Who and Why We Are

Our Mission and Vision

Photo Perspectives exists to promote photography as a means of understanding our world and those who inhabit it. Our vision is a world where humans value a look, learn, and then see perspective on life.

Collaborating With Schools

While 97% of Mainers rate art education as a high or very high priority, 52% of Maine principals report no arts-related field trips and 46% report no arts in co-curricular activity. In fact, 38% report no funding for arts education.. Recommended intervention involves increasing school-community arts organizations collaboration from 27% in 2016 to 60% by 2025.

The Photo Perspectives Middle School Initiative collaborates with Maine Middle Schools to provide equipment, curriculum, online learning, and financial support so that extracurricular photography clubs can be offered at little or no cost to the school. Clubs are led by a school faculty member with whom the students are already familiar.

From Preschool Predictions to Eavesdropping Elders

The Motivation Behind Our Mission

“What kind of preschooler doesn’t like to color?”

After a particularly exasperating day of losing the battle of wills to a 5 year old, my son’s Day Care Provider posed that question to me one afternoon. You see, my son, Isaac, thought little of coloring and even less of the math worksheets the provider demanded he do. With amusement I tried to stifle, I listened carefully as the Provider asserted that Isaac would never amount to anything in life unless he started following the rules by doing what he was told.

Recent Examples of Participating Photographers' Work

CALL FOR QUOTES - Photo Perspectives is seeking to build a database of awesome quotes to inspire associated photographers to conceive, capture and create imagery to go with the quote.  Please respond and share this post and encourage your friends to list their own favorites with the hashtag #photoperspectivesquotes or at Photo Perspectives. Just the text of the quote and its "author" is all we need.

Coming early Spring 2024 from Photo Perspectives
Our Middle School Photographers are back on the path to explore their world and share their experiences so we may all, look, learn, and see.  We are still trying to raise money to fund a second site at the Indian Island School.  Any donation is helpful and are tax deductible.  This image was taken by one of our most talented people photographers. #photoperspectivesfreeport
Photo Perspectives is so very thankful to The WC and EJ Thornton Foundation for their generous donation which brings us one step closer to adding the above middle school site in the Fall 2023. The Native American graphic is the school logo
National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson reportedly once said “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” One of our Freeport Middle School Photographers uploaded this image of hers a few hours ago. ... This one cries out for caption suggestions #photoperspectivesfreeport
An image from one of the newest members of Photo Perspectives Freeport Middle School .... I added the quote for all the amazing teachers who have helped light my way over the years - and to those who continue to do so ... #photoperspectivesfreeport #photoperspectivesfreeport
Did you hear the one about the fish who went to speed dating at a restaurant?

.... He was looking for a gill-friend.

Colorful capture by one of our Freeport Middle School Photographers. #photoperspectivesfreeport
Our nonprofit uses the Wallace Foundations model "Principles of Success for Afterschool Arts Program" (https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/something-to-say-success-principles-for-afterschool-arts-programs.aspx)  The first principle is to use highly skilled, practicing artists to serve as mentors/instructors.  Well, Ms. Humble Pie won't toot her own horn so I thought I would share one of my favorite pictures of our Freeport Instructor's  work #photoperspectivesfreeport

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

The Road Ahead

Photo Perspectives long-term goals include steadily increasing the number of sustainable project sites across Maine.  Our hope is to build a network of participants who represent all of Maine geographically, culturally, and socio-economically.  Much like an extracurricular sports program, Photo Perspectives online learning platform design allows for safe, monitored inter-scholastic cooperation and friendly competition between school sites.  Photographers will be able to participate in supervised interactions with peers from across the state in such a manner that they may make new friends, learn from one another, and help sustain the view of how important the arts are to our world.

By purchasing new equipment initially and investing in warranties and maintenance plans, Photo Perspectives allows for a relatively cost effective program once the initial outlay for equipment is funded.  Funding consumables, such as photo paper and ink, along with the modest stipend that we pay our instructors should be sustainable based on general yearly fundraising activities.  We plan to eventually extend our programs to homeschoolers (they can currently participate, of course, as part of the school district within which their home is located).

Wide Open Workshops

In the future, we also hope to offer workshops or seminars using our online collaboration portal to bring together people sharing a common characteristic such that photographic narratives may be built to share life experiences with interested viewers.  Participation may involve imagery being shot by one of our staff photographers based on the idea of the individual, or by using an image the individual himself or herself created.  Written or voice-over audio recordings could be created by the participant to complete the contribution to the permanent exhibit.

Photo Perspectives’ name and tagline of “look, learn, see” represent both a practical and philosophical approach to our programming.  At the practical level, we encourage all our program participants to examine and consider their subjects from multiple perspectives or points of view when framing a shot.  

Suggestions to go around the side, look from above, look from below, lie on your stomach, lie on your back, get really close, move far away, and so on all can change a photograph and its meaning in significant ways.

From a philosophical standpoint, look, learn, see reflects a mindset that to understand our world and its inhabitants, we must look, take a moment to learn about a place and the people involved before we see, or formulate our perception.  There is no obligation to change one’s view after considering a situation through the eyes of another, but such an approach reminds us that civilization begins with civil.

We eventually hope to put out an e-zine entitled, “Look, Learn, See,” where each issue revolves around a central theme and is filled with related images and narratives of those who created them.  In this manner, an interesting conversation starter is created.  Conversely, an individual who otherwise may not willingly seek out interaction related to the theme may choose to ponder the issue as part of an audience of one – devoid of distractions or peers.  Possible topics could include mental health, sexuality, aging, cultural differences, or something more mundane such as a unique place.  

The possibility for ongoing, living exhibitions of the given themes would allow for contributors to participate as individuals or as groups, all of whom can collaborate from within our online portal.

Donors Make the Difference

We are so very thankful for the gnerous support of our Corporate and Foundation Sponsors