USA: Holiday Fails

USA: Holiday Fails


It’s the holiday season, a time of year when we flood social media with our best stories and photos while searching online for ideas to make the little touches around our home that much more memorable. We most often see people in heartwarming moments, because that is what we choose to share. But as we know, life is not only a collection of harmonious celebrations. Behind lovely family photos are often stories of angst. With each Pinterest success there are many hidden disasters.

Today, rather than dazzle you with my greatness, I am choosing to share some of my best holiday fails. My history with yuletide missteps extends back to my childhood when I sang “these eggshells are stale” at the top of my lungs at Mass because that was what I thought was being sung instead of “in excelsis deo.” Since then I have taken my share of festive stumbles, some figuratively (exploding cornbread) and some literally (down the steps with a cup of coffee and presents in hand). For the sake of brevity, I will share just a few. (more…)

Tara Bergman (USA)

Tara is a native Pennsylvanian who moved to the Seattle area in 1998 (sight unseen) with her husband to start their grand life adventure together. Despite the difficult fact that their family is a plane ride away, the couple fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and have put down roots. They have 2 super charged little boys and recently moved out of the Seattle suburbs further east into the country, trading in a Starbucks on every corner for coyotes in the backyard. Tara loves the outdoors (hiking, biking, camping). And, when her family isn't out in nature, they are hunkered down at home with friends, sharing a meal, playing games, and generally having fun. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and sharing her experiences on World Moms Network!

More Posts

SOCIAL GOOD: View Finder Workshop, putting the camera in the kids’ hands

SOCIAL GOOD: View Finder Workshop, putting the camera in the kids’ hands

view findere copy

The Founder of the View Finder Workshop describes her inspiration:

“I WAS WALKING THROUGH CITÉ SOLEIL, the largest slum in the Western Hemisphere located in Haiti, one of the poorest places on Earth. Trash littered the streets and dirty stagnant rainwater was often used as latrines. The sun pulsated directly overhead, bleaching the blue sky to a blinding white. Sweat droplets raced down my spine and pooled at my lower back. Children dressed in rags – or for some, in nothing at all – played a spirited game of soccer with a half-inflated ball. I snapped a picture of a group of rambunctious kids, only to have eager young hands grab at my camera to see the image captured on my screen.

The novelty of the reproduction faded and most darted off between the shanty houses. One remained, diligently pointing at each face on the screen, as if ticking them off in his head. He stopped at the last one. His own. He let out a burst of pure, innocent, giggling glee and scampered off. Alone, I realized that for people who have next to nothing, a mirror is an unattainable luxury. This child only met his reflection by process of elimination. For he knew which ones were his friends and which one was the stranger.

I was struck dumb. For I never realized a person could walk through life without knowing his own physical self. But photography can change that. It lets a child see himself & his world through different eyes. By learning tangible skills & creating new avenues of self-expression, he can contribute to his life & his community.

And thus, the seed for View Finder Workshop was planted.”
Babita Patel.
founder, humanitarian photographer – Excerpted from the View Finder website

From that moment View Finder Workshops were born. They were born to put the camera into the hands of children who have never had a lens through which to objectively view or portray the world in which they live. Children love taking photographs, and especially  love taking, and seeing photos of themselves. These are not children growing up in a “selfie” obsessed culture, but kids who may not have ever even seen a mirror image of themselves.  To put a camera in their hands proves liberating and empowering in a way that is hard to imagine, until you witness the pure joy on their faces when they see the images that they capture.

Photography as a visual medium provides a creative expression and ability to both view, and share a perspective from each child’s personal lens. And there is nothing like viewing the world through the eyes of a child.

The results of last January’s workshop in Haiti in collaboration with Respire Haiti, brought fresh views to the children of Gressier, Haiti who had been serving as restaveks (children enslaved as domestic servants), orphans & other vulnerable children. The images captured were often stark and beautiful.  The photos were then exhibited in September in an LA gallery show in Santa Monica where gallery patrons were able to view the results of what the children were able to capture with a camera in their hands. A few of the kid’s prints even sold!

Next the Viewfinder Workshop is gearing up for a workshop in Kenya This fall, where they will be introducing photography to 40 students enrolled at their new school in the Lenana slum, in the country’s capital, in a program that they hope to make a sustainable curiculum.  These programs need support to become sustainable, and this is where you can come in. You can like View Finder on Facebook , follow on Twitter , and/or make a donation to help other children to tell their story through images. You may just be the one to benefit from the enchanting worlds they share.

view 2 copy

Have you ever put the camera in your own kids hands to see what they come up with?

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Elizabeth Atalay of

*All photos credited to the View Finder Workshop website.

Elizabeth Atalay

Elizabeth Atalay is a Digital Media Producer, Managing Editor at World Moms Network, and a Social Media Manager. She was a 2015 United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow, and traveled to Ethiopia as an International Reporting Project New Media Fellow to report on newborn health in 2014. On her personal blog,, she uses digital media as a new medium for her background as a documentarian. After having worked on Feature Films and Television series for FOX, NBC, MGM, Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Castle Rock Pictures, she studied documentary filmmaking and anthropology earning a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School in New York. Since becoming a Digital Media Producer she has worked on social media campaigns for non-profits such as Save The Children, WaterAid,, UNICEF, United Nations Foundation, Edesia, World Pulse, American Heart Association, and The Gates Foundation. Her writing has also been featured on, Johnson & Johnson’s,,, and Elizabeth has traveled to 70 countries around the world, most recently to Haiti with Artisan Business Network to visit artisans in partnership with Macy’s Heart of Haiti line, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans. Elizabeth lives in New England with her husband and four children.

More Posts