WHO WE ARE
Seeing for Ourselves (SFO) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2010 by George Carrano and based in Bay Shore, New York and Cape Elizabeth, Maine. As Seeing for Ourselves started up, George took on Jonathan Fisher as the Associate Director and Storyteller along with Chelsea Davis as the Associate Director and Instructor. The tiny nonprofit has been punching above its weight ever since. George continues to serve as Executive Director, while Chelsea departed SFO in 2021 to take a position with the NYC agency with which we partnered on our second project.
Founder George Carrano
Storyteller Jonathan Fisher
The origins of George's interest in participatory photography extend back to 2002, when he stumbled onto an exhibit in a London church basement. He staged an exhibit of his own of this style of photography back in New York City in 2004. World-famous photojournalist Philip Jones Griffiths visited the show and encouraged George to found a nonprofit devoted to the practice. George would in the interim go on to mount an exhibit of Griffiths' own works.
WHAT WE DO
We equip and train marginalized individuals to take control of their own public narrative by documenting their lives photographically. We deliver a twelve-week college-level course in the art of visual storytelling, combine the output with a backstory about the topic at hand, and promote the resultant story in a book, film, or other media. The practice is known as "participatory photography." Areas of practice to-date include public housing, criminal justice, and climate change.