INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to purpose-driven brands and passionate business leaders and entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their communities and industries.
Jensen Sutta is an experienced photographer who documents the work of non-profits, musicians, politicians, celebrities and large corporate events. See his work at www.jensensutta.com and follow him on social @jensensutta.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a photographer with a passion for documenting the work of and shining a light on people and nonprofits making a difference in our world and the individuals and causes they are supporting. My photography projects have been really diverse, ranging from photographing weddings and events to three U.S. Presidents and portraits of politicians (like Sarah Palin’s book cover), to orphans in Haiti (for an NFL wide receiver), the Santa Barbara Film Festival, and jobs covering Tim Tebow and Oprah Winfrey, to name a few.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
I love my job! My passion is meeting and interacting with new and interesting people and organizations and learning about and capturing the impact they’re making. There are a lot of people in this world making a real difference and it makes me happy to share their story.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
My photography captures a moment in time and tells a story in a visual manner that can’t be captured any other way. The impact is largest with non-profit work. Seeing a picture of the people being supported by a specific cause or organization is incredibly compelling. It is one thing to tell people about the work that is being done and support that is being provided to Haiti, it is another thing to see the picture of a Haitian child whose life has been incredibly impacted by the good done by a stateside nonprofit.
The evidence of this impact can be seen when my clients’ use my images to tell their stories in a compelling manner which results in expanded awareness of their causes, organizations and events. A small example of this exposure is the sheer number of people who have viewed my slideshows – more than 5 MILLION views between just a few of them: Remembering the Brave, Believe in Haiti and photos shared from the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. This kind of awareness helps my clients with the work they do, the partnerships they have and the funding they receive.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
Zach Sobiech died from cancer at 18 years young, and before he passed, he said the greatest thing in life is to see a smile on someone else and know you put it there…I happen to agree! If I can help bring joy and be helpful to others, that is my definition of success.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE?
I volunteer a lot of my time to nonprofit work, as well as take on many paid nonprofit projects. My biggest challenge has been finding enough of these opportunities that have a budget so I can pay the bills and focus solely on nonprofit work.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS WHO ARE LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded just how easy it is to help others..and it doesn’t need to be writing a check. It could be as simple as having a date night to a non-profit gala, or donating soccer cleats…etc. It can be done from an indivudual, family or started from the corporate level as well.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Understand and appreciate the impact of using professionally photographed visuals to tell your brand stories. If you, your business or anyone you know is looking to do this, keep me in mind! Remember a picture is worth 1,000 words!