Getting Real | C'Mon Team Takes Seattle!

Story Written By: Sabrina Hounshell

This is the true story of fifteen (mostly) strangers, picked to live in a house, work together at nonprofits and have their hearts shaped, to find out what happens when creatives put their skills to the test... and produce content that’s the real deal.

This is our version of the Real World: C’Mon Team Takes Seattle!

As the doorway of our Airbnb filled with suitcases, camera bags and pelican cases there were cheers of arrival, hugs and introductions.

The kitchen counters were stocked with sugary treats, a bottle (or three) of bourbon, the fridge stocked with beer and every milk option imaginable- so the kitchen became the magnetic gathering point as everyone got to know each other. Icebreakers came naturally as we shared stories that ranged from where we’re from to personal breakthroughs that happen from being naked in public. True Story. We rallied until all our members arrived!

We all bonded over amazing sandwiches and cookies from HomeGrown on the trails of Discovery Park for dinner. As we took in the incredible sunset views of the Salish Sea, we convinced a stranger to take a group photo of us and started our “we’re a big group of snapchatters” game strong with selfies and mini photo shoots.

Back at the house that night we found out our non-profit pods and projects, got paired up with a buddy to check-in with for the week and got to work auditing the websites of our non-profits and getting our brains working on ideas!

Team City Fruit

Wyn- Videography
Matthew- Photography
Geoff- Photography + Social Media
Lisa- Illustration + Website Design

Team Totem Star

Krista- Photography + Social Media
Sabrina- Photography + Graphic Design
Julia- Content Writer + Website Design
Amber- Photography
Luke- Videography

Team Aurora Commons!

Caroline- Social Media
Joe- Videography
April- Graphic Design
Jason- Photography
Jenny- Photography

And Jayden- Our house dad and music composer extraordinaire!

FULL DAY #1

The first full day of C’Mon Team is a where the real deal work gets started. After a communal breakfast and check-in our pods set out into the depths of Seattle to meet our non-profits face to face for the first time. To hear their stories, mission and find out their hopes our content can bring to their cause. This is where we strategize, make to-do lists and get our cameras rolling. Below are a mix of photos to introduce you to our nonprofits and behind the scenes to give you a glimpse into what our days look like.

Team City Fruit

City Fruit promotes the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community, and protect the climate.

Urban fruit trees are a valuable community resource, yet often fruit goes unused because people are not sure when to harvest it, how to best use it, or they are put off by damage caused by preventable disease and pests. We are reclaiming the urban orchard, showing people how to harvest what they need, and to share the rest with others. We help tree owners grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit, and work to protect urban fruit trees.

 

Team Totem Star

In 2010, a recording studio in South Seattle released a compilation created by an unlikely group of new artists: youth newly-released from juvenile detention. The album was the result of a six week workshop during which the kids were encouraged to make sense of what was happening to them on the streets, in the studio.

What was intended to be a one-off project slowly grew into a non-profit organization. Totem Star is now a nonprofit record label and community of young artists learning dedication, courage, perseverance, and confidence through crafting and performing music.

Aurora Commons

Seattle’s Aurora Avenue, an old state highway lined with used car lots, sex shops, fast food joints, and run-down motels has long been known for its issues of homelessness, addiction, and sexual exploitation – yet it has been largely ignored by its bordering neighborhoods.The Aurora Commons provides a welcoming space for our unhoused neighbors to rest, prepare a meal, connect to resources and collectively create a healthy and vibrant community.  We seek to provide a space for authenticity and conversation to bring the wider community to the table to learn from one another, to be transformed by one another, and to embrace one another.

 

That night we reconvened at the Airbnb for a some cider from Seattle Cider (yum!) a home cooked meal from local Seattle friends and wedding photographers Dan Cumberland and his wife. Thank you all SO MUCH for the delicious homemade squash soup, focaccia bread and beer. <3 A huge thank you also to Vi Dotson for the dessert you brought as well! :) We sat around one table that evening, sharing our non-profits stories, personal stories from the day and experiences. As a C’Mon team member, this was one of my favorite evenings we all shared together.

FULL DAY #2

We woke up fully rested for the last time. Breakfast, communal check-in and we were off! For most pods, this is our heavy content producing day. Lots of photo shoots, pods often split up to cover more ground, interviews, collecting voice overs, etc. Enjoy some photos below that were captured throughout our time with the nonprofits. Our focus is often on portraits and documentary images of the nonprofits doing what they do. Below are a collection of images we captured for each nonprofit

City Fruit

The C’Mon Team member’s main focus for City Fruit was on hands and how they contribute to the process the fruits go through on their journey from city fruit, to donations, to Seattle City Cider. As you scroll through the images below, pay attention to the hands. Hands not only pick fruit, but they are symbolic of building a stronger community as well. You’ll see more of how this theme was incorporated in the big reveal at the end of this post.

 

Totem Star

At Totem Star, the C’Mon Team really wanted to dig deep into what wasn’t already being said about this nonprofit. After talking with the founders, we found that what was missing was the commitment and hardwork of the youth that participate in Totem Star. We focused on validating the artists with professional artist portraits, capturing the hard work put in the studio and the energy they bring to the stage. In addition to the studio and the stage the founders, Pak and Thaddeus, also bring stories and advice of life as a working musician to the artists, allowing them to ask questions and expand their opportunities. In the images below, take a close look at the Studio. Stage. Story elements that were captured to amplify the voice of Totem Star and the artists at work.

Aurora Commons

The beauty of Aurora Commons, is that anyone and everyone is welcomed, regardless of your story or your past. The neighbors who walk through these doors are recognized, acknowledged and cared about and capturing the essence of those who fill the space was the main priority for C’Mon Team. They spent more hours listening and visiting than they did documenting and bonded whole heartedly with the neighbors, the founders and each other. After the few days together, they were all neighbors under one roof, from different walks of life.

After a very full day, it was time for a pizza dinner and work mode. As the hours of the evening crept towards 1am and later, the group thinned and went to bed. We heard several C’mon Team members burned the midnight oil to 5am!

FULL DAY #3

This is it guys. This day is everything. It’s a relentless 8+ day for most pods editing photos, formatting websites, editing video, putting together social media guides, mockups and polishing written content. It’s a day spent in coffee shops, sharing communal tables and asking many times for people to kill their Spotify so there’s enough internet for everyone to upload their content.

This is what most of the night before and day of looks like. The wrath of the editing monster!

Then all of us sleepless editing zombies cleaned ourselves up! We headed to Sole Repair for the BIG REVEAL of all our hard work. We were joined by members of all the nonprofits, friends and other creatives from the Seattle community to reveal all our projects. This is the “I’m so exhausted, my heart is so full, this experience is badass, holy sh*t we pulled off weeks/months of work in 72 hours” emotional rollercoaster takes place. There were tears, laughter, huge group hugs and so many rounds of applause. So, enjoy our galleries and videos of the bomb-diggity content we made, the reactions from our huge-hearted nonprofit founders and the dance party that took place after!

City Fruit

Totem Star

Aurora Commons

TIME TO CELEBRATE


Then we got down on the dance floor for a rockin’ dance party together in Sole Repair, to the beats of our awesome DJ Miked Up Productions until well after midnight.

And the evening ended with cheers of “Cheese fries! Cheese Fries! Cheese Fries!” leading the group to a late night snack.

We parted ways the next morning on the highest of highs and with hands full of positive, intentional notes (warm fuzzies) from each of our 14 other C’mon teammates.

3 days.

15 amazingly talented volunteers.

3 nonprofits that love on the local community so hard.

3 new websites including photographs, social media guides, and promotional videos created in less than 72 hours by our volunteers.

Local small businesses and individuals pitching in to help how they could, through donating meals, desserts, and dollars.

1 downright delightful dance party.

All in the spirit of community and collaboration.

That’s C’mon Team.