In the world of video production, a few tried and true rules work when it comes to lighting a scene. First and foremost is to incorporate natural lighting whenever possible. The sun is the most powerful tool when it comes to bringing a shot alive. Sunlight illuminates a subject for the optimal look. Yet, most people take for granted the truly awesome power of the sun.

In contrast, more than 7,000 miles away in Uganda, students depend solely on solar power for lighting in their schools. Most schools are electrified through the hydroelectric corporation, which is synonymous with rolling blackouts and expensive bills. Students lucky enough to have solar power have reliable lighting and an affordable, renewable energy source.

For the past seven years, All We Are has worked to improve the lives of less fortunate students in in Uganda. Through creative solutions, All We Are provides sustainable solar power to schools in order to reduce electricity costs, which allows these institutions to invest instead in books, uniforms and teachers – items that directly benefit the students.

This past January, I traveled with five other All We Are team members to Uganda to visit schools, meet with electricians and, most importantly, gain a small glimpse of everyday life in Uganda. Equipped with all of the camera gear I could carry, I took photographs and video to document our trip and the everyday experience of the students and their teachers. From setting up interviews with headmasters to taking portraits of students, I really felt like I was putting the same skills I use at work into effect for a greater good.

It’s difficult job to convince people to dig into their wallets to pay for a solar panel and batteries for a student half a world away. My job as creative director of All We Are is to bring that world a little closer to our own.

While the connection between my work with All We Are and my work with Spotted Yeti may seem distant, in both cases, I attempt to tell stories that leave an impact. At Spotted Yeti, I may be telling the story of a fresh, new startup primed to hit the market that just needs the exposure to succeed. At All We Are, I am giving exposure to students and teachers in Uganda who deserve our support.

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