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

  • Call For Entries Deadline: January 20th, 2015.

    Calling all documentary filmmakers and photographers! Blue Earth’s next application deadline is January 20th, 2015. More »

  • Sinai: Landscape and Nature in Egypt’s Wilderness. Published.

    Blue Earth photographer Omar Attum’s book on the Sinai Wilderness has been published by The American University in Cairo Press. 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 »

  • Blue Earth Accepts Seven Projects for 2014

    We are proud to announce the acceptance of seven new documentary projects for Blue Earth sponsorship since January 2014. Everyone at Blue Earth, including our members without whom Blue Earth would not exist, wishes to congratulate our new project photographers! We very much look forward to working together to further their efforts to educate the public about these pressing issues. More »

  • July 2014 Project Submission Suspended

    The next new project submission will be held January 2015. Blue Earth is currently going through a strategic planning process. During this process, we are suspending our July 2014 new project submissions. More »

  • Collaborations for Cause coming to Seattle in September

    Blue Earth’s annual Collaborations for Cause conference will be held September 26-27, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. The two-day event brings together nonprofits, photographers, change-makers, and communications professionals to discuss the collaborative future of storytelling. Ticket sales will open in early June. Stay tuned! More »

  • IVOH to Host Mindful Media Summit

    Images & Voices of Hope will host the Mindful Media Summit and Retreat in the Catskill Mountains of New York from June 26 – 29. More »

  • Howard Chapnick Grant Now Open for Entries

    Howard Chapnick Grant Now Open for Entries. The $5,000 grant is rewarded to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing, research, education and management. More »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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

  • Annie Marie Musselman
    Wolf Haven

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  • Paul Colangelo
    Salvation Fish

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  • Greg Kahn
    3 Millimeters

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  • Matt Eich
    Sin & Salvation In Baptist Town

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  • Filippo Mutani
    Mustang, the last Tibet

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  • Justin Maxon
    Heaven’s Gain

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  • Tim Matsui
    Leaving the Life

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