Our Mission

Blue Earth believes documentary photography can inspire positive change. We support visual storytelling on critical environmental and social issues through direct assistance to photographers and a collaborative community of professionals.

The link between compelling documentary photography and our collective motivation to change attitudes, behavior, even policies – is strong. Eddie Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning photograph of a Vietcong execution in Saigon forever changed how the world viewed the Vietnam War. Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado’s images of the impoverished portray human life with fresh dignity and compassion. Maintaining this link is central to the mission of Blue Earth.

Through our support of Photography that Makes a Difference, Blue Earth has helped raise almost a million dollars for important issues often overlooked by traditional media--The Arctic. Global warming. The loss of open space in Los Angeles. Racism suffered by farmers. Disappearing traditions of New England fishermen. The role of grandmothers in AIDS-ravaged Africa.

Our sponsored projects have been at the forefront of issues affecting contemporary society—John Trotter’s No Agua, No Vida investigates the Southwest’s limited water resources; Perry Dilbeck’s Truck Farmers: The Last Harvest chronicles the loss of independent farming; and Florian Schultz’s Yellowstone to Yukon promotes the unification of animal migration routes and habitats across international borders.

We work closely with our selected photographers to offer resources and support including:

  • Non-profit, fiscal sponsorship for fundraising
  • Grant-writing consultation
  • Marketing and PR expertise
  • Contacts for publishers, galleries and museums
  • Technical resources like Shooting From the Heart, a Blue Earth-published instructional book for personal projects
  • Experienced Advisory Board to answer questions and provide guidance

View a complete list of direct services Blue Earth provides to our sponsored projects.

Our projects are featured in books such as The Living Wild by Art Wolfe, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by Subhankar Banerjee, and Life on Earth: A Journey Through Time by Frans Lanting. The organization has seen more than a dozen books published, including titles by Blue Earth co-founders Natalie Fobes and Phil Borges.

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News and Events

  • Summer Submission Deadline July 20th, 2015

    We are looking for your best work! Our summer call for entries is open through July 20th and you still have time to submit your projects for consideration. More »

  • Give Big With The Seattle Foundation

    Today is the day to GIVE BIG! Today your contributions and gifts through The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBig event will provide Blue Earth with the support we need to continue to support our project photographers and their important work. More »

  • Blue Earth Accepts 3 New Projects

    We are proud to introduce you to three new projects which have been accepted for Blue Earth sponsorship.  We are thrilled to announce these collections of compelling work and would like to congratulate our new project photographers and welcome them to the Blue Earth community. More »

  • Matsui Awarded First Prize, Long Feature, at World Press Photo 2015

    More »

  • Collaborations For Cause Videos

    Videos from Collaborations For Cause retreat are now online. Included in this initial selection are videos of the panels and presentations from the weekend events. Interviews with the conference speakers about their work will be coming soon. More »

  • Shooting From The Heart: Photography That Makes A Difference

    Need some help creating your own photographic project? Download a free PDF copy of Blue Earth's highly regarded handbook for photographers developing documentary projects, Shooting From The Heart: Photography That Makes A Difference. More »

Featured Projects

  • Alasdair Turner
    Ross Island and the Future of the McMurdo Sound Region

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  • Michael Hanson
    Between River and Sea

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  • Bruce Farnsworth
    Fracking: Forgotten on the Bakken

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