It is my dream to bring together my passion for photography and social impact with a project that uses photography to serve people with a purpose. To share with the world the purpose I find in a photograph.
While the years continue to fly by, there are certain moments of life that are unfiltered, pure and raw at the edges. There's no pose, no plan and no pretense. It's about that one unrefined moment; and when preserved properly, it becomes a portal to revisit time itself. Then its no more just a piece of paper. It’s a photograph.
Everyone has seen the beautiful photographs of children for charity fundraising events and websites for child sponsorship, or those amazing pictures by photojournalists on their travels, showcasing those shy yet bubbly kids who are so excited at the sight of a camera. Have you ever paid attention to the fact that these underprivileged people rarely ever own a single photograph of themselves or their families in their lifetimes? How is it fair that we get to see these beautiful people, and yet they will never own a single photograph of themselves?
It’s one of those small things that people often do not notice or realize when they are volunteering or working with underprivileged people. Yet these keepsakes bring more happiness than what it is worth in money or material. Just because it is inexpensive does not make it less valuable. Since a photograph does not cost much to produce, this gives us more reason to provide this gift of happiness. Why ignore the easy, simple ways of giving joy to others?
To create a world where everyone has the privilege of owning and cherishing their image in a photograph, capturing and preserving their journey through life.
To understand the value of the joy and pleasure in celebrating a life.
To acknowledge the power of simple gifts such as a photograph and to share this gift with people around the world.
To empower people to recognize their value and worth by capturing their story in a photograph.
- To enable people to cherish the present moment and give them the opportunity to revisit their past and their loved ones.
Few years ago, I was on a mission trip visiting a rural village in the northwest part of India. We were organizing a few events for the kids at a boarding school in a local town. This is what every child owned in a plastic bag: 1 toothbrush, 1 notebook, 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants, 1 pencil box, 1 plate, 1 comb. Some had the luxury of owning a pair of flip-flops. This was everything they owned. Their world was found in a plastic bag. While we took a lot of gifts for the kids, what was fascinating to see was their awe towards our cameras. My father, who was also on this trip, decided that he would take photographs for each child. When we got back home, he printed the photographs at a studio and mailed them back to the children at the village school. Now their bags have a new prized possession, two photographs, one of which they will give to their parents when they walk miles to go home for the Christmas holidays.
Pilot Project: Capturing Hope
Of all of life’s treasures, your family and home mean the most, and whether near or far apart, pictures contain the love you hold dearly. What happens when you lose everything?
Approximately 26,000 Syrian refugees entered Canada, bringing nothing with them. Over 3,000 refugees are trying to create a home from nothing in Toronto. With wounded hearts and attempts at forgetting the loss, they are trying to start anew. Let’s help them enjoy and mark this milestone by capturing their hope in their new home called Canada.
As an immigrant myself and having lived less than a year in Canada, I understand the emotions and culture shock people go through. As much as Canada has made me feel at home, I wish to join this beautiful country in welcoming home the refugees and new-comers.
I find purpose and passion in showing the value, psychological impact, and joy that a photograph brings to a home. A framed photo on the wall may not be the most functional piece of furniture in the house, but it is an image filled with emotions and memories, which add beauty and meaning to the family on a personal level. I aim to provide each family with a free family photo-shoot, printed photographs and one framed photograph for their new home.
Future Scope for Purpose Photography
To further study the impact of the non-quantifiable benefits of a photograph for children and families
To create an International Photography with Purpose Association
Invite photographers (freelance candid photographers, photo studio owners, photojournalists, photography students) around the world to join an association that gives them opportunities to use their passion and talent for a cause.
Each photographer can donate 1% of their revenue to help the project remain sustainable and can also volunteer to capture photographs for charities in their locality.
Photographers are recognized for their work by providing some token of appreciation or a badge or recognition that is universally recognized.
To partner with other charities that can leverage this service for their beneficiaries and with photo studios and printing stores that can collaborate with us to support the resources needed.
To embed the program in existing charities
Many international relief/local and child-aid charities already use photographs of their beneficiaries to raise funds for their causes. It would be easy and inexpensive for these organizations to provide the gift of a photograph to their beneficiaries, as only the printing and delivery aspect needs to be taken care of.
- The product (photograph/album) can be easily integrated into donor gift catalog, giving donors an opportunity to gift their sponsored child/family the joy of their photograph, thus providing the minimal funds needed to handle the operation.