dollars raised.  The best of both worlds.  So with much pride, I enjoyed designing the infographic.  Looking at the ‘Numbers’, two things are certain… first, evidenced by so many generous donations people really believe in the Beat the Streets mission… and second, people love ice cream sandwiches! :)

Creating a successful fundraiser is as much about design and storytelling as it’s about event planning.  While there is a venue to book, vendors to hire and invitations to send out this is only a fraction of what goes into a nonprofit event.  In fact, while those first three boxes-to-check so to speak seem routine, each offer an opportunity to tell the story about an organization.  Our choice of venue in this case was no exception.  The Holding Co., an old mechanic’s shop northwest of downtown LA turned-event-space was a fantastic match for the Beat the Streets LA brand.

 

Guests of the 2nd Annual Benefit arrive through an alleyway and enter through an industrial steel door. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Guests of the 2nd Annual Benefit arrive through an alleyway and enter through an industrial steel door. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

As guests entered the space they were introduced to the first interactive component of the Benefit, a birch wood faced wall comprised of 70 individual wood plaques with CNC inscribed numbers representing dollar values. This wasn’t just a backdrop for our evening’s stage, this was a donor opportunity, The Camp Scholarship Wall.  A call-to-action which prompted guests to pledge dollar values displayed on the wood panels pursuant of one unified goal for the evening, to fund 50 Summer camp scholarships for our organization’s youth.  A tall order, but guests answered the call within 3 hours we raised $25,500.  Every panel turned over.

The Camp Scholarship Wall with a few early pledges. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

The Camp Scholarship Wall with a few early pledges. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Panels with CNC cut pledge values. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Panels with CNC cut pledge values. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Founder and President of the Board Andy Barth (pictured left), congratulates fellow Board Member Jeff Newman on a very generous pledge. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Founder and President of the Board Andy Barth (pictured left), congratulates fellow Board Member Jeff Newman on a very generous pledge. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

The Camp Scholarship Wall was a focal point throughout the evening and stood as center stage. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

The Camp Scholarship Wall was a focal point throughout the evening and stood at center stage. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

With all 70 panels turned over, and that particular goal reached, a message affirming the achievement which will provide a life experience to boys and girls of Beat the Streets LA in the coming summer.  This shows the power of a live call-to-action made interactive.

The evening's MC, DJ Bino congratulates attendees on turning over every panel on the board, a total pledge of $25,500. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

The evening’s MC, DJ Bino congratulates attendees on turning over every panel on the board, a total pledge of $25,500. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Moving to the indoor space of the venue we curated a gallery of moments and portraits of our youth.  A moment in the evening where people can pause and immerse in some highlights of the past year.

Photo gallery featuring young leaders of Beat the Streets Los Angeles. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Photo gallery featuring young leaders of Beat the Streets Los Angeles. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

A forward about the gallery of photos.  Photo by Dana Barsuhn

A forward about the gallery of photos. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

The series is a collection of photographs I took over the course of this past season and in the forward, displayed above as a vinyl decal I wrote, “Individual portraits featured here include Leaderships Award recipients recognizing student athletes who exhibit traits of commitment, accountability, perseverance and respect.”

Like the vinyl decal for the Gallery description, we used the vinyl medium as an opportunity to communicate our message and identity throughout the Holding Co’s industrial space.

The Beat the Streets Los Angeles tagline "Building Tomorrow's Leaders" displayed across the mezzanine wall in vinyl, black.  Photo by Dana Barsuhn

The Beat the Streets Los Angeles tagline “Building Tomorrow’s Leaders” displayed across the mezzanine wall in vinyl, black. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

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The quote from a young student athlete of Beat the Streets LA. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Using a common tool of fundraising events, we took the opportunity of a live & silent auctions to place touches of the organization’s identity and style into both the items and the setup.

The silent auction table in the foreground with the photo gallery in the background.  Photo by Dana Barsuhn

The silent auction table in the foreground with the photo gallery in the background. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Just in the Beat the Streets LA branded apparel alone we raised $1000.

Beat the Streets LA apparel custom made for the auction.

Beat the Streets LA apparel custom made for the auction.

For the fourth and final featured component of the evening, we presented our latest short film Move Your Feet.  

A story about an adolescent girl who through her mother’s guidance and the sport of wrestling overcomes her largest challenge, her past.

This four and a half minute short which I wrote and produced, and was directed by Shawn Frederick, fit perfectly into the evening’s program as it followed the opening short speeches and preceded the live auction.  You can watch the short below and read more about it in our portfolio section Short Film – ‘Move Your Feet’.

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That’s me, Brian Guerrero, standing on the right, getting ready to introduce the film. Photo by Dana Barsuhn.

Lightly applied throughout the venue we had info available about the organization to compliment speeches letting our guests know why we’ve all come together on that Friday evening in Los Angeles.

Printed program for the 2nd Annual Benefit. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Printed program for the 2nd Annual Benefit. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Beat the Streets Los Angeles door prizes for guests compliments of sponsor Elevee Lifestyle. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Beat the Streets Los Angeles door prizes for guests compliments of sponsor Elevee. Photo by Dana Barsuhn

Who doesn’t like swag? At the end of the evening, in addition to many thank you’s we provided some parting gifts.  Special thanks to élevée for sponsoring these door prizes and some of the fantastic auction items. And a special thanks to our event photographer Dana Barsuhn.

In Retrospect

From an architectural background, I think of how someone moves through a space and what that experience is.  As a storyteller I think of the narrative.  Event design is a convergence of the two and an opportunity to tell an organization’s story.

With a scholarship donation wall, a photo gallery, an auction and a film we had all the tools we needed to tell the story and captivate our audience.  They came as guests and left as ambassadors.

Honored to have a photo curated to the VSCO Grid

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We’re big fans of the Visual Supply Co, better known as VSCO.  It’s a software for film emulation and it’s an app but perhaps most importantly it’s a community.  I check out their VSCO Grid on nearly a daily basis for inspiration.  So suffice it to say I was a bit excited this morning to receive an email from VSCO informing me that my photo of Team USA member Brent Metcalf’s victory at the 2015 Freestyle World Cup was selected for their curated Grid.  (Actually, eh hem… this was my 3rd photo to be selected.)

If you haven’t had a chance to try out some of their tools and features, I highly recommend you do. Their Journal publishing tool, officially launched about six months ago, is a wonderful platform that enables people to tell their stories with word and image cleanly and elegantly.  Feel free to peruse my latest Journal post about the recent Freestyle World Cup here.

Here’s one of my all time favorite photos that I captured using the VSCO Cam app.  Happy Friday.

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Genesis LA: Advancing economic and social opportunities

Genesis LA's new website and home pages features the Sheenway School. Photo by Brian Guerrero

Genesis LA’s new website and home page features the Sheenway School. Photo by Brian Guerrero

Congrats to our friends over at Genesis LA who just launched their new website as part of their rebranding. The new digital digs look great!

Genesis LA is a community development financial institution whose mission is ‘to deliver financial solutions that advance economic and social opportunities in underserved communities.’

I had the pleasure of working with Genesis LA recently to photograph some of their most successful projects including the Sheenway School in Watts, Jovenes Inc.’s ‘My Home, Mi Casa’ in Boyle Heights and The Wright Road care center in South Los Angeles.
To learn more about Genesis LA visit their new website here.

The afternoon I spent with the Sheenway School, captured in the photos below, was a true delight.  Executive Director Dolores Sheen, better known as “Aunt D”, is the beating heart of this learning center, operating the Sheenway educational programs for decades.  Her energy and passion is unparalleled.  In a few short hours I had the privilege of observing Aunt D conduct lessons on Irish fables and embryology of chicken eggs, and watched the students tend to their daily animal husbandry duties.

Part of the joy in being introduced to organizations like Genesis LA and Sheenway is to learn about all the good work being done throughout Los Angeles.

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Beat the Streets LA Youth meet Team USA

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Aaron Pico and Mercedes Rodriguez at the 2015 World Cup Open Practice for Team USA.

 

On April 7, the United States Men’s Freestyle Wrestling Team arrived at Santa Monica High School for their first practice of the week in California leading up to the World Cup (April 11 & 12 at The Forum).

One of many great things about the sport of wrestling is it’s generous access to the discipline’s very best.  Beat the Streets Los Angeles youth had the tremendous opportunity to observe Team USA train at the open practice that morning.  After the Team finished practice they took time to meet with our youth wrestlers.  Amongst a morning filled with highlights the bright eyed youth wrestlers sat and talked with 2012 Olympic Gold Medalists Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner, World Champion Stephen Neal (who happens to be a 3x Super Bowl Champion with New England Patriots), and local area phenom and Cadet World Champion Aaron Pico.   Many thanks to USA Wrestling for this opportunity and for Coach Mark Black and Santa Monica High for being such gracious hosts.

Enjoy some of the moments I captured from that morning.

To see a full album of photos from the World Cup head on over to this part of our website – 2015 World Cup Freestyle

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Joey McKenna and Aaron Pico

 

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Jordan Burroughs and Moza Fey

 

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Aaron Pico and Joey McKenna at Team USA Open Practice.

 

 

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US Men’s Freestyle Wrestling Team completes a practice at Santa Monica High School.

 

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2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Coleman Scott takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.

 

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Helen Maroulis, Victoria Anthony and Elena Pirozhkova.

 

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Elena Pirozhkova, Victoria Anthony and Helen Maroulis take time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.

 

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Helen Maroulis and Elena Pirozhkova sign autographs for Beat the Streets LA youth.

 

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World Champion and 3x Super Bowl Champion Stephen Neal takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.

 

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3x NCAA Champion Ed Ruth takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.

 

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Local phenoms Anthony Valenica, Zahid Valencia and Cade Olivas take time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.

 

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Aaron Pico with Beat the Streets LA youth wrestler.

 

 

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Jordan Burroughs takes time to speak with Beat the Streets LA youth.

 

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Jordan Burroughs and Jessica Vasquez

 

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Mercedes Rodriguez, Jordan Burroughs and Gianna Anaya

 

Presenting the new short film: Move Your Feet

In association with Beat the Streets Los Angeles (BTSLA) and Frederick Pictures, we are proud to present our new short film Move Your Feet.

A story about an adolescent girl who through her mother’s guidance and the sport of wrestling overcomes her largest challenge, her past.

The fictional story is inspired by the real world themes that challenge today’s youth and stars BTSLA wrestlers Mercedes Rodriguez, Gianna Anaya and San Pedro Coach Roman Hernandez.

Serving as writer and producer, I had the great opportunity to work with veteran photographer and director Shawn Frederick.

The film premiered on Friday April 10th at BTSLA’s 2nd Annual Benefit to much acclaim and was part of a very successful night of fundraising and celebration of the organization’s progress in just three short years since inception.

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That’s me, Brian Guerrero, standing on the right, getting ready to introduce the film. Photo by Dana Barsuhn.

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Every filmmaker loves a packed house. Photo by Dana Barsuhn.

 

At the conclusion of the film I had the pleasure of recognizing our fantastic cast and crew.  Our costar Gianna Anaya who played both wrestler and hooded stranger stepped up to receive a big round of applause.  Gianna is one of BTSLA’s best youth wrestlers and has a bright future both on and off the mat.

Fittingly, to conclude the film portion of the evening, I turned the mic over to our star, Mercedes Rodriguez.  As a strong, brave young leader she stood before 200+ guests and delivered a touching thank you speech.  My favorite part of that speech:

“It’s enabled me to take the competitive aspect of the sport into the classroom”

Wisdom beyond her years.

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BTSLA student athlete Mercedes Rodriguez addresses guests of the 2nd Annual Benefit. Photo by Dana Barsuhn.

I can’t think of a better way to wrap up this journey of a project… a film for the youth, about the youth, capped by the youth. Tomorrow’s leaders.

 

Special thanks to Dana Barsuhn for capturing the evening in photographs.  To see more of Dana’s work visit http://www.danabarsuhn.com/

From the Forum for the Freestyle World Cup

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Jordan Burroughs completes a 10-0 technical fall over Morteza Rezaei Ghaleh or Iran.

Gritty. Palpable. Fervor.  These are the themes that came to mind as I stood mat side at The Forum in Inglewood to watch the finals of the Freestyle World Cup of Wrestling.  The US Team had made its way into the finals after a variety of victories over Cuba, Russia and Mongolia.  On paper much of wrestling’s odds makers had slated the red-white-and-blue for a bronze medal finish.  Yet, through a gritty performance Team USA, comprised of 3-of-8 starters wrestling in their first World Cup, managed to get within a single individual win of claiming the first World Cup title in what would have been 12 years.  Unfortunately, for us Americans and the US men, we came up short.  For wrestling fans worldwide, as witness to the spectacle of sport, it felt like a win.

The atmosphere in the arena was palpable.  The air laced with horns brought by the Iranian fans was loud and piercing.  My ears still rang the day after.

Wrestling has an inherent push-pull movement, but the oscillation of energy in the building came from the crowd as it swayed back-and-forth from pro Team Iran to pro Team USA, only shifting to neutral during the live broadcast’s ‘TV-timeout’ between matches.

I can only imagine what spectacle may be in store for the World Championships come September in Las Vegas.

Thank you Team USA, thank you Team Iran, and thank you to the other six countries who traveled far for the 2015 World Cup.

Check out my full album of photos here.

For complete results visit United World Wrestling.

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Tervel Dlagnev

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Coleman Scott

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Brent Metcalf defends a takedown with great athleticism.

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Brent Metcalf successfully defends and scores a takedown.

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A swollen eye as a result of attempting to defend a Jordan Burroughs takedown.

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Jordan Burroughs completes a takedown.

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Jordan Burroughs earns his 100th career victory in international competition.

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Hassan Yazdani Charati of Iran defeats Nick Marable of the US, 3-1.

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Komeil Ghasemi celebrates a victory over Zach Rey of the US, and the team championship for Iran.

Short Film ‘Move Your Feet’ will premiere at Beat the Streets Los Angeles 2nd Annual Benefit

We are excited to present the trailer for Move Your Feet, a story about an adolescent girl who through her mother’s guidance and the sport of wrestling overcomes her largest challenge, her past.

Beginning last fall, I had the honor of writing and producing the short film for the non profit Beat the Streets Los Angeles (BTSLA), an organization which I serve as a Board Member and Creative Director.

The fictional story is inspired by the real world themes that challenge today’s youth and stars BTSLA wrestlers Mercedes Rodriguez, Gianna Anaya and San Pedro Coach Roman Hernandez.

Directed by Shawn Frederick, the short film will premiere at the 2nd Annual Benefit on Friday April 10, 2015 and then will be released online at btsla.org the following day.

With BTSLA’s vision of creating sustainable wrestling programs accessible to all youth, the organization invites supporters and future advocates to attend the Benefit and enjoy the live premiere of Move Your Feet.

Ticket sales and donations made here go toward our programming and are the lifeline of our future growth.

Purchase your tickets by clicking HERE.

BTSLA Invitation to 2nd Annual Benefit

Wrestling in February: The Sport’s Month of Emotional Gamut

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The Ubiquitous Landscape

All across the country there’s tens of thousands of young men and women buckling down for the month of February, many of whom are putting in the extra hours beyond their coaches’ requirements, the added miles beyond the team runs, the extra lift… the extra.

From middle schools to high schools to the collegiate ranks, February marks the beginning of the end, an end of a wrestling season. As with many things in life, the ends are always met with emotion and often fraught, running us through much of the spectrum of human emotion. Anxiety, certitude, fear, joy, sorrow. Sport serves as life’s incubator for our youth.

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Beat the Streets Los Angeles

Attending the February Jamboree, a youth wrestling tournament hosted by Beat the Streets Los Angeles for its constituents, I caught a glimpse of this emotional gamut and brought my camera along.

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What fascinates me is that even at this local and novice level, these young wrestlers, many of whom have less than a year of experience in the sport exhibit some of the same emotions we see on the larger stage at a high school league or state championship, or what’s more at the collegiate level. The skill, athletic and experience gap between the youth novice and the college All American may be colossal but the raw output of emotion is very familiar.

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Sure, there are no league or section titles on the line for these youth who participated at the Jamboree this month, it’s about experience, but you wouldn’t know judging by the output of emotion. They compete wholeheartedly and wear their heart on their sleeve… or singlet.

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And though the sport’s victors are celebrated on their individual merits. It’s a sport that needs a family’s support.

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And the emotions, no matter up or down, need nurturing by community.


To learn more about this nonprofit youth organization, visit Beat the Streets Los Angeles.

Kicking Off 2015 with new work

Brian photographing new Attollo Lift system.

We are excited about the year ahead!

kabriDWL is kicking off 2015 with both new and returning clients.  Attollo Lift, which we helped launch in early 2014, is rolling out a new patented industrial rigging devices and I had the chance to photograph the new product line this past week.

Attollo Lift is a gas cylinder lifting device that makes it easy to lift and safely handle pressurized gas cylinders. 

Attollo Scissor Lift

Attollo Cradle

What is so rewarding about the ongoing Attollo work is the opportunity to provide full branding, photography and video services.  When the Attollo Lift debuted at the 2014 World Ag Expo last February, the product roll-out was supported by a full suite of media and content produced by us including the website equipped with e-commerce for direct to customer sales, trade show banners, marketing collateral and this web commercial below.

To learn more about Attollo Lift, check out the website we built HERE.

Variety Is the Spice of Life

As we relish in the diverse work that comes our way, just after a morning of shooting the product photos for Attollo, I headed out in the afternoon to shoot another collaboration.  By the looks of the little teaser below you can reckon there’s a fashion photography project in the pipeline.  Stay tuned for the launch in the coming weeks!

Brian shooting an upcoming project in Venice.  Photo by Alex Santana

Brian shooting an upcoming project in Venice. Photo by Alex Santana

KABRI DWL - LOS ANGELES BASED CREATIVE STUDIO

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