About the Project

Lets celebrate the small victories together!

This is a traveling “pay it forward” photography project gifting creative photography services to those with limited income, limited resources, limited mobility or who may live in rural or remote areas with limited access to a professional photographer and people who may have suffered a catastrophic event in their lives who are in the process of rebuilding.

Some History:

Over the past few years the only real “vacation” I allowed myself was the Burning Man festival which takes place in Nevada late in the summer. I’d always wanted to experience it but was unable to go until 2012. While preparing for my first experience at Black Rock City I learned about the 10 principles of Burning Man, one of which is “gifting”. I didn’t want to be a “tourist” my first time there so I started thinking of something I could gift to my fellow burners. I eventually settled on a gift of photography. With help from friends we put together a rudimentary cart with some signage that would be towed behind my bike. I attached remotely triggered off camera flashes to add fill light. I built a website and designed business cards with the URL on them. Once at Burning Man I rode around, taking “Burner Portraits” for anyone that wanted one. After which they get a card to take home and once I arrive home I start on the editing process. After all the images are online people can then message me, and download their high-res image packs, free to do anything they want with them. I have done this for 3 years in a row now and I’m heading back for 2015.

As I started to plan my next big road trip (which I hope will take this project all over North America) I realized I wanted to interact with people more this time out. Then it dawned on me, what better way to meet people than to photograph them. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to elaborate on this even though the answer was staring me in the face. I took months of contemplation before the light bulb went off. Take what I do for my burner friends and implement the idea into the real world. …and here we are. Truthfully this, inspired this which in turned inspired THIS.


In anticipation that this project will do well and keep me very busy as it builds up I have come up with guidelines as to what kind of photo projects I will take on. Basically, I want to open creative doors within people. The more creative and challenging the idea the more it will grab my attention. Lets get inspired and do something fun, creating images that we’ll both be proud of years from now.

That said, here are a few quick points that need to be clear:

  • This project is geared toward helping people who don’t have the means to pay for or don’t have easy access to professional-quality photography.
  • The purpose of this project is not to provide free photo work for people or businesses that can afford to pay for it. However, I am available to be hired. Hiring me to do your shoot helps keep me on the road which helps keep this project going and you will be thanked as a supporter of the project both here on this site, on the project Facebook page and a tweet will be sent in your honor. So not only do you get great photos, you’ll get some advertising, social media reach and great karma points!
  • At this point this project is a one man operation. As much as I’d like to, I won’t be able to do a shoot for everyone who applies. I simply don’t have the time to stay in one place for extended periods of time once I launch the traveling version.
  • This project will be traveling through both Canada and the USA (hopefully beyond that one day). I hope to hit as many places as possible and am expecting this project to take years if the interest, demand and support is available, and trust me, I’m okay with that.
  • Sponsors of all kinds are welcome. Anything that will help propel this project forward and give it longevity will be graciously accepted. Every sponsor, big or small will be thanked and listed here on this site, on the project Facebook page and honored in a tweet.  Advertising banners may also be discussed as that is something in the future plans of this site.
  • Collaborators such as clothing designers, make-up artists, set decorators etc who may be interested in contributing their talents and working together are all welcome and you will be credited for any work you put into a shoot.  Obviously timing, availability and willing participants will be factors to consider.
About the ProjectWayne Stadler