The idea for a non-profit organization built around giving Luci Lights to people without electricity came to me in early November of 2014 in a rattling old Land Rover as I hurtled at an alarming speed down a bumpy dirt road in northern Uganda. Perhaps the idea was shaken out of me on the 10 hour ride that day or perhaps it came flying out after a particularly jarring encounter with a pothole, however it happened the idea appeared to me fully formed and buzzing with possibilities.
I had been in northern Uganda in part to follow-up on some philanthropic photography work I had helped with 6 months earlier. On my return trip I brought along two dozen Luci Lights to give away to people I might meet. After seeing how effective and valuable the lights were on my first trip I knew I wanted to continue to give lights away on this trip. I was not disappointed.
It’s a heady experience to give light to a person who lives half their life in darkness and for me it quickly became addictive. Just a few days earlier I had give a big handful of Luci Lights to a wonderful woman who ran a woman’s shelter, aid center and resource center in Gulu, Uganda. Her immediate comment upon receiving the lights was, “each one of these means a healthy baby.” Pretty powerful stuff.
With this experience freshly sloshing around in my heart and my photography life ever present in my head it wasn’t a big leap to realize the overlapping concepts of Luci Light and photography light. It’s light, it’s the light, it’s all about the light.
As a professional outdoor photographer and photography teacher for more than three decades I have been chasing light and praising its virtues for many years. The phrase “it’s all about the light” has been uttered by photography teachers forever — it refers to the not so obvious lesson that the quality of a photo is ultimately determined by the quality of the captured light and not by how pretty or interesting the subject might be.
When ‘all about the light’ burst from my brain I knew I had a winner. I knew right then that if I could marry my 30+ years of experience in photography and what seemed like my 30+ minutes of experience in active philanthropy I could create something much bigger than just myself. The All About the Light foundation is the result. Your participation and support is it’s life’s blood.