I work to expand the power of photography to broaden our understanding of human experience and shared values. I believe there has never been a more important time to use images to drive awareness and compassion.

We know that storytelling has always been a vital source of wisdom and nurture for us as humans. In fact it has been key to our evolutionary success, teaching us how to live full and productive lives in community with others. Today, much of our storytelling is visual, and the photography tools are ubiquitous, defying constraints of language or geography; we now use these tools less for documenting than for sharing experiences, allowing us a powerful window with a deeper view and better light, to see each other, and to know each other.

When I was growing up in small town Georgia my father used to sit us down – all 7 of us- on the couch to tell us stories about his core values of integrity, hard work, and social responsibility. He called it, “Doing What One (Wo)man Can,” emphasizing the duty that we each had to play a positive role in our communities, create opportunity, and act with integrity and respect. On that sofa we would wiggle and pinch, eager to be released into the bright outdoors, but those core values were absorbed in each of us as much from his words as his actions, and have become the carving tool of my world view.

I work as a social documentary photographer, shooting visual narrative for non-profit storytelling and advocacy, and travel extensively. In 2009 I founded PhotoPhilanthropy to reward and promote excellence in visual advocacy storytelling, and currently serve as Executive Director for the organization that grew out of that, which works to harness the power of creative thought leaders to further our understanding of the power of art to change the world. I teach and write on the use of photography as a social tool and the role of visual storytelling. I serve on the board of Southwire Company and KQED Public Media in San Francisco, and am a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

About CatchLight

At Catchlight, we believe in the power of art to change the world. We are a photography organization that celebrates and amplifies excellence and innovation in visual storytelling. Born out of PhotoPhilanthropy, CatchLight promotes bold, artistic ideas in visual media that matters, and builds a community of like-minded thought leaders from the arts, social advocacy, public media and the general public. CatchLight is a San Francisco based 501c3, led by a visionary Board and Advisory Council comprised of entrepreneurs, journalists and photographers, and philanthropists dedicated to the public interest.


“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive”
-Howard Thurman