DC Smug: May Meeting – Jim Davis-Hicks

The DC Smug is an organization that brings together like minded individuals from all facets of photography to assist them in propelling their art and business. The group brings in speakers from all over the country to speak about various topics that affect the lives, art and businesses of photographers. For 2011 I have agreed to become the organizations ‘Scribe’ (I prefer ‘official photographer’) to capture the essence of the meeting and a few photographs ( I think my purpose is to prove the meeting actually happened)!

This is a quick recap of our May Meeting:

“On your deathbed, no one will ever say you saved too many lives.” – Jim Davis-Hicks

On a dreary rain filled Monday evening 30 DC Smug Mug Members came together to hear an inspired presentation from Jim Davis-Hicks the founder of www.ThirstRelief.org From the onset Jim spoke about the trials and tribulations of his business and his longing sense to do something bigger than himself. His belief was that if everyone could give something, to provide for those less fortunate than themselves the world would be a brighter place.

Jim started his conversation discussing his own business; his trials and tribulations from being a part time photographer, part time roofer and full time parent. From booking his first wedding at $300.00 and slowly working his way up to above the $500 mark and eventually to his current success he always wanted to do more than simply provide for his family.

Jim sought out to help others and wanted to inspire the wedding photography community in the process. His mission was to bring clean potted water to those who needed it most. 90% of those who die from contaminated drinking water are under the age of five and with close to a billion people in the world without access to clean drinking water, Jim had found his cause.

To lend a helping hand and socialize his cause he reached out to Grace Ormonde as well as a handful of the best wedding photographers in the world to capture models wearing stunning wedding dresses and interacting with the poverty of Kenya.

The stark contrast truly hit home with Grace as she ran an 11 page story; the largest in Grace Ormondes history. From the publicity Thirst Relief was able to inspire people all over the world to donate to the worthy cause. Thirst Relief has to date has brought clean drinking water to over 166,000 people in some of the most desolate places around the world. There are currently over 900,000 people who do not have clean drinking water, a donation as small as $5.00 can provide clean drinking water for one individual for life.

After a captivating speech of why he started Thirst Relief and his purpose he explained how he used his charity to propel his business through the use of new product lines that not only sold amazing artwork but also told a story of the lives they saved. Jim finished off his conversation discussing how his charity merged with his business to provide unique opportunities and various sales streams to enhance the value of his business and charity.

After the discussion the SmugMug group headed off to a local watering hole.


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