"1in700" Cleft Lip Photobook
Every day children are born with what is called Cleft Lip or Cleft palate, this means the lip and palate are underdeveloped, leaving a gap. The only way to correct this unavoidable birth defect is through surgery, which isn't always possible for children around the world. I (the author) was born with a right side unilateral cleft lip. Little did I know that it would be years before I would meet someone that looked like me. My parents were completely consumed with the immediate needs (surgeries, special feedings, etc.) of their new baby and in total fear for their baby's future.
Finding a cleft community where we can all stand together has been such a blessing. When I first saw someone that had the same scar as I did, I remember not knowing anything about her, not even her name, and yet I felt a kinship with her. We were both cleft babies. We were both 1 in 700.
With the support of the cleft community alone this book has the potential to reach every continent world wide. The medical community will undoubtably be another large target audience. In addition, I have a strong social media presence that is growing every day. The book will also be incredibly marketable to young adults and young teens that can relate to being discriminated against for things out of their control (i.e. scars, syndromes, sexuality, etc). “1in700” will be a way for parents to look positively into their child’s future. The story backing the book of the international tour with the photographer that has cleft lip will not just be a good story, it will be an amazing true story marketable to anyone who has ever felt different.
For years I have followed social media dedicated to those with cleft lip, cleft charities, cleft blogs, and I am constantly inspired by how deeply this community breathes strength. As an aspiring creative in Los Angeles, I have let my imagination run wild when it comes to ways to give back and believe that I have found the perfect idea. By traveling to 18 international cities and holding mini photoshoots/interviews for my cleft brothers and sisters I will have all of the materials I need to create and publish a full photo book complete with testimonies and the answer to the question: What does 1 in 700 mean to you? My personal connection to this topic gives me the passion I need to make this happen. I will be able to relate to everyone that steps in front of my camera and capture the beauty and emotion that comes with a cleft lip/palate.
By taking a 160-165 day tour around the world I will have time to photograph 12-17 people per city. I will be in contact with major children's hospitals and reaching out to cleft organizations/charities (Operation Smile, Smile Train, etc.) for assistance in finding more members of the cleft community.
-1 week stay per city
-Travel time 1-2 days per location
-Name and likeness releases for all participants
I also plan on doing bi-weekly video blog updates on my YouTube channel to give everyone insight on my travels. This will be a series that allows any backer/sponsor/supporter to travel around the world with me and experience the beauty of this community.
Overall the tour plus production is going to cost a lot, so I need your help! I am ready to begin the tour as soon as possible. I would like to begin the tour as soon as possible so that at the new year I will be wrapping up my photo editing and design stage and "1in700" will be ready to hit the shelves. A portion of the proceeds made from this book will go into funding free surgeries for kids around the world and to numerous cleft organizations.
Website for work reference:
$25 - Credit in book
$50 - Shirt
$75 - Long Sleeve
$100 - Copy of book AND Short sleeve
$150 - Signed copy AND choice of shirt
$500 - Bi-weekly video blog updates, shirt AND signed copy of book
$1,000 - Invite to publishing party
$5,000 - VIP invite to wrap party, shirt, signed book
As you can probably imagine this project has changed and evolved so much over the past 4 years (Yup! Really, 4 years!). With your generosity and support I was able to visit over 3 continents, 10 countries, photograph over 450 people with a smile just like ours, volunteer in cleft clinics in rural Cambodia along the way, and develop the content for the final publication greatly. While I still have some ways to go to reach the other 3 continents, I would like to assure you that not only are your generous donations being utilized to spread the word about our community internationally ( www.1IN700.com) but this journey is also connecting families literally all over the globe. With over 9,000 photos using the hash tag #1IN700 on social media, tens of thousands of post views and website clicks WE HAVE MADE MOVES. While things are moving at a very different pace it is time for a bit of reorganizing.
I am looking to break the project up into two volumes and possibly passing the torch to another young upcoming photographer to share the incredible experiences this project has brought into my life. While nothing is set in stone yet, I think it is important that you know that this journey has been an accumulation of the best life experiences one could ever have. Your donations took some of the stress off of travel expenses like I mentioned in my original post and THAT made this possible to begin with.
There have been a couple questions about my intentions to finish this project or not but let me assure you that your donations have been put to use for a task that simply took longer than anyone could have guessed. I have been working with the GoFundMe "Trust and Safety Team" to give them all the documents they needed to see that all your donations were used exactly what I said they would be used for. They have everything they need and have found zero problems with how they were used. If you have any questions, feel free to message them yourself, I am confident they will explain that they have a responsibility to take inquires like that seriously and have. Moving forward I will be sure to post more regularly on this platform to show progress and plans being fulfilled.
Thank you again for your patience, generosity, and smiles ❤
This is just so amazing, and really humbling. I've always wanted to be a part of a cleft lip and palate support group. I've never actually met someone and formed a relationship with someone who has a cleft lip or palate like me and this book just sounds so amazing and will shed so much light on people born with birth defects. I was born with a bi-lateral cleft lip and although I haven't had any support from people like me, I've had all the support I could ever need from my family and friends, my parents have always told me I am a special and strong person and can conquer anything I want to, and I've never felt self conscience or ashamed of my lip, my family and friends have always seen past the scar and it doesn't hold me back from anything I want to do in life, I embrace it and it makes me feel beautiful, so if this book helps children and adults that don't feel so confident for being different then it's going to be spectacular. For anyone that has trouble seeing the beauty in themselves or for someone who has been told that being different is bad or for someone that has been bullied for their scars, this book will be a beacon of hope and something we can all feel good about ourselves for :) we're all beautiful, and its time to show the world :) I'm so excited for your project.
Im a cleft lip and cleft palate baby ♥ i love this!! I was born in '94 to a teen single mom who was terrifed to raise me not knowing about this defect. 21 years later there is so much more information and support. But i still dont know many ppl personally with this. I know have 2 of my own babys and have met via fb some moms with babys same age as mine with CLAP babys but thats If u ever come to edmonton canada let me knw!
This is wonderful! I was born with a complete bilateral cleft lip & palate 40 years ago! I had the worst case in the nation and was a case study! Back then there was not alot of research & no support groups. Ive had over 20 surgeries, with numerous proceedures & years of speech therapy and i wouldnt change a thing! Ive had the most wonderful doctors who are my heros and great family support all around me! I have had dentures since 5th grade, which still remains as one of the best days of my life! I pray for the sucess and blessings that will come through this project & for the many people around the world that this will touch! Thank you for doing this & if you find your travels in Iowa, I would love to meet you!
Awesome idea. I was born with a cleft lip, and I also have a daughter who was born with a cleft lip and palate. We both have had many surgeries, and bone grafts. When she was born, her cleft was a surprise, but I knew this was a manageable birth defect. Her main Dr , works at the Chikdrens hosptal in Minneapolis, MN- and volunteered with Operation smile, Medical staff who volunteer their time to perform cleft surgeries in underpriveleged countries. Maybe this could be a good connection for you. I wish you the best on your journey.
Inspiring!! I pray this man reaches his goal and while I am not financially fit to donate, I will share this story in hopes that others are able to do so. Just know when you reach your goal and come to Milwaukee, WI please do make a visit with us. My son Malakai was born with complete bilateral cleft lip as well as complete cleft palate and it would be an honor to help you achieve what you are trying to do.
This is such a wonderful idea and i cant wait to share this book with my daughter when it is done. She just turned 9 and was born with a cleft lip and is just getting to the age where kids notice the scars and her crooked nose and some are very mean! Living in a small community she doesnt see people that look like her so it would be great for her to see she is not alone as more surgery will be looming in the coming years...if you come to ohio look us up she would love to meet other people
This is amazing & beautiful. As a mother of a child that was born with a bilateral complete cleft lip & palate this is something i know would and could benefit many parents. If you make it to the Harrisburg area of Pennsylvania we would love to meet you.
I absolutely love this idea. My son was born with a left side unilateral cleft lip and palate. As a parent at first I was consumed by the thoughts of surgeries, the pain he would endure, the monetary aspect, and how it would affect his quality of life. We have been through lip and palate repair and I can say it has been a journey but if I was given the choice of a so called birth defect, this would have been it. It has all been worth it. I can say I miss his wide smile but now I appreciate his scar and his story. Hes a trooper. Good luck on your journey. What you are doing is amazing and I fully intend to donate as soon as the holidays are behind us. God bless, Julianne and Talon too
Wow! I am also cleft lip/palate and also missing cartilage on the left side of my nose. Some of these babies/people have been blessed with much better surgeons than I have had!! Search my name on facebook if you would like updated pictures. ( i cannot recommend a good doctor/surgeon though) Good luck!!!
So excited about this! My son is 9 and has undergone 8 cleft related operations. He also has autism and a service dog to help keep him safe. Not many people strive to see the beauty in children and adults who have been through this... Thank you for doing just that. Let us know when you make it to Portland Or... We would love to participate in the shoot :)
So Zack, this seems you might be scamming people. My daughter-in-law ordered you book and tried to reach out to you through various formats....no response! She paid doe a book of photos and can’t seem to get her copy? As grandmother of a cleft child, I was impressed with your goal. I thought I should but aside my cynical opinion of people who I read your plan. But I hear a lot of people are wondering where the money is going. Are honest people just funding your life? Thinking i should have stayed being cynical and doubtful of such altruistic claims
Scam! This POS has scammed thousands from people. Families of children with disabilities have him so much money and he hasn’t delivered a thing. Police reports have been filed, his board hasn’t been able to get in touch with him, and good luck trying to “meet” him. Please stop donations to this asshole. Our son was so excited to learn that he could meet someone like him that was making a book like this only to find out it’s a total scam.
Clefties Unite! ♥ My son and I both are clefties. I'd love to be in a page of your book - as slim a chance as any. Good luck, and omg. What an inspiration.