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

  • Annie Marie Musselman Book Signing

    Annie Marie Musselman will be signing copies of her book, Finding Trust, at the Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle at 5pm on 4/26/2014. You can pre-order a copy of the book through Elliot Bay Book Company. More »

  • Tom Reese to speak at the Port of Seattle

    An artist reception will be held for Choosing Hope: Reclaiming the Duwamish River at the Port of Seattle on Thursday, March 27th from 5-7pm. To attend the event you can RSVP by March 25th at: More »

  • Rob Badger Selected For WPY Book

    Rob Badger’s 2009 Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) award winning wildflower landscape (category: Wild Places) is one of 200 images selected to be included in their 50th Anniversary book. More »

  • Michael Forster Rothbart In The News

    Michael Forster Rothbart, Blue Earth project After Chernobyl, After Fukushima, has been busy speaking about his new book Would You Stay?, which focuses on communities near major nuclear accident sites and the individuals who chose to remain. More »

  • Sarah Fretwell At TEDxSkidRow

    TEDxSkidRow recently featured a talk by Sarah Fretwell, whose work in The Truth Told Project Blue Earth is proud to sponsor.

    Her presentation Unreasonable Activism - A Journey into the Heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo at TEDxSkidRow in Los Angeles last year.  Take a few minutes to learn more about Fretwell’s work in the field directly from the source. More »

  • Collaborations for Cause To Be Rescheduled

    Blue Earth’s Collaborations for Cause 2014 in Seattle, Washington is being rescheduled for later this year. Due to unforeseen venue issues that have arisen recently, we have been required to change our plans for the spring and are working now to confirm a new date as soon as possible. Collaborations for Cause 2014 will focus on communication for science and social change. Our two-day conference brings together nonprofits, photographers, change-makers, and communications professionals to discuss the collaborative future of storytelling. More »

  • Gary Braasch, “Climate Change: Is Seeing Believing?”

    In a new article “Climate Change: Is Seeing Believing?” in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Blue Earth project photographer Gary Braasch reviews the multitude of images of climate change, global warming, and research into their effectiveness and provides suggestions for more effective communication. More »

  • Christoph Gielen’s “Ciphers” Released

    “Ciphers,” the latest book from Christoph Gielen’s Blue Earth project Incarcerated Populations was just released by JOVIS Publishers! More »

  • Michael Forster Rothbart's “Would You Stay?” Now Available

    “Would You Stay?” a new book by Blue Earth project photographer Michael Forster Rothbart is now available from TED Books! More »

  • Greg Constantine Exhibit: Our Walls Bear Witness

    New work by Blue Earth project photographer Greg Constantine from his project Nowhere People will be appearing in a new display at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum this November. More »

  • Beltrá And Lenz Win Awards In London

    Congrats to Blue Earth project photographers Daniel Beltrá and Garth Lenz for winning awards at the 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition! Beltrá won Wildlife Photojournalist Award - Runner-up and Lenz was awarded World in Our Hands - Runner-up. More »

  • Gary Braasch In “Vanishing Ice” Exhibit

    Blue Earth project photographer Gary Braasch is featured in a new exhibit at the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham Washington, "Vanishing Ice." More »

  • Samuel James Awarded Getty Grant

    Samuel James, Blue Earth project Niger Delta, has just been awarded a 2013 Getty Grant for Editorial Photography.  James has been working in Niger for the past several years on an extensive documentary engagement with Nigeria, Africa’s most populous and largest oil producing nation. More »

  • Mary F. Calvert Receives Canon Female Photojournalist Award 2013

    Mary F. Calvert just announced she has received the Canon Female Photojournalist Award 2013! According to the announcement on her blog, Calvert received the award from the Association of Female Journalists for her work on “The War Within: Sexual Violence in America’s Military.” More »

  • New Films For Facing Climate Change

    Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele just launched four new films for Facing Climate Change. Oyster Farmers, Coastal Tribes, Potato Farmers, and Plateau Tribes all explore global climate change through people who live and work in the Pacific Northwest. More »

  • Support Blue Earth At Think Tank Photo

    Need a new camera bag? The folks at Think Tank Photo have generously offered to help support Blue Earth! Using the link above, 10% of the proceeds from all purchases at their store will go to help support Blue Earth’s mission to assist documentary photographers working to educate the public about critical issues. 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 »

  • Photography Store

    Blue Earth has launched our new photography store! Great photography books, software, digital storage, and much more - and all at great prices for our friends and supporters. Help Blue Earth and our project photographers while shopping for your everyday photography supplies or any product sold by Amazon. More »

Featured Projects

  • Sarah Fretwell
    The Truth Told Project

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  • Daniel Beltrá
    Our Warming World

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