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 »

  • 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 »