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Tanner Wendell Stewart: Using Photography To Fight Human Trafficking

shoot-the-skies

An estimated 27 million people are victims of human trafficking, today. That’s 27 Million people whose lives need to be saved. What will you do?

Several years ago Seattle based photographer, Tanner Wendell Stewart, went to Sopia Bulgaria. Little did he know the experience would change his life forever. During his visit Tanner stopped to photograph a 6 month old boy. After taking a picture, the boy’s father offered to sell his son to Tanner for $50 simply because Tanner told the man his son was beautiful. It was at that moment Tanner realized the severity of human trafficking throughout the world. He left that day knowing he had to do something.

Born and raised in Oregon, Tanner has seen many accomplishments throughout his professional career including an Emmy Award for videography. But what’s greater then these tangible accomplishments is his passion for life and people and using his work to better the world.

“This world is full of beauty—in nature, in people—and it is my desire to show this through my photography. In every image and every snap of the shutter, I want to take a hold of the things in life that make this world amazing, and share them with the world.”

Fast forward to the year 2013 where Tanner dedicated the entire year to his project, Shoot The Skies. The project was created to raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking through his photographic work. Tanner spent the entire year traveling and photographing the beauty of nature and influential people. For 365 days Tanner posted a single picture every day. Six of those pictures a week were of landscapes and nature, and one of an influential person along with a short interview about human trafficking.

Tanner has now finished the 365 Day project and created the book which will help fund the fight against human trafficking. Tanner has teamed up with The A21 Campaign, an international campaign to fight human trafficking, and 100% of the profits from this book will go to them.

Tanner, what is one piece of advice you’d give to other photographers?

Dream big, work hard, and enjoy today. I really hope to inspire other artists to use the talents they have to make a difference. I saw some of the most beautiful places in the world this last year and I made enjoying the moments/locations/people as much as a priority as shooting the photos.

The book consists of 400 8×10 pages. The book only costs a mere $45. With a production cost of $17, each sale of the book will contribute $28 to help the fight against human trafficking. With that in mind, Tanner has the potential of raising $28,000 to help save lives and abolish human trafficking. But he needs your help. Tanner must sell 1,000 copies of the book by April 2nd in order for his dream to become reality. To help fight human trafficking, please visit the link here to buy a book. If you are unable to make a financial commitment, then please share this story to your friends. With every person who sees this, another life can be saved.

This project exists to bring a voice to the voiceless and to show you that beauty and light can be found even in darkness.

Human trafficking is real. The effects are exponentially damaging. Nearly 27 Million people are suffering. What will you do?

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