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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Jewelry now available

We are always looking for fun ways to fundraise for our projects!  Gifts that give are a concept that every person can rally around.  Not only do you get a unique -one of a kind – statement product, your purchase gives to people in need of food, water, and shelter.  Our new necklaces and bracelets feature our Capture Share Change motto, and are a wonderful way to make a difference.  The necklace is a delightful keepsake for the photographer in your life, featuring a silver camera charm along with the Capture Share Change motto on a silver disc.  Both are a great way to support our cause, so please head over to our online store and check them out today!

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The Photographer’s Auction

It’s been awhile since our last post, but it doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy!!!  It’s been a whirlwind of activity in fact, so there will be many upcoming updates to watch for!!

Back in May we had our first “Photographer’s Auction” in which talented photographers from all over the nation donated their time and talents to help The Big Picture Project raise funds for Project 1: Nicaragua.  This being our first fundraising event, we had no idea what to expect but what happened left us stunned, amazed, and overjoyed!

The concept of The Big Picture Project is especially relevant to photographers.  No one understands the importance of photos more than the people who capture them for a living.  The fact that we had to actually turn photographers down for the auction shows how much the industry rallies behind a concept that gives back to our purpose.

44 photographers – 48 auctions – one week – and over TWELVE THOUSAND dollars raised later – we would have to call this entire project a success!!!  We are looking forward to handing over our check to our first partner for Project 1 – Project HOPE.  Because of this auction we were able to hit our goal, and the lives of a village in Nicaragua will be forever changed – forever better – because of people who opened their hearts to a cause.  If you feel like there isn’t any hope left in this world, look here.  At these talented faces, at the people who bid on their services, and at the faces of those that this money will go to help.  Because there is so much hope right there.
We are forever grateful to these 44 individuals, and those who came out and bid and supported!!  Next year is going to be even more intense, so be sure to keep an eye out!!!

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Project 1 Photographers Get Jobs!!

We never anticipated writing those words.  The goal of our first project was simply to teach photography concepts and get to see the perspective of 4 people who would never get the chance to share their voice.  Capture Share Change – our mantra describes the 3 steps we hope to achieve.  But we had no idea the level of change that would occur!

After seeing the work ethic, the desire to continue their new found skills, and the incredible imagery these 4 created, Project H.O.P.E. – our partner for Project 1 – made a decision to hire Marvin, Orlando, and Rossana as photographers!!!  (Ana is in school and isn’t available to photograph at this time, but when times are available she will still be included!)  This news was HUGE.  Up until lately I wasn’t able to talk about it without crying.  The “change” part of our mantra just got bigger.  In fact – it got HUGE.  Because employment = life for these people.  It means food on the table.  It means their entire community succeeds because they are working.  Their first jobs.  Real, professional, jobs.  Not just picking peanuts or making hammocks.  A job that uses their skills, and celebrates their perspective.

Project H.O.P.E is posting the images they create of their mission groups during the building process each day to share with the people back home.  Seeing familiar faces and loved ones is so important to those back home wanting to live that experience with them.  But for us – it’s extra satisfying.  Because we know how huge it is that the people capturing those images, are people who live in those homes like the ones they are building.  They are people who know what it is to have nothing.  And there they stand, using a camera – something they’d never done before February.  Their creativity grows, their talents flourish, and they succeed because someone finally believed in them.

You can keep up with their work!!  Please – cheer them on!  Let them know you are pulling for them and want to see them succeed!!  Let them know they are important!!  LIKE Project H.O.P.E.’s Facebook page and look for the images that are updated each week!!  https://www.facebook.com/pjhope
We’ll be sharing images as well on our Instagram feed, Facebook, and Twitter, so follow along as these 4 continue to “Capture Share, and Change”!!!

Great overview of the community and mission team!10427324_10154306198835019_5818296577980138929_n

Marvin using the camera provided by the donations received at the Big Picture project exhibit in March!

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Orlando is a natural story teller who uses his camera with great intelligence.  Nothing in his photos is by accident – he uses every inch to tell the story in an interesting way.

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Marvin received the opportunity to photograph a wedding!!  He did a wonderful job shooting from the heart!

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These images are signature Orlando!!  unique perspectives, symmetry, repeating lines, story telling, action.  He covers it all in his photos!10432260_10203740127684776_624771290_n

Be sure to LIKE Project HOPE’s page, as well as ours to keep up with their progress!

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Where is Mateare Village?

Mateare Village is a small village off a windy dirt road about 40 minutes outside of Managua Nicaragua.  A bit off the beaten path, the village is surrounded by crop fields and mountains.  Flies and the smell of something burning fill the air, and every gust of that hot air brings dust into your eyes, mouth, every crevice possible.  The homes there are block walls, dirt floors, and tin roofs.  The nicer ones that is.  There are some that are merely scrap wood, metal, and plastic.  Each home is surrounded with barbed wire, marking where each home’s property ends and another begins.  There is no plumbing or running water, no electricity.  Yet as you begin to walk down the paths that divide these homes, people come into their doorways and with a bright smile and a big wave exclaiming “HOLA!” and most invite you in.  They want to share their story with you immediately.  If they have photos, they gladly show them.  If they have children, they call for all of them to come meet you.  And if they have a pig or chickens, you can guarantee they want to show them off.  They want you to understand and remember them.  They’ll leave you with a hug and bless you for nothing more than just being there.  For making them feel like they matter, just with your presence.
At it’s core, its a community just like in the Normal Rockwell images – just maybe it looks a little different.  (OK – a lot different)  Moms are at home doing chores and tending to the needs of the family – washing clothes by hand with water they had to walk to and pump themselves, a meal is on the stove (although this stove isn’t made by G.E., but by fire and logs), children are outside playing and laughing.  Dads are out working to provide for their family (when they can, although this often consists of making hammocks or picking peanuts in the nearby fields).  People smile at one another, they share laughs in their front yards (and by yards we refer to dirt that also extends into the floors of their homes), they exchange pleasantries and discuss their children, and school, and church.  While the surface may look different, the crux of the situation remains the exact same as what we envision all-american life to be.  Or at least – what it once was.  Before things were fast, and electronic.  Back when there was simplicity.  Sure this community faces huge adversity and hardships, but at it’s heart it’s values and integrity are one of utmost admiration.  You just have to wipe off the dust and leave your ego at the door to be able to see it.  To some it may look dreadful, but when you really consider that their riches come from their character and moral fiber – it certainly begins to look a lot more like paradise.

For our 1st project as The Big Picture Project, we spent 9 days in this village amongst the poor and forgotten and were able to learn their stories and experience their world.  And while your body may come back dirty and exhausted, your heart comes back fulfilled and electrified.  We are so blessed to share their stories with you, and to help you see that who we are is not our circumstance.  Their circumstances may be unfavorable, but their story significant.  We hope you’ll follow our travels and immerse yourself in the narrative along the way.

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A Line In The Sand

Everyone said it would be life changing.  Without ever being up close and personal with the “real” areas of a third world country, it’s hard to know how you’ll be changed.  As I reflect on the process it’s like there’s a line in the sand – the “person I was” before on one side, and the “person I am” after on the other.

I want to put into words the feelings, the changes, the heartbreak that happened.  I want every person to understand how it feels to ache yet be so at peace all at once.  I want people to know how it feels to have a connection with someone you’ve known 30 seconds – that doesn’t speak the same language or have single thing in common with you.  I want you to want to help as much as I do, because I now know the importance of giving and am the happiest I’ve ever been after deciding to do so.  What I want… is for you to have your own line in the sand.

I don’t know how to get you there, but I do know it won’t happen unless you decide to do something.  When you decide that there is something more you need in life that has nothing to do with a new purse, or that in-ground pool you’ve always dreamed of.  Something that fills your core with the one thing we all need – and that is pure, honest, love.  We’ve seen it.  We’ve experienced it.  And now it’s our turn to return it to the world.

In one week we leave for a journey that we knew would happen on a plane ride home – the journey to begin to make a difference.  You can put that line down in the sand and come with us.  All you have to do is decide to give something to someone who can never repay you.  And I promise – it will be the best gift you’ve ever given.

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