Thoughts and insights about humanitarian photography, filmmaking, and non-profit communications, with the occasional collection of travel images and musings about places I visit.

Why I Have a No Hug Rule and You Should Too!

I have a no hug rule, for all my assignment photography, filmmaking and consulting work. It’s not something that I would have thought I needed, a few years ago, but as I work with more and more organizations supporting vulnerable children I have realized that it is...

The Privilege of Photography

I want to take a minute to talk about the privilege of photography and what it means for how I work. I just returned from two and a half weeks on the road working on three different projects, two in Cambodia and one in the Philippines. I went to Cambodia to meet with...

What We Say Matters – Presidential Edition

President Trump recently referred to asylum seekers as animals. Can we talk about that statement for a minute? Can I provide some context to what that statement means? I think we often forget that: We pack so many chickens (animals) in a cage that they can barely...

Orussey Market – Short Film

I had a few spare hours in between assignments, while I was in Phnom Penh last week and was able to film this. Orussey Market is one of my favorite places in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is a market that serves the local population of Phnom Penh. If you show up early it...

How to be an Ethical Humanitarian Photographer

According to Websters the definition of a humanitarian is this: A person promoting human welfare and social reform. So a reasonable extension of that definition to the title of humanitarian photographer might look something like this. A humanitarian photographer is...

Extended moments from Xining, China

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend a week on assignment in Xining, China. During my downtime I was able to spend sometime wandering the city and a national park. I really enjoy exploring a place and discovering the beauty that presents itself when you...

How to Make Your Fascination Contagious – for Photographers

Build Character In an earlier series of articles I talked about the idea that our fascination with the people and situations we photograph is what makes the ideas we are sharing contageous. While it seems like our enthusiasm for our work should be enough to make...

The Search for Meaning

If you want more meaningful photographs, you first have to know what is meaningful to you. You cannot achieve meaningful work by chasing someone else's interests. I last year I had the opportunity to work on an assignment in Nepal. I spent 3 days filming a video...

The Bassist

A few weeks ago I traveled to Hong Kong to film a project for some friends. While I was there I spent a bit of time filming Nick Banks practicing the base. It really didn't fit in the other project we were working on so I created a short film with the footage titled,...

Feeding Fascination

I want to pursue a fascination with the lives and culture of the people I meet. How do we show value to people who are different from us. How do we engage with others in a way that is valuing to them and their way of seeing the world. How can we eliminate the instinct...

Elements of Faith – Wat Phra That Doi Kham –

I spent a couple hours yesterday exploring a local Wat and trying to transfer my prefered style of photography to video. I wanted to accentuate the human element, to wonder in the beauty of gesture, and nuance of movement. This is the result of that experiment

The Privilege of Escape

How do we deal with situations that we can escape and get away from but there are people who cannot leave and are trapped? (This article was written in Nov, 2017) I have been mentally struggling lately with situations going on in the world that I cannot change and...

Fear Lingers but Hope Sells

With all the crazy things going on in the world recently I have been thinking about how we relate to two conflicting ideas, hope and fear. How we relate to them personally and how we should (or shouldn’t) be using them in humanitarian and nonprofit marketing....

Fascination is Foundational to Connection

Fascination is Foundational to Connection If there is one thing that seems to drive photographers it is fascination. For some photographers it is a fascination with beautiful landscapes and nature, for others the beauty of architecture or fashion, or even the ability...

Ownership vs Passivity – The Language We Use to Frame Our Lives

Ownership vs Passivity - The Language We Use to Frame Our Lives The use and effect of language in our lives has become a point of interest and reflection for me over the last year. It started as an interest in how to help humanitarian organizations communicate more...

A Quick Trip to Pai, Thailand.

For christmas this week we took a quick trip to Pai, Thailand. It was the first chance we've had to get away and explore as a family in over a year. We visited the "Grand Canyon of Pai" the first day and the Holy Bamboo Bridge and a small waterfall the second day. I...