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Ethical Representation in Humanitarian Photography

  I have been spending a lot of time studying editorial portrait photography recently and comparing it to humanitarian and nonprofit photography. If we only look at humanitarian and nonprofit photography and compare various styles of the photographers and the organizations that display the images, it is hard to understand the astounding gap that exists […]

Why “Unethical Design” Matters in Storytelling and User Experience

In Ethical Storytelling, we explore how to tell stories with dignity. As a digital designer working since 2008 to help brands reach their business goals, I’ve seen a rising trend in the user experience (UX) industry: unethical design patterns that manipulate people into action. What is unethical design? Dark patterns (a.k.a. unethical design) are tricks […]

Think Bigger: From One Story to Brand Stories

Storytellers can think bigger. Being responsible for the stories we tell through our personal social media or fundraising campaigns is great, but sometimes it isn’t enough to focus only on the individual stories. We should also be thinking through brand stories. I came to this realization after years of working as a storytelling consultant for […]

How (and Why) We Should Be Telling the Stories of “Quiet Influencers”

In today’s world, it seems like those who talk the loudest are the most powerful. The influencers on social media and TV dominate the perspectives we’re privy to. But they are not the only ones with power. And the obvious players with the loudest voices are not the only ones creating change. Sometimes the people […]

Posting Travel Videos and Why I Took All Mine Down

Ten years ago, I traveled to Fiji in the name of humanitarian aid, and I didn’t last two months. I left in a state of shock and didn’t look back for five years. During that time, I built a privileged career off the travel videos I produced in Fiji: twenty-two videos that captured hurricanes and […]

‘Child Prostitution’ Jeffrey Epstein and Ethical Storytelling

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images via The New York Times For years Jeffrey Epstein had sex and engaged in sex acts with minor girls at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. Many of these girls, some as young as 14, came from disadvantaged backgrounds, had experienced trauma, abuse and neglect. They were paid hundreds of dollars […]

How I Shifted to Purposeful Storytelling in My Films

As I sit in a little café in North London, wondering how I should start this blog post, my computer plays “Soho Waltz” by the Common Linnets. It perfectly reflects why my focus in filmmaking is now to tell stories that need to be heard–what I like to call purposeful storytelling–stories that inspire us to […]

Telling truer stories of how we change the world

This post was originally published on the Thousand Currents blog. Words, images, and how we put them all together matter. They convey the world we want to see, and hold the past and our present. Our job is to make sure that the words and images we use reflect our vision and values at Thousand […]

The Need For Ethical Representation In Documentary Photography

Within the documentary photography field, professionals have been creating visual stories for decades. Some of the more notable photographers from the early days, Dorothea Lange for example, are known for capturing marginalized peoples with dignity. Dorothea used discernment to depict her subjects conditions and highlight their immense strength in the depths of hardship and poverty. […]

How to Become an Ethical Humanitarian Photographer

According to Websters, the definition of a humanitarian is this: “A person promoting human welfare and social reform.” So a reasonable extension of that definition to the title of humanitarian photographer might look something like this: A photographer focused on the promotion of human welfare and social reform through the medium of photography. For me though, the work […]

Let’s change the way we tell stories.

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