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https://alphauniverseglobal.media.zestyio.com/Alpha-Universe-Dane-Isaac-50For50Grenada-8.jpg?width=500&height=500&fit=bounds

See How This Creator Is Celebrating His Home Country Through A Photo & Video Project

Commercial, portrait and street photographer Dane Isaac (@dane.isaac) was at an interesting time in his photography career. “I really wanted to pursue more video work,” the Sony Alpha Ambassador explains. “I started a project during the pandemic called, ‘Connecting While Disconnected,’ where I was interviewing some of my friends. It really sparked a newfound love of mine for sitting down and interviewing people on camera.” This newfound love led Isaac to embark on another exciting project, this time for Grenada’s 50th anniversary of their independence. Isaac is from the Caribbean country and dreamed up the project, “50 For 50: Grenadian Echoes” as an opportunity to pay homage while showing the world Grenada’s people and the fierce pride they have in their home.

It Starts With An Idea

It was around the time of Grenada’s 49th independence celebration when the idea for Isaac’s project came to his mind. “I thought, well 50 is a big number so I should give myself the next year and start planning early. I didn’t know exactly how it would look or what the outcome would be, but it sounded like a cool idea and I started talking to other people about it. As I was in talks with building a team the project took on a few different faces in terms of its complexity or how big it was.”

As Isaac began to talk to more people about the project and started reaching out to people who could help him organize it, their returned excitement showed him just how important this project was going to be. Grenada would celebrate its 50th year of independence on February 7, 2024, but the project would be an ongoing celebration throughout the year.

The Pressure Of A Country-Wide Passion Project

“It became a very important project for myself and in the eyes of my team,” Isaac explains. “No one else was doing anything like it for Grenada’s independence, and it felt like we held a lot of responsibility to do this correctly if we were going to do it. If we’re going to put something out like this, we have to make it as beautiful as possible because we have one chance to represent where we’re from correctly. Grenadians are very prideful people and we knew we couldn’t mess this up. It became much bigger than me.”

The team traveled to Grenada and set up interviews with locals from all stages of life, and Isaac emphasized how important it was for him to make the project as inclusive as possible. They interviewed individuals from every corner of Grenada, covering all seven parishes and ranging in age from six to 90.

“Through all of our interviews and B-roll of the country I amassed over eight hours or so of video footage,” he says. “Then we also took over 20,000 photos, portraits and just photos of the country itself too. We were also blessed with people starting to come on board and try to help as much as they could. We were provided with a ton of archival footage at our disposal. They saw the importance of it."

The interviews touched on various aspects of life in Grenada, with questions tailored to each interviewee's age and personal circumstances, ensuring a comprehensive and diverse representation of Grenadian experiences. In addition to the interviews, the team, who was also made up of mostly Grenadians, captured footage of cultural events as authentically as they could. “We just captured what we were exposed to and everyone that was on the ground were Grenadians. We were just capturing our home. It didn't feel forced or foreign.”

An Ongoing Story Of Pride

The team used the Sony Alpha 7S III as their main video rig, the Sony FX3 as the primary B camera and the Sony Alpha 1 for portraits and other video clips. They then had the Sony Alpha 7R V and Sony Alpha 7R III on hand for backup and used the Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master and Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master for many of the shoots. For the project, which again is ongoing, Isaac and his team have so far created a short documentary of the footage as well as a portrait gallery, trailer and promotional content to show the voices of Grenada.

“For now it's ‘50 for 50 Grenadian Echoes’, and that's associated with the independence portion of it,” Isaac explains. “I'm going to continue telling these Grenadian stories for as long as I can as well. It's going to be an ongoing project of me going back home to interview Grenadian locals as well as the Grenada diaspora, which is larger than Grenada’s population itself. For example, I live in New York and there are more Grenadians in New York than in Grenada. So I just want to find and tell those stories in itself.”

From the passionate commitment of the interviews' participants to the heartfelt expressions of national pride and love for their country, "50 for 50 Grenadian Echoes" stands as a testament to the power of storytelling. An intimate peek into the lives of Grenada's people, Isaac’s project paints a vivid, moving portrait of a rich culture and an incredible nation, narrated by those who know it best - its own people.

We look forward to following the ongoing aspects of Isaac’s project. You can learn more and follow along on Instagram @dane.isaac and on his website, and with a small donation you can watch the documentary HERE.

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