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

  • Blue Earth Board Expands

    We happily welcome the following individuals to our board of directors: Thor Radford, Lisa Delfiner Parsons, David Ryder, Drew Stone, Debbie Espinosa, Mandy Lindgren, Tom Lynn, and Karen Ducey. More »

  • PhotoWings Publishes Video on Collaborations

    PhotoWings and Suzie Katz put together a wonderful compilation of interviews they conducted with our presenters during Collaborations for Cause in April. This video perfectly captures the power of collaborative work.

    Creative Collaboration 

    More »

  • Call for Entries:  Summer submission deadline is July 20th, 2016   

    We invite you to submit your work for consideration of Blue Earth sponsorship in our upcoming call for entries.   We are accepting project proposals now through July 20. More »

  • Blue Earth accepts three projects in spring submission

    Three projects have been selected during the spring submission call for entries.  We are excited to bring these strong projects on for sponsorship.   Please visit the project pages to learn more about the people behind the work.  More »

  • Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish

    Blue Earth photographer Tom Reese’s book, Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish, published. More »

  • C4C Videos Online at Photowings

    Very excited to see that the first presentation is live at

    http://photowings.org/bea-collaborations-for-cause-2016/ 

    The rest of the presentations AND in-depth interviews will be posted soon. Thanks to our friends at Photowings.org for partnering with us for the fourth year! More »

  • Give Big Extended through Midnight, May 4

    More »

  • Mountain Caribou Initiative launched a Kickstarter Campaign

    More »

  • Gary Braasch dies in Australia

    It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of renowned photographer Gary Braasch while photographing in Australia for his project "World View of Global Warming." More »

  • Daniel Beltrá "Ice/Green Lands" Exhibit

    More »

  • Collaborations for Cause 2016 to be held April 15 & 16 in Seattle.

    Register on the Conference Here More »

  • Fracking project published

    Report and articles spotlight fracking impacts More »

  • Mountain Caribou Accepted as Blue Earth Project

    More »

  • Greg Constantine receives National Endowment for Democracy Grant

    Greg Constantine has received another prestigious National Endowment for Democracy grant for his project "Nowhere people." More »

  • Matt Black awarded 2015 W. Eugene Smith Grant

    NEW YORK, NY (September 14, 2015) – Documentary photojournalist Matt Black tonight was named the recipient of the 2015 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography during a ceremony at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. More »

  • Collaborations for Cause to be held April 15-16, 2016 in Seattle

    We are pleased to announce that our next Collaborations for Cause 2016 will be April 15-16, 2016 in Seattle. We are hard at work lining up the programming and will update you when as the date gets closer. More »

  • Cuba: Black and White published by Steidi

    Anna Mia Davidson’s new book, Cuba: Black and White, will be published by Steidl this December. Blue Earth sponsored her Cuba project. An exhibit of Anna’s Cuba prints will be held at the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles Dec. 10-Jan. 18th. 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

  • Leonardo Merçon
    Lágrimas do Rio Doce

    Tears of the Sweet River More »

  • Mustafah Abdulaziz
    Water

    More »

  • Dan Lamont and Sara Finkelstein
    Breaking the Cycle

    a documentary film More »