Photographs have become the most iconic symbols of entire eras, from Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” to the famous photographs of the second plane crashing into the twin towers.
However, it doesn’t take a professional eye for photography or a catastrophic event to make a photograph impactful, as shown in the revolutionary “Through Our Eyes” Project.
The project’s tagline – “The Cameras are Disposable, the People are Not.”
Started in 2016 by Pastor Jason Williamson, the Through Our Eyes project aims to provide hope, joy, awareness, and support. Now in its second year, the organization recently gave 100 disposable cameras to individuals battling homelessness, along with a t-shirt. At the end of the week, participants are asked to receive a free meal and turn in their cameras for processing at Spartan Photo Center. After we develop and print the photographs, a team of judges will review every exposure, with the top 20 photographs to be put on display at a month-long exhibit, followed by an auction to raise money for local homeless shelters and service areas. Check out the excerpt from their website below:
Distribution & Collection
After grassroots marketing at local gathering places and homeless shelters, disposable cameras will be distributed to the first 100 participants.
- Photographers will receive instruction on using the cameras.
- Basic photography tips will be shared.
- Creativity will be unleashed over five days.
Photographers will return the cameras, register for the photography contest, enjoy a meal and receive a gift from our volunteers.
A team of judges will review each photograph based on image quality, composition, subject matter, and storytelling. Those top entries will be displayed at a month-long art show in a gallery for the community to interact with.
- Top 20 entries will be displayed.
- The community will be invited to vote on the images by dropping money in the lockbox of their favorite photos.
- Top 3 entries will win beneficial prizes specific to the needs of the individual.
We care deeply about the organizations that serve the homeless in our community. To show our gratitude and to provide for their financial needs, we will be auctioning off each of the top 20 photographs.
- Images will be listed in an online auction for people to take home a piece of the project.
- Guests will have the opportunity to bid on their favorite works of art.
- 100% of the proceeds will be distributed to local organizations to help them better serve the homeless in their community.
In addition to raising significant awareness of the issues related to homelessness, the Through Our Eyes project raised over $5,000 at it’s final auction last year. The photos taken by the photographers are impactful and thought-provoking, capable of inciting change. Photos are important, and they can change lives.
Want to learn more about the Through Our Eyes project? Click here.
Check out last year’s finalist photographers and photographs here.