Larence Mallari knows what it's like to come from a family where money is tight around the holidays. The Oceanside local and professional photographer created "Project Come Together" with his friend Chris Ward. Mallari, who has done shoots for major companies such as LRG, NIKE, music artists like Kanye West, John Legend and Cee-lo Green, will be on the Oceanside Pier Dec. 16 from 12-3 p.m. snapping as many free family photoshoots as possible.
Patch: Tell us about your project.
The name of the project comes from my favorite band The Beatles. And the words "come together" works for what my team and I want to do ourselves and for others to do as well. I came up with the idea of this project back in 2000. And every year around this time it comes up. I feel now is the time to do it as my experience has become greater and with the technology we have now it is much more doable.
The project was put together by a close friend of mine (Chris Ward) and myself. We both grew up in Oceanside and always wanted to give back to the community as we came from the rough areas of the city.
We both have become successful and want to donate our talent and services. Our objective is, for one day, provide free professional family photos for people in our community. Christmas is a time for giving and money can be tight around this time of year. Consider this our gift to those who don't have the financial means this season, or for those who just haven't had the time to get their family together to take holiday photos.
Patch: What inspired you to do this?
I've always wanted to give back and since I'm not a person with tons money to give, I figure I can at least offer what I love to do, something I'm actually good at, recognized for and get paid to do.
Patch: Why would someone who has never had a professional photo taken want one?
Why not? Why not have that perfect photo of you or you and your family. I know how expensive professional photos can be, being that I have done shoots for major companies and music artists. I also understand that in this day and time we pay for what we get than pay for what we want, well as far as services go. Just because someone might have an expensive camera, it doesn't mean they can capture what professionals have dedicated time and passion to perfect their craft. I want to offer what I love to do for those who can't afford it or haven't had the chance to do it and do it free. We are doing this for the community, friends, family and artists with a genuine passion for what they love to do.
Patch: How can people find you on the 16th?
We will be on the Oceanside Pier from 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Our team will be out directing people to our set-up, holding signs, passing out flyers etc.
Patch: How will people get their photos?
The ideal thing to do is to print on location. But with the cost of having a printer, paper and ink it all depends on how much money we can raise. If for financial reasons we are not able to do that. Everyone who gets a photo taken will be given a card with a web address where they can download a high resolution file of their photo.
Patch: Anything else you want people to know?
For those who want to help we are accepting donations, to help pay for print media and permits so we don't get shut down. Any amount of money will help. You can donate at gofundme.com/umbrella or at my website l7umbrella.com.
Anyone who wants to volunteer please email Chris Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or add me on facebook.com/larence.mallari to help spread the word. We will be documenting the whole event. I would also like to mention that I myself will be taking photos with 2 other photographers Yohan David and Charcee Starks who also are professionals and grew up in Oceanside.