Taking Pictures, Changing Lives

How did
Change Lives
in 2018?

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Our aim will always be to share the stories of people living in some of the world’s poorest communities, and to raise awareness and funds for the charities who are supporting them.

And 2018 was no different.

But, over the past few years our vision has widened to encompass the talents of local photographers who have helped us to visit more projects than ever. We’ve been able to visit new countries, people, places and charities and reached a wider audience with our photographs and stories than ever before. We hope that you enjoy finding out more about the impact Taking Pictures, Changing Lives has had in 2018.

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From the rainforests of Peru to the mountains of Nepal


After we visited farmers learning sustainable ways of growing their crops in Peru we fell behind with newsletters. So, here's an update of everything that happened after we went to the Peruvian rainforest in August 2018...

  • In September Adam visited Ghana and Togo with Deki to collect stories about small business owners who have received microloans from Deki’s partner IADES. A highlight was hearing about the free healthcare workshops IADES run and how families are now sending their children to school and building safe and secure homes for themselves. IADES are supporting so much more than business training - they are encouraging whole life transformation.

  • The team headed to different locations in October around Uganda for Deki and Five Talents UK. Adam went to Kasese with Mussa (one of our Rwandan photographers) and then on to Karamoja with Jean – another of our local photographers.

  • The photo and film content created with Mussa for Deki has already been used in Deki’s annual appeal, which raised money to help support entrepreneurs in marginalised communities with microloans. Five Talents used the video footage and photos Jean and Adam collected in Karamoja, Uganda in December to raise more than £73,000.

  • November took Adam to Nepal for the first time to work with the Impact Marathon Series (IMS). They take runners around the world to run marathons and fundraise for their partner charities. This time IMS were raising money for the Burns Violence Survivors charity. Adam’s pictures are being used to promote IMS - the more runners that go on their trips, the more money raised for their partner charities. And the more volunteers there are to complete community projects. Projects such as the digging of a water pipeline that the IMS volunteers completed for a rural school in the remote village of Kakani.

  • It was also exciting to meet San in Nepal. San is a filmmaker and drone operator who lives in Kathmandu. We want to widen our network of local talented people in 2019 who can visit more charities and projects for Taking Pictures, Changing Lives.

  • Adam created a film from the footage he shot in Peru for Plant Your Future, and this was used for their successful crowdfunding campaign in December, and his photos were used to build their new website. You can view the film here.

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Quotes and testimonies


It is always so encouraging to hear how the charities we visit have been impacted by Taking Pictures, Changing Lives. 2018 has been another year of great working relationships, but even more it has been a year of building great friendships between the charities we get to visit and our team.


 ‘We are so grateful to have Adam work with us in the Peruvian Amazon, bringing his support to our small charity, so we can try and compete a bit better on the marketing front and raise more funds to help poor farmers restore degraded, deforested land.’
Jenny Henman, Chairman, Plant Your Future

‘Adam has been part of my charity for over 6 years now and has been doing an amazing job taking photographs and promoting the work of Child Action Lanka which has helped immensely. Adam's work has been very meaningful because he is one of those very few people who has been continuing his support and commitment to the project, ensuring that the profile of Child Action Lanka remains high.’
Debbie Edirisinghe, Child Action Lanka

 ‘Working with Adam and Taking Pictures, Changing Lives means we can show our supporters the impact they are having, in real close up focus, and give them all the information that they need to continue supporting Deki, so we can continue lifting people out of poverty.’ Rowan Dade, Deki

‘Any photographer can come in and take photos, but have they listened to the mission, do they understand the bigger picture? Do they get the stories behind what we’re trying to do, and do they tell that story? That’s why it’s been really fun working with Adam, he’s really taken time to understand what we’re looking for - testing himself as a photographer throughout the process.’
Nick Kershaw, Impact Marathon Series



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Local photographers behind the lens

We asked Jean, Gadi and Mussa our local photographers in Rwanda how Taking Pictures, Changing Lives has impacted them in 2018. Here’s what they had to say about helping us reach more people with photographs of some of the most vulnerable communities about the world...

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Jean Bizimana

‘A few years ago, most international NGOs thought that they can’t use local or Africa photographers, because they couldn’t provide good photographs. But Taking Pictures, Changing Lives is helping to show the world that we are capable.

Adam has given me the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures and countries. The money from working for them has helped me to start building my own house and they have also given me a loan to buy a new camera.’ 


Mussa Uwitonze

‘I learnt on my trip to Uganda to be humble, not to be a stranger to the people you are working with. I lived their life, shared food with them and later they were comfortable with me. This has changed my life as well as theirs. Photography changed my life when I was 9 years old and my mission is that I use it to change other peoples too. With Taking Pictures, Changing Lives I feel am already doing my mission.’ 


Gadi Habumugisha

‘Working with Taking Pictures, Changing Lives has changed the way I perceive the subject matter in a photograph. Usually when I take pictures of humble communities’ people have seemed vulnerable, but with Taking Pictures, Changing Lives I have photographed happy and ambitious people.’  


A photographer needs tools


It’s been brilliant to be able to help upgrade the cameras of all three Rwandan photographers this year:

Mussa borrowed an old Canon 7D11 camera from Adam for his Uganda trip, which he is now paying for with project visits. He then passed his camera on to Gadi so that he could improve his pictures too.

We provided a full frame Canon for Jean in 2018, which he paid for with his trip to Uganda. The quality of his photos has improved a lot, and as a result he is getting more paid work as a photographer.

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Crowdfunding makes it all possible


Without crowdfunding at the beginning of 2018 none of these trips would have happened, we couldn’t have grown our team of photographers or helped brilliant charities raise the money they need to carry on their vital work.

We will be launching our 2019 crowdfunding campaign in February and taking the risk once again to raise enough money to visit the charities that need our help. A big focus of the funding this year will be on using our local photographers more and adding to our team around the world.

Keep a look out for our 2019 Crowdfunding Campaign!

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Old news is still news.


If you missed out on any of our newsletters this year where we share the photographs and stories from our trips, you can catch up here.

Hope in India

Malawi In May - Running And Acting For Change

June update

Chilli And Chocolate – A Winning Combination

Through The Local Lens


Hopes and plans for 2019


As Taking Pictures, Changing Lives enters its 10th year Adam is switching the focus of his work. He will travel less to be able to develop our network of local photographers, film makers and writers. So that we can continue to reach new communities and produce much needed content for charities to tell the stories of the marginalised and vulnerable people that they work with.

 We are looking to work in 3 key areas with our local team in 2019:

  • Trips to visit charities, as we have been doing for the last few years

  • Projects in Rwanda to highlight social issues and use the photographs to raise awareness and bring about change

  • Training and mentoring of young people in photography in East Africa

some of the places we’ve travelled in 2018


Well done you’ve made it to the end!

Thank you for reading this report and thank you even more for your ongoing support of, and interest in, the work of Taking Pictures, Changing Lives. We love partnering with like-minded people and have been really encouraged by your positive feedback throughout 2018. We couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you, from Adam, Emily, and the ever-growing Taking Pictures, Changing Lives team.

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We are Taking Pictures, Changing Lives - a non profit Community Interest Company, founded by development photographer Adam Dickens.

Working with UK & International charities, to provide high quality photography and film footage, we help communities in some of the poorest countries in the world.

By sharing the stories of these communities, and bringing the work of the charities to life visually, we help transform the way they get attention, raise awareness and increase their funding. The charities that we support haven’t many resources of their own; yet they help restore dignity, purpose and hope to people who can then sustain livelihoods, gain education and provide futures for their communities.