Hi, I'm Josie.
And I'm the voice behind Give: Photography for Change. I live in the great state of Texas with my too-good-for-me husband Matt and my beautiful and wild toddler Ellie.
I love travel, but I also love home. I love long walks in a new city. Apples and peanut butter. Chips and guac. Self-help books and Parks and Rec. Finding where the light peaks through the trees. My daughter's curls. Spending too much money on trash/treasures at garage sales. Seeking God and truth in unexpected places. I also love people most sincerely when I'm taking their picture. And I like authentic moments best.
I started taking photos seriously to document the scenery and faces of loved ones on a camping road trip across the Pacific Northwest. I realized then that my camera is a tool for joy. I can notice the joy in my life through the eye of my camera as well as spread joy to others by capturing their happiest moments and relationships. And so I was hooked.
My first passion came in the form of serving others when I discovered that the only thing that truly filled my bucket was throwing myself into volunteer work. I put on my first charitable race as an ambitious high school girl ultimately trying to boost my college resume to someday make it rich. But once college came, my big money-making aspirations fizzled as I realized that the only thing I really wanted out of life had something to do with that race.
7 years + an education + a husband and baby later, I found myself deeply involved with Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), a phenomenal NGO fighting to rescue children from sex trafficking. I once again got into the work of race planning, but this time it was while balancing a new passion: beautiful storytelling in the realm of photography. I swore it was just a hobby and that I would never charge for my services as I didn't think I could ever learn to be good enough, but when the refugee crisis hit, I knew I had to do something. As I was trying to determine how I could best help, I happened to visit the O.U.R. headquarters in Salt Lake for a brief tour. The COO who showed us around told me that people are always asking him how they can help trafficked children. The answer is that we all have something unique we can contribute, and only we know what that thing is. I realized then the power and potential that I had with my photography hobby. And so, by beginning to charge for my services and donating a portion of my proceeds to refugees, I started a fundraiser. And God blessed my work.
During this time, however, I kept my charitable goals mostly private, and my passion towards photography started to wane. One day, as I was making the long drive home from a session, it hit me with intensity that I was not being true to my original purpose. Somewhere in between the contracts, the proposals, and the glare of my computer screen, charity had been lost. And as a result, my business was not reaching its full potential for influence.
I have since happily resolved to make giving the central aspect of my work in both my personal and public spheres as I continually work to serve, donate, educate, and inspire.
My hope is that I can use the gift of photography to fund, serve, and promote charities around the world. My 15% donated may not be enough to create real change, but I believe in the potential of creating a culture of giving and generating excitement and education towards the act of giving back. My vision is to help to create a world where every individual is using the means they have to help others in need.
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