See life differently

The Viewfinder Project uses photography to help people of all ages “see life differently” challenging them to use creative thinking in becoming community change makers.

“The true voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” –Marcel Proust

Listen to the “Thoughts on Photography” podcast.

The Viewfinder Project, Inc. (TVP) exists to create a world of hope fostered by creativity for both children and adults. Children are often seen as incapable of impacting the world because of their age and lack of maturity and experience in the world. The Viewfinder Project, Inc. aims to equip children and adults alike to be change makers in their communities by being content producers in the creative media world.

The mission of The Viewfinder Project, Inc. is using photography to view the world differently. We aim to teach children photography skills and in turn life skills so that they are able to alter their perspective of the world around them in a constructive and sustainable way. By gaining the ability to identify beauty, to separate the good from the bad, and to focus on what is beautiful, hope can be restored in people of all ages. Hope fosters creativity and creativity fosters change.

So often we think we understand people, cultures, or situations that we need to look no further. On the contrary, most of what we encounter in life requires further thought and investigation. Living life requires great creativity and requires us to pay attention! Creativity allows us to create alternative situations for ourselves than simply what has been handed down to us. But creativity requires the ability to see differently.

When given his first camera for a National Geographic photo shoot, Dewitt Jones was charged to “go and find what’s right with the world.” This is the charge for all of us in life. The Viewfinder Project is interested in projects that will help us achieve our vision. If you have an idea for a project that you think fits our vision, please contact us! There may be a great opportunity for us to partner together.


Started informally in Cape Town, South Africa in 2005, The Viewfinder Project founder MaryBeth Jackson sought to better understand how middle-school students see their corner of the world and how she might encourage them to think about how as children they might become change makers in their communities.

From this 3-day experience with 18 sixth-graders from a farming community, The Viewfinder Project was born. Marybeth has since developed a 16-lesson curriculum guide dedicated to teaching these students not only basic photography skills but also life skills that encourage the students to think about how the lesson practically applies to their lives.