Getting Ready for the 24 Hour Project / by William Wallace

It's the midnight hour that will call me to venture out into the streets of the town I've made home for the last 14 years. While Conway is not huge on night life I will attempt to find interesting and awake folks to document for the first 5 or 6 hours of the 24 Hour Project on May 25, 2019. After that it should just be a matter of staying awake and telling a story of Conway through photos.

What is the 24 Hour Project? Well, it's an international event that happens one day of the year for 24 hours in every time zone of our world. Photographers document the human experience for a full day. We will shoot, edit, and post to Instagram or other social media, one photo per hour.

The emphasis of the project is to raise awareness and support for NGOs (non-governmental organization) that the project is supporting for that particular year. This year there are 4 NGOs that focus on assisting women who face violence, poor health, and human trafficking situations in Iran, Mexico, Peru, and Uganda (more info and opportunity to donate here http://www.24hourproject.org/charities). At the time of this blog there are 4,348 participants (beating last year’s numbers) covering 725 cities in 100 countries. That is a steep climb from the 65 photographers in 2012 when this event was born.

While landscape photography in the beautiful state of Arkansas certainly outweighs street photography, there is something about the wonderful people who live here, that draws me to capturing there life moments through photography to share with the world. 

Whether it is hanging out with friends . . .

Late night shopping trips to Walmart . . .

Grabbing a cup of coffee from Waffle House . . .

Or stopping to grab a snack at a local quick mart at 3:30 a.m.

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It is these signs of life that move me to capture moments of Conway to share with others.

Last year I dedicated the last 5 hours of this project to my brother Tim who had passed away only 17 days before from a battle with cancer. He loved rodeo and rode bulls for a number of years. For a short time in high school we would rodeo together before I found I didn't like getting banged up by horses. He kept on. The last rodeo we rode in together was in Mt. Vernon, Arkansas at the Flying L Rodeo Arena. Since that arena was only 30 miles away and they were having a rodeo that night, I decided to head up there.

The first person I recognized as I got out of my car and moved toward the arena was Steve Williams. This was interesting because Steve and my brother, Tim, were about the same age and had rodeoed together in high school. Steve let me take a portrait of him and then I grabbed a few other shots of the events. 

On the way home I stopped in at the Waffle House for one last cup of coffee. That was a favorite hangout of Tim's as well.

I already have a few things planned on my list for Saturday. You're welcome to follow along on my Instagram or Facebook feeds to see 24 Hours through my eyes and maybe even help someone else whose 24 Hours probably is not as bright as mine or yours.