20th Anniversary Reflections: Dorie Hagler

Photographer Dorie Hagler has done a number of projects for Coffee Kids. After returning from the Peace Corps in Guatemala in the 1995, the photographer got in touch with Bill Fishbein and Coffee Kids to inquire about creating photos at origin.

Coffee Kids began working with Hagler and she created an amazing body of work documenting the life of coffee-farming families, the conditions in which they live, and the joy that they carry with them.

Visit the Web site, Behind Every Cup, a photo-documentary of the coffee harvest and coffee-farming families. Hagler sells prints of the work and donates 10% of all proceeds to Coffee Kids. If interested, contact her at dorie@doriehagler.com or 505-770-7157

Below is an excerpt from a recent interview done for Coffee Kids 20th Anniversary:

"I took several trips for Coffee Kids and it was an amazing opportunity for a young photographer, that's why I call Bill (Fishbein) my fairy godfather. There are photographers salivating over an assignment like Coffee Kids, but he said yes to me.

"The reason I think he sent me was because he know about my experience in Peace Corps, he knew my relationship with women's groups in Guatemala and that I wasn't going to exploit anyone. Bill always wants to emphasize the strength and dignity of the people Coffee Kids works with and he didn't want some photographer who would jeopardize that.

"I remember one assignment in Mexico where I was sent to photograph the harvest and I lived with a family for two weeks. But the harvest was delayed. We had made all of these arrangements and it didn't look like I would see any of the coffee harvest.

"So I'm waiting and waiting and I called a friend who said I should just keep shooting and I left my head and realized the gift I was given. I was able to live through what these people deal with every year. When is the harvest coming? Is it even coming? What if there is no harvest?

"But I saw the optimism, their confidence that every thing was going to work out and that you just live from day-to-day. I realized that that's how these people have lived all their lives, but through Coffee Kids work, it makes that waiting a little less stressful. Their entire income is not dependent on the coffee harvest.

"I treasure the pictures from that collection, from that town where I spent those two weeks waiting for the harvest."

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Comment by Alun Evans on July 17, 2008 at 6:32pm
Great photographys. Dorie has a gift of making the people and the scenes she is portraiting come to life in Black and white.

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