There’s a saying that constantly resonates in my head, “Nothing matters more in this world than knowing what you did mattered.” As photographers, I feel we have endless opportunities to give gifts – priceless gifts, through preservation of life’s fleeting moments. Our images can tell stories and inspire people to act in ways that words alone could never do. It’s been my experience that photographers, as a breed, are very giving and charitable types. What’s in the heart, however, is sometimes difficult to manifest in to action.
Years ago I was inspired by a fellow photographer, and a great friend, Benjamin Edwards, to take an inaugural journey to Rwanda to provide support, and capture imagery, for a needy orphanage. Without Ben’s guidance and encouragement it probably would have been too daunting of a journey for me to embark on. With his guidance, however, the journey was a significant milestone in my life – changing me forever, and it gave me the tools and confidence to pursue new projects similar in nature to the Kijabe Project, the inaugural project for Workshops With Purpose.
Last fall, the Workshops With Purpose team, made up of myself, Benjamin Edwards and couple Marianne and Andrew Nicodem, decide to create a workshop specifically for the purpose of giving photographers the support, tools, and techniques for using their gifts to change the world. We believe that people want to do great things, they just need great things to do – and a little support and guidance. Our goal was to spend a week in Kenya, at Kijabe Hospital – known for it’s charitable work and generous support of the local community.
They needed media coverage and awareness to draw doctors and volunteers to help them. They needed images for their website, marketing materials, and PR. We brought our team of photographers to work for them and deliver. We spent part of our days in the classroom and the rest of the day capturing images in a dizzying array of situations and emotional conditions. It was a roller coaster that challenged us mentally and physically, yet kept us glued to our seats.
The photographers that participated in the Kijabe project delivered priceless support to the hospital and community and they were personally changed forever – the goal of Workshops With Purpose was complete. All ten photographers that took part in the Kijabe Project will be at WPPI for a unique program and share this amazing adventure with other photographers. Their goal: To inspire, educate, and motivate – knowing that what they do, what YOU do, will indeed matter.