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This installment in the lynda.com Creative Inspirations documentary series introduces the diverse talents of one of the world's great award-winning journalistic photographers, Natalie Fobes. Whether on a fishing boat in the Bering Sea facing frigid cold and 40-foot waves, or capturing a bride and groom moments before I do, Natalie uses her innate storytelling abilities to capture a moment forever. Her instinctive ability to compel her lens to speak so eloquently has garnered her over 200 awards, numerous fellowships, and a finalist spot for a Pulitzer.
Natalie is a mother, teacher, and writer, and is constantly seeking her next creative outlet. From her beautiful home overlooking the Puget Sound to a spectacular nature shoot in the Olympic National Forest, Natalie shares her journey with us through memorable stories and unforgettable images. Watch how she has both braved the elements to get the best shot, and reinvented herself to adapt to the shifting sands of her profession.
(Music playing.) Natalie Fobes: So I started talking to some corporations in the Northwest about the possibility of them donating some money for me to put this exhibit together. I got the same answer from every one of them. Unless I was a nonprofit, a 501(c)(3), I would not be able to receive money from them, but that was their policy. So one day a friend and I, another photographer named Phil Borges, and I were sitting over lunch.
He also was trying to put together a museum exhibit, and again, looking for funding. We were complaining, you know, "We can't get funding, and it's a good project." So he looked at me at one point. I looked at him, and we had the same thought. If we are having trouble getting funding for these exhibits, then other photographers are too. And why can't we form a nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation that would be dedicated to helping photographers do those documentary stories that need to be told.
We kind of brainstormed a little bit more; we talked to a friend of his, named Malcolm Edwards, and the three of us created Blue Earth Alliance. Well, here we are in the offices of Blue Earth Alliance. And with me is Malcolm Edwards, who is one of our co-founders. We're dedicated to helping photographers do amazing documentary stories, around the world, of environmental stories, cultural stories and social issue stories. Malcolm Edwards: One of the projects is by Florian Schulz.
This photograph here is a part of that. His project was Yellowstone to Yukon, which emphasized the importance of having corridors that wildlife could go on other than just being inside a national park. Natalie: The benefits that Blue Earth gives me is that it is an opportunity to affect change. You know that's as simple and straightforward as I can tell you. The projects that Blue Earth Alliance has sponsored have made a difference in this world.
I mean, the Subhankar Banerjee story, he wanted to be a photographer, and he wanted to do the story of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the book that came out of it was actually so instrumental in continuing the ban of drilling in the Arctic, that it was held by Senator Boxer on the senate floor, and she said, "If you think there is no life in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, look at this book." It was just amazing.
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