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

  • 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 

    The rest of the presentations AND in-depth interviews will be posted soon. Thanks to our friends at 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

    More »

  • Dan Lamont and Sara Finkelstein
    Breaking the Cycle

    a documentary film More »

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