One of the greatest aspects about being a photographer is the impact we can make on the world around us. Our images can inspire change, and in many cases, help people work toward a better future. After being offered a baby for fifty dollars while in Bulgaria, photographer Tanner Wendell Stewart decided to take action to help a cause close to his heart:
In 2012 Tanner traveled to Bulgaria to volunteer for the A21 Campaign, which helps fight human trafficking. (Via PetaPixel) His many years of photographing and volunteering couldn’t set him up for what was to come next.
It was a life altering experience when a father offered up his baby in exchange for some cash.
“That moment really was the most life changing moment of my life; to experience human trafficking on a first hand level. That it’s not just a statistic. That now it’s actually the face of this baby has completely shifted my passion and desire to help this cause.”
Tanner used his talent as a photographer to make a difference. Taking pictures every day, he compiled a book called Shoot the Skies. One hundred percent of the book’s profits go to A21. Tanner projected an incredible $50,000 would be donated. The book has become extremely popular and has since raised over $90,000.
“I think generosity is about your heart and about how you give things, whether it’s your time or your art or your money. Whatever it is, as long as you give with a generous heart and you’re passionate about it, I think that is being generous.”
This is an inspiring tale of how a single person is able to create change where they wish to see it. I hope we all take a lesson from Tanner and encourage transformation in our own lives or the people around us—no matter how big or small.
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