Frequently Asked Questions

I love your organization! How can I help Blue Earth? Can I volunteer?

If you support our mission, one of the most effective ways you can assist us is by becoming a member. Donations from members are critical to supporting our work to raise awareness about endangered cultures, threatened environments, and social concerns through photography.

Blue Earth’s offices are located in Seattle, WA in the United States. If you are in the Seattle area, we often need volunteers at sponsored events, including lectures, exhibits, the annual lottery, etc. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us.

I’m not a US citizen/live outside the US can I still apply?

Yes, we are happy to receive applications from photographers living and working in all regions of the world. Please note that our fiscal agency services as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization may not be applicable to the tax laws in your country. Consult a legal advisor in your local area to find more details.

What size of grants does Blue Earth provide? Will you fund my project?

While we do provide assistance to our sponsored photographers, including help with grant writing and foundation research, we cannot provide direct grants to support projects. Please note that Blue Earth itself is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, not a foundation.

I’m a photographer. Do you have any assignments for me?

Blue Earth provides assistance to photographers conducting projects; we do not have any assignments to give out, nor do we employ a staff of photographers. Our organization does not produce photographic projects itself. Nevertheless, we are always happy to receive submissions from photographers for projects that meet our mission’s priorities.

I have a great idea for a project. Can I get help from Blue Earth staff in putting my project together?

As much as we would like, we simply do not have the resources to provide mentoring or direct assistance beyond our sponsored projects. However, we do provide a free resource manual Shooting from the Heart (PDF) - 7.5MB specifically designed to help photographers develop their personal projects. Many photographers have found this a useful tool in planning their projects.

Of course, if you have concerns about whether your project falls within our mission or about the application process, we would always be willing to answer any questions you may have.

I’m working on an important project that needs support now. Can you accept applications outside of the scheduled rounds?

Due to limited resources, we are simply unable to review photographic projects outside of our application process or advertised portfolio reviews.

I’ve done some interesting work recently. Can I send you photos to look at?

We are always glad to hear about exciting new work on important issues. Regrettably, we are unable to review photographic projects outside of our application process or advertised portfolio reviews. If you are interested in applying, please see our submission guidelines.

As always, if you have concerns about whether your project falls within our mission or about the application process, we would certainly be willing to answer any questions you may have.

Can I use your images for my school project/community group newsletter/building display?

Blue Earth project photographers retain all copyrights to their work. For permissions, please contact the photographer directly.

However, Blue Earth may use certain images from our sponsored projects to promote our projects, the organization, and our mission as appropriate. If you are a publisher and would be interested in using images from our projects in an article profiling Blue Earth or any of our projects, please contact us.

How can I convert documents to PDFs for my application? How can I send you large image files for my application?

Free applications such as Open Office 3 and IBM Lotus Symphony feature native PDF import and export features. Likewise, the current versions of Microsoft Word (Windows and OSX) and Apple Pages can export documents as PDFs natively or by using free plug-ins.

Image files can be hosted on your own web or ftp server or on a free service such as MediaFire, Windows Live SkyDrive or In these cases, you need only provide us with the download link so that we may save them locally in our office. Alternatively, files may be emailed to us using a free service such as DropSend or YouSendIt. Ideally, images would be sent together in a single compressed archive, such as a .zip file.

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

    More »

  • Michael Hanson
    Between River and Sea

    More »

  • Bruce Farnsworth
    Fracking: Forgotten on the Bakken

    More »

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