marco_ryan-15I am only too aware that owning a camera and the freedom to travel does not make me a travel photographer.

The ability to capture humanity through the lens, to tell stories with both empathy and insight and to do so against a client brief or a tight time slot is the mark of the professional travel and humanitarian photographer. This is a profession that requires dedication, relentless self-belief and, in a world where images are pervasive but organisations willingness to pay for them is rapidly decking, a support network.

Having been inspired myself by great travel and humanitarian photographers such as Ami Vitale, Gavin Gough, Steve McCurry, Matt Brandon, Jeffrey Chapman, David duChemin, Mitchell Kanashkevitch and Edoardo Agresti, I recognise that what I am best at doing is to help others with the skills I do possess - branding, digital marketing, fund-raising and a global network of connections focused in the right way to help others with more skill, greater motivation and (sadly for me!) less years, to become the next generation of visual story-tellers.

Great travel and humanitarian photographers are people whose images touch the soul. They capture a moment in time, but tell a lifetime in an instant – and their visual storytelling brings us a greater awareness of the problems and suffering in the world.

With Focus For Humanity my aim is simple. I want to help talented individuals realise their dream of becoming full-time travel and humanitarian photographers - what David duChemin calls “Visionmongers.” At the same time I want to help NGOs and existing travel and humanitarian photographers forge closer links and build longer term relationships.

The Focus For Humanity Foundation is my way of giving a little back. Please get involved with the foundation.Give something - anything helps. Your time, your contacts or even a donation.

With strife and conflict ever more present in the world, there has never been a greater need for people brave enough and motivated enough to devote their careers to using photography to help humanity.

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Marco Ryan
Singapore
June 2013