Ben Blankenship's Biography
I have been a photographer and filmmaker for ten years. My professional life began in television and cinema production, working as an editor, cinematographer, photographer and director on commercial and narrative content. While I greatly enjoyed working in such a fast paced and demanding environment, it became my desire to leave the world of commercial production and apply my skills toward causes committed to improving the world in which we live. Three years ago, I left commercial production behind and I now focus all my energy as a photojournalist to doing what I can to help create a more just and verdant world.
I have recently worked in the United States photographing nature throughout the west and current events such as the political conventions of 2016. I have lived in a Costa Rican jungle and on a Belizean island, trekking, scuba diving, and shooting photography and video of endangered or rare species for a conservation research NGO, The Society for Environmental Exploration. I have traveled throughout Italy, North America, South America, and Central America, but this opportunity to travel to Africa is both challenging and exciting. It is an honor and a privilege to create work that aims to inspire positive action from others so that The Uganda Village Project can continue and expand its important work. And this trip will certainly expand my horizons and enhance my world experiences, preparing me even now for the next opportunity to serve.
1. What makes you passionate about helping Uganda Village Project?
When I first began reading about the work that is done by the Uganda Village Project, I was immediately inspired and captivated by the selfless work they do every day. The Uganda Village Project works directly with remote Ugandan villages to facilitate community health and well-being in rural Uganda. They accomplish this by facilitating improved access, education, and disease prevention. As the vast majority of Ugandans live in rural areas with little to no access to electricity or clean drinking water, this work is incredibly important in raising awareness about how to prevent and reduce the occurrence of HIV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases, complications of childbirth and mortality from malaria. Additionally, the Project provides opportunities for women who suffer from the condition known as obstetric fistula to receive corrective surgery, thus bringing health and strength back to their bodies and insuring them the ability to remain in community with their friends and family. Without the Uganda Village Project, many of these villages would have reduced access to healthcare, educational opportunities, and clean drinking water, making the work that is being done by the project absolutely crucial.
2. How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?
The Uganda Village Project is a non-profit organization and largely volunteer run. Therefore, it is crucial that their work receives proper publicity to attract donors and volunteers from around the world. My primary function while working in Uganda will be to create compelling images illustrating the incredibly challenging but important work that the Project does every day. These images will be used by the Uganda Village Project on their own website as well as in other educational publications to help inspire people to donate and volunteer with the Uganda Village Project.
I will be working directly with Uganda Village Project staff, traveling to several villages where they are working, documenting their day to day tasks and providing an opportunity for members of these communities to express their thoughts about the importance of the Project. By donating to this project, you will be directly helping the Uganda Village Project get their message out to the rest of the world and continue to offer these crucial health and education resources to some of the most vulnerable Ugandans.
3. What message would you like to send to your supporters?
Thank you so much for your generous donation! Donors like you are helping to provide crucial publicity for The Uganda Village Project. For the incredibly important work that the Project does to continue, their message must be made available to the world. By donating to this project, you’ve helped provide them an opportunity to have their work documented by a professional photographer, whose images will help tell their story to the world and inspire action from others.