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

  • Keynote Speakers Announced

    Art Wolfe and Annie Griffiths will be the two keynote speakers at Collaborations for Cause #C4C2017 May 5-6, 2017, here in Seattle. Learn more about the program and purchase tickets at our conference pages More »

  • Collaborations for Cause 2017

    We’re excited to present two full days of presentations, small group breakouts and networking opportunities at the iconic Seattle Central Library in downtown Seattle, May 5th and 6th, 2017. Save the date and get your Early Bird tickets today! More »

  • Blue Earth accepts three projects in summer submission

    More »

  • PhotoWings Releases Videos From Collaborations For Cause 2016

    If you weren't able to attend this year's Collaborations for Cause, you can still access the incredible content from our presenters. PhotoWings partnered with Blue Earth to record the presentations during the 2016 Collaborations for Cause event and have published videos of our panelists and presenters. More »

  • 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 »

  • 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

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    East Africa's LGBT Refugees More »

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