The Big Picture Project bio picture
  • Welcome to our blog!

    Hi! We are a charity organization that travels to impoverished areas, teaches individuals living in the community basic camera skills, helps them capture their world, shares their story online, and sells their artwork. We then give the proceeds back to their community to supply lifeline needs. This is where we tell the stories of the adventures and people we meet - giving you a look at how it all happens. We hope you'll come back often!

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What is “Sponsoring A Camera”? {a personal post from co-founder Karin Doolin}

Creating a non profit organization is an interesting experience.  Most people who start one have zero experience in the non profit world, they are just simply a person with a passion in their heart to do something.  It’s likely that some people have visions of individuals who run a non profit organization as wealthy entrepreneurs trying to offset some money or do something charitable with all the wealth they’ve accumulated.  In some cases, people might even think of those running non profits as someone skimming off the top and making a living from people’s donations.  More likely than not, most founders of non profits are just like we are – volunteering our time, efforts, and even our own money for our organization’s success.  We personally spend just as much time and effort on our non profit business as we do our for profit.  The for profit is designed to fulfill our bank account – the other fills our hearts.

When the idea of The Big Picture Project became a reality, we were headed into uncharted territory.  Similar to the people we’d be helping, the only thing we had was HOPE.

The thing we wanted most when creating the intricacies of our method was to be able to give people the experience of what it’s really like to travel and meet vulnerable individuals in impoverished conditions.  Being aware of the fact that most people will never travel to a third world country and get to know it’s people, we wanted to be able to share the perspective that an experience like this gives you.  How it opens your world view and changes your heart.  We wanted our friends to be able to experience the things we had come to know, but we knew that wasn’t feasible.  If we couldn’t bring our friends to these life changing experiences and different cultures, we wanted to bring the experiences and cultures to them.

The other thing we considered while building The Big Picture Project was that we didn’t want to try to solicit monetary donations as our source of proceeds.  Donations are fantastic, but we wanted a more unique way to get involved.  Our first, and most obvious way to raise funds was through the sales of photographs taken by the individuals we would teach.  This was what the entire foundation of BPP was created upon.  Teach photography > sell their artwork > use the funds to create positive changes in their community.  While that model is good and a wonderful purpose, there was a key factor still missing – the story.  To fully understand The Big Picture, you need the story, the experience, the fundamental entity that connects us as humans.  Without the story behind the people, we would never be able to truly honor the purpose of their efforts.

This is where we created the Sponsor A Camera program.  Beyond a mere donation, outside of purchasing an interesting piece of artwork – the Sponsor A Camera program provides the experience.  The experience of actively getting to know a person you would never normally have the opportunity to know.  To understand who they are, and what their daily life entails by observing a ‘behind the scenes’ look at their lives.  By participating, our sponsors would validate the these individuals’ existence and support the idea that their story matters.  It was very important to us to give anyone willing to give to the cause an experience that would be as close as possible to actually getting on that plane, stepping off into a completely new world, shaking the hands, giving and receiving the hugs, holding the dirty kids who want nothing more than your time, witnessing the hardships and the hope, and feeling your heart forever change.

We’ve had a few people question what sponsoring a camera means.  We incurred some puzzled looks, and people who really don’t get it.  Life is complicated, and people are often bombarded with information every minute of the day so we understand why sometimes more of an explanation is needed.  But the reason for the Sponsor A Camera program is quite simple – to open your heart in ways you never knew possible and let the love just pour in.  If you’d like to experience what that’s like, we’d love to have you join us!!



Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a first of its kind effort that will harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners—charities, families, businesses and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday
and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday will inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support and help create a better world. Taking place December 2, 2014 – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today, synonymous with holiday shopping.
The idea is to flood the internet with selfless giving, so please sponsor a camera or give to the Big Picture project in some way and share your generosity with others!



Announcing Project 3!!

We are so excited that today has finally arrived!!  This project has been months in the making, and we have been anxiously awaiting the day we could share our next project with you!
We met our project 3 partner via Instagram.  For non profits (and people in general) Instagram is such a supportive place.  Many non profits follow one another and give likes and encouragement along the way.  There are sometimes in life when you meet someone that every fiber of your being knows the universe placed you in their path for a reason.  This was one of those times.
A conversation opened up due to a simple hashtag.  We could have never known that our tagline regarding “Giving a Voice to the Voiceless” would eventually determine where we would be headed for Project 3, but using it as a hashtag that day would change our entire lives and the future of The Big Picture Project.  I’ve always believed that it’s not really the big decisions that shape the direction in life, but it’s the split second decisions that can completely alter your course.
We were so proud to announce our next project’s location as Amboseli, Kenya Africa and our working with the Maasai tribe in this area.  The Maasai are rich in customs and tribal dress, but are certainly lacking in one of our most basic rights in life – the right to an education.  We are proud that this projects funds raised will go to build a school in their community.  The fact that The Big Picture Project will actually fund a school that will change the lives of an entire community for years to come is a dream come true for this organization.  Thanks to the advice of an advisory panel, we have come up with a completely new approach to our project implementation, as well as how we share the process with sponsors.  This new approach is much more comprehensive, all inclusive, and will impact more lives.
We’ve added a $50 option in an attempt to get a broader range of people to be able to experience our program, and to give an opportunity to those who want to get involved, but can’t necessarily afford $100.  Our $100 and $250 options now allow sponsors to get to know more than one photographer, and take you on a journey of all different walks of life.  There are so many people here who need an opportunity to share their story – limiting ourselves to 4 as in the past stifles the stories of the rest of the community and doesn’t accurately give a “big picture”.  ;)  If you choose to come along again, you hearts will be opened in so many ways and your heart will hold love for this community as if they are part of your family.

Sponsors should also plan to see some remarkable scenery in the images from this project.  The village we will be working in is within the “elephant corridor” of Africa.  They wild game seen daily include elephants, zebra, giraffe, kudu, and impala, but they’ve also been known to see lions, leopards, wildebeests spotted hyena and buffalo.  Amboseli is also at the foot of Mt.Kilamanjaro, so the sub-sahara landscape plus this majestic mountain is as gorgeous as it gets!  This will also be a remarkable look into lives never before seen!  When tourists come to visit the Maasai, they are only allowed into a “mock home” in the area to show travelers a typical Maasai boma (home made of cow dung and sticks), however we will see a rare view into their actual homes, and as seen through their eyes.  Every moment of this journey will be groundbreaking.
The imagery from this project will be rare, majestic, and striking.  This particular area draws travelers from all over the world who want to experience a safari.  You will be receiving a view that these travelers pay tens of thousands of dollars to experience, and the funds from your experience will change lives for generations to come!  Now THAT’S a purchase with purpose!!!

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What’s next for 2016?

The Big Picture Project has secured our Project 3 partner, and we could not be more excited!!  If you asked founders Roger and Karin where their #1 location, people, culture, partner’s purpose, and objective for fundraising at this point and time – this would be the answer.  It’s going to be remarkable and we can’t wait to share the details in late August when we have completed our efforts for project 2!
Where do you think we’ll be going???



Lunch Money Campaign

The average American spends $10 on lunch out every day.  That one meal could feed the ENTIRE community of Ciudad Sandino.  Something so simple can change the lives of so many.  Our goal is to raise enough for 365 days/ a full year of meals at the feeding center through this campaign.  We have a LONG way to go.  We hope you’ll consider making this $10 donation, and sharing with your coworkers, family members, and friends to do the same.  YOU can make a difference with simply one day’s lunch money!