Natalie Fobes Video Page

Natalie Fobes

At the Blue Earth Alliance's Collaborations for Cause conference, documentary photographer Natalie Fobes sat down with PhotoWings to offer inspirational stories from her career, as well as her insights into the photographic medium. No stranger to the power of photography to create change, she may be best remembered for her harrowing coverage of the Exxon Valdez disaster in the pages of National Geographic. Fobes founded the Blue Earth Alliance along with Phil Borges in 1996 to act as an aid for documentary photographers who seek to create positive change through their storytelling.

Initially founded in order to assist photographers with funding for the projects, the Blue Earth Alliance has helped support 100 photographers since its inception. In this video, co-founder Natalie Fobes discusses the origin of the organization and some of the inspirational and crucial projects that the Blue Earth Alliance has assisted.

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Natalie Fobes talks with PhotoWings about her resilient attitude towards her work. “If one door closes, then look for a window in the room.”


How does Natalie approach people in order to photograph them? She is keen to stay honest with the subjects about the use of the photographs and never deliberately intends to make others look bad, whether she was covering the Exxon Valdez spill or shooting stock photography. Natalie also relates a story about a special connection she had to a subject while working in Siberia.


What could the general public learn from photographers? Natalie Fobes thinks that the wide set of skills that documentary photographers use in their trade can be applied across different contexts. She specifically identifies photographers’ way with people as well as their propensity for research as part of that set.