We offer participatory photography projects in partnership with local organizations to help them be more effective by utilizing a creative and powerful tool. Our projects are designed to meet the specific needs of the community and its participants. We are particularly focused on women and youth in areas of poverty, disempowerment, and harm. Currently, we are seeking new partnerships, both internationally and domestically. Contact us to talk more!


All my life I’ve been boxed up, but finally I am free. © 2012 Annabell Jenkinze/ AFTR/ The Matthews House Community Life Center

All the Time

Don’t try to stumble down something behind you. © 2012 Annabell Jenkinze/ AFTR/ The Matthews House Community Life Center


The things I’ve seen in life are hard and that’s why I’m drowning. © 2012 Annabell Jenkinze/ AFTR/ The Matthews House Community Life Center


The fire inside me grows as I try to cool down. © 2012 Annabell Jenkinze/ AFTR/ The Matthews House Community Life Center

Red Flower

The fire burns, but only if you feed it. So put out the fire in your life and be happy for the gifts in life. © 2012 Annabell Jeninze/ AFTR/ The Matthews House Community Life Center - -

Orange Flower

Like a flower has courage to open, humans have courage to open to new life. © 2012 Annabell Jeninze/ AFTR/ The Matthews House Community Life Center


Be loud, be yourself, let people see you for who you are. © 2012 Annabell Jenkinze/ AFTR/ The Matthews House Community Life Center

Living with HIV

In 2012, we partnered with Northern Colorado AIDS Project to facilitate a project with those living with HIV.

Thank you Donors!

We are grateful to the following local businesses for donating toward this project:

Otter Cares

Fine Print Imaging

Coopersmith's Pub and Brewing

Hog Wild BBQ and Subway

Beau Jo's Pizza and Pizza Casbah

Krazy Karl's Pizza and Noodles & Co.

Matthews House

The Matthews House mission is to empower young adults and families in transition who lack a significant support network by providing the resources and relationships necessary for them to take control of their lives and shape positive futures for themselves, while becoming successful contributors to their community.

First Thing

"Every morning, the first thing I do is open up this drawer." © 2012 JK

One Pill

"This one pill a day keeps me alive and healthy. Choose this pill or death. Wow! With medication today, only one pill will keep you alive!" © 2012 JWB


"I was kicked out of my home at age 12 and ended up out here in Colorado. I found an abandoned mine up in the mountains and started living there. If you go up there today and down about 100 meters and make a sharp right, there’s where I stayed. A local lady would drive me down to Denver for work and she taught me all about soft water mining, how to shore up a mine, all the different rocks. Still today, I’d rather be up in the canyon." © 2012 SW


"Abandonment issues fill the lives of those with HIV. Ashton has a Mom that doesn’t really know how to deal with him. He’s just a little wild indian. Now that he’s older he goes outside and some of us are trying to teach him things. He makes me feel part of the community." © 2012 CL

Door Closed

"This is how it felt like when I found out I had HIV- that the doors were closed on life. I was no longer allowed in. When you first find out you’ve got HIV, you feel like you’re going to die immediately; like your whole life is over. You can’t see hope. It crushes you at first." © 2012 LMB

Facing HIV

"Don’t turn your back on HIV. Globally, 34 million people are living with HIV. Of these, approximately half are women. In the U.S. there are 1.2 million people living with HIV and it is estimated that 23% of these are women. At NCAP, 18% of those served are women living with HIV." © 2012 Beth Bruno

Work Day

While many artists argue the piece speaks for itself, we contest that rich meaning derives from pairing a person's words with their image. Without the back story of Sherley's abandonment and survival in a mine, the photo of the rocks in his home would seem less significant. We always conclude a project with the photos in front of us and a time of reflection and story telling. These "captions" are usually the most powerful part for the audience.

Raising Awareness, Raising Funds

One of our values is to come alongside a community organization and help them achieve their mission with a participant centered mindset. For NCAP's annual fundraiser banquet, this project was showcased. One of the participant photographers gave a speech, his work proudly displayed in the room.

Reframing with Dignity

Guests take time to read the captions each photographer has crafted. Our belief is that when a community member engages with a face, name, and story they no longer view the "issue" in the same way. Stigma is replaced with curiosity. Stereotypes become people.

Ankara, Turkey: Kids in Focus

Summer 2011 brought A Face to Reframe to Ankara, Turkey to partner with Friends of Kardelen, a nonprofit organization providing care to Turkish families striving to keep their disabled children at home. We designed a photography project focused on perspective, not skill, and calling out worth and dignity that comes from recognizing one's own opinion, individuality, and being celebrated. Seven Kardelen workers and 6 children affected by disability participated in the 5-day project.

To learn more, buy the book, scroll through a sampling of the participants' images for sale, and read the blog. All proceeds from the sale of the book and prints go to the work in Turkey, for the purchase of wheelchairs, birthday party celebrations, transport costs, therapy equipment, and/or local staff expenses.

Ankara: Kids in Focus Book

Support the work with disabled children in Turkey by purchasing a 40 page, softcover photo book of the kids' images and words. Only $25!

Preview Book

Tugce in action

Of the six participants, all were affected by disability in Turkey in different ways. Three were physically handicapped themselves, two were siblings, and one was the child of one of the Kardelen workers. They participated as equals.

This photo was taken by Ceylan, the 17 year old sister of one of the physically handicapped Kardelen workers. Ceylan participated as a sibling affected by disability in Turkey. Her sister was weakened by Polio as a child and then permanently paralyzed as an adolescent in a car crash that took their mother's life. Due to a number of horrific things, Ceylan's sister ended up in the orphanage/institution where Kardelen first began their work. She was later "rescued" and provided handicap accesible housing and a job with Kardelen. Ceylan now spends summers with her sister and desires to be a doctor in the future.

Blurry Reflection

By Ceylan

One of the project assignments was to photograph reflections. When we regathered, we discussed the concept of reflecting things to the world. What do you reflect? What does the world see? What would you like the world to see? How would you choose to be perceived?


by Ceylan

"Reflections" assignment

In her eyes

By Ceylan

"Reflections" assignment

A hint of disability

By Samet

"Reflections" assignment

Samet is the 10 year old sibling of Volkan, another participant. He is an energetic boy, mischievous and fun-loving, with a keen eye to people and the personality that shows through their expressions. He wants to be a chef when he grows up.

Reflected Self

By Tugba

"Reflections" assignment

Tugba is a 16 year old twin affected by Cerebral Palsy. She is a vibrant teenager whose desires are like those of any 16 year old girl. She longs to look cute, likes to listen to music, wants friends and wishes to go to school. Sadly, these last two are disappointments in her life. She stopped going to school after 8th grade and has difficulty navigating the poorly designed streets, sidewalks, and public transportation system in Ankara.

Reflected Glass

By Tugba

"Reflections" assignment

Portrait of a portrait

By Ceylan

"Reflections" assignment

Shapes- circles

By Tugce

"Shapes" assignment

Following an assignment of photographing shapes in everyday life, participants discussed ways that normal, ordinary things can become things of beauty. We talked about how we are all different shapes ourselves, and no one shaped person is more or less beautiful than another. This photograph, of the famous round sesame roll seller, was taken by 16 year old Tugce. She is a stylish young lady who loved the camera! Mastering the skill of holding, framing, and shooting with one hand, she became our most prolific documenter.

Street seller

By Zeynep

"Scavenger Hunt" assignment

The first thing we do is get comfortable with the camera, and this is best done through a game! One of the items on the scavenger hunt list was "a man" and a more challenging option was "an old man." Zeynep, age 10, accomplished both in this wonderful portrait of an average man on the streets of Turkey. Participants were instructed to extend value to others by seeking permission before taking their photograph. Zeynep is the vivacious daughter of one of the Kardelen workers, with intimate knowledge of many of the families living with disability that her mother helps.

Old man

By Samet

"Scavenger Hunt" assignment

Hiding sun

By Zeynep

"Scavenger Hunt" assignment

Circles, Squares, Beauty

By Tugba

"Shapes" assignment

Ordinarily pretty

By Volkan

"Shapes" assignment

Volkan is a 13 year old boy with a rare genetic skin disease that makes him dependent on a wheelchair for most of his mobility. He is a bright and thoughtful teen who loves his family, education, and wants to be a doctor when he grows up. Of this bridge with multiple shapes, he says, "Actually they made the bridge from many different shapes and engineered something beautiful. This work was not easy but the result was pretty. Normally people don’t like to take bridges to cross over busy streets but this one is so pretty that I’m sure people are willing to take the flight of 35 stairs to the landing and look down. I would love be able to do that."

Oh these steps!

By Tugba

"Self-Portrait" assignment

Tugba's photographs from her self-portrait work are a mixture of gorgeous flowers, small wood carvings of musical instruments, a school building and stairs, ramps, potholes... "When we go visiting anyone, I would love it if there was an elevator there. I wish our home had a ramp so that I’d be able to visit my grandmother easily. It’s hard for me that I can’t be out on the street on my own. Oh these curbs, oh these steps! When I see others walking I get sad and wish I could walk like everyone else." The most poignant image of all is this posed shot of her sister at the nearby intersection of a main thoroughfare. The endless stairs illustrate Tugba's frustration: "Oh these steps!"

Natural Beauty

By Tugba

"Self-Portrait" assignment

"I love flowers."


By Tugba

"Self-Portrait" assignment

"I love music."

Barriers to Relationship

By Tugce

"Self-Portrait" assignment

Tugce's self-portrait photographs show emotions that run deep. She captures barriers in the home to independent living; a kitchen faucet and countertop that are too high to reach from a wheelchair; a western toilet in a room too small to enter; a high lip into their home... "I don’t like it when people look at me with pity in their eyes. I’d like to be able to go outside on my own. Sometimes when I go outside people look at me strangely and it makes me upset so I go to a corner and cry. Kids in our neighborhood do not want to play with me because I am disabled. This makes me really sad. I’d like to help my mother out at home with kitchen work. We have a toilet at home but I can’t close the door and cannot bring my wheelchair inside."

Life is short

By Volkan

"Self-Portrait" assignment

Volkan's self-portrait photographs express a depth not typical for 13 year old boys. His thoughts are that of a quiet, introspective, intelligent young man trapped in a body that doesn't match his desire. Of this image of the hourglass, Volkan says "Life is short, like this hourglass."

Life is all mixed up

By Volkan

"Self-Portrait" assignment

"Life is all mixed up, like this yarn."

Life is a test

By Volkan

"Self-Portrait" assignment

"Life is a test (sinav)"

Neighborhood Friend

By Volkan

"Self-Portrait" assignment

Volkan took his camera home and photographed the community shop owners. There is an absence of friends in his images from home, and his family refused to have their portraits taken, but these men stand out as faces of peace. These local businessmen are kind and accepting. It must answer the longing Volkan expressed at the beginning of the project: "I would like people to accept me as I am. I don’t want them to pity me."

Businessmen who share

By Samet

"Self-Portrait" assignment

Samet's self-portrait photographs from home include the terrace herbs he cultivates to every detail from inside his house, including a toy gun, their favorite cartoon on the TV screen, and the family clock! He photographs the local businessmen who care for him and his brother, the neighborhood mosque and the view from the top. Overall, one gets a sense of well-being from his photographs. Of these men, Samet says "They share with us."

Denver: Uncovering Faces

Most people think human trafficking is an international problem. But it happens in our own backyard! Some groups are more vulnerable to being trafficked than others. In Denver, on any given night, there are estimated to be 1,135 homeless youth on the street. 10-30% of these will be trafficked or exploited sexually, though some will also be exploited for labor.

Prax(us) is an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking from a simultaneous systemic and street outreach approach. In May, 2011, A Face to Reframe partnered with Prax(us) to offer these youth a visual voice into the world of exploitation. Our goal was to empower them to be the authors of their own social change.

Thank you corporate donors!

White House Custom Colour

Awaken Photography


Butter Cream Cupcakery

Chick Fil A


Noodles and Co.

Uncovering Faces Exhibit

A public exhibit of participants' work can be an intimidating experience, but it is meant to instill another level of dignity. To see one's work being appreciated and valued by others is a part of the process of empowering their voices and honoring their authorship of images used to represent their lives. Public engagement is about hearing and seeing from those we don't hear and see from enough. Sadly, though the participants indicated they would attend, none of them actually did on this evening. The exhibit will travel to other venues throughout the summer and we will continue to advertise in places the youth frequent. Our hope is that they would view with pride, even anonymously, their creation.

Special thanks to Awaken Photography for photographing the event and creating this video.

#1 To Walk in these Shoes

Society perceives the homeless as impatient, lazy, bad people, burdens on society, street rats, and unhappy. People who chose this life, who might rob you. Food handouts perpetuate begging and those who stumble are to be pitied rather than understood that they merely have crippling blisters which cause them to fall. But you don’t know what’s it like to walk in these shoes.

#2 Humanity’s Worth

We are able to contribute, an asset to the greater good.

We should be valued in the working economy because we are hardworking, even if we aren’t working a 9-5 job.

I am generous. It feels good to help people, even though I did give that guy one of my last four dollars.

#3 Making the Best of it

I am free. Happy. I am a good person. I am able to take care of myself, not to be judged by appearances. It’s give and take. I could take advantage of something like shelter that life offers me, but I would rather do it myself. I don’t have to lean on society to survive. Even in times of homelessness, you can still make the best of it. But being free does not equate to personal satisfaction.

#4 One Man Can

People may see the beer can next to a homeless person and assume he is a drunkard. It’s the stereotypical image of homelessness. But pull back.

#5 Imagine More

The reality may be that person is exhausted from working so hard at collecting cans. I used to walk from downtown to the end of Colfax and back twice a day. It’s tiring. You can get depressed about your situation. Negativity can become a collective way of thinking. It can be used as a reason for continuing on.

#6 Hardworking Freedom

It’s harder work than you think it is. Sometimes I want my feet amputated and then prosthetics put on so I don’t have to feel the pain anymore. Walking 3 miles as a homeless person is not the same as another walking 3 miles. People who have homes get to go home and relax and give their feet a rest.


The self-portrait portion of the exhibit represents the individual names and faces of the participants, in their unique beauty and story. It is a call to see the individual beneath the “issue.” It is an invitation to reframe with dignity those participants who have shared with us. The images and captions are authored by Angela, Latasha, Joe, Zac, Tony, and Jamal.

Participants: Latasha

Participants: Joe

Participants: Zac

Participants: Jamal

Participants: Angela

Participants: Tony

Turkey: Muted Voices Project

Of the 72 million people in Turkey, 12.3% are disabled (and the numbers are growing). Social stigmas abound and public policy is stagnant. Though special education was first begun under the Ottoman Empire in 1889, today's activity can best be described as silence. Without an increase in education, public awareness, and discussion, the disabled population will continue to be unheard and unseen.

In April 2009, A Face to Reframe conducted a beta project with nine mentally disabled youth in Antalya, Turkey. They were given cameras and paired with a volunteer "coach" and asked to answer different questions through their pictures: What is beautiful? What is ugly? They also had a scavenger hunt clinic and a portrait clinic. This is a sampling of their work.

Turkey: Participants' Gallery

Entrusting a digital camera to a child who has never used more than crayons in an artistic expression communicates a value and worth in her humanity.

The goal of this project was not to teach photography, nor is the success of this method dependent upon skill. Cameras are a non-threatening and yet still exciting technology; not demanding great technical maneuvering, and yet capable of communicating great depths. For children, particularly disabled children, they are a useful tool to empower their voices to be heard. It is not about the quality of the picture, but about the perspective of the one behind the lens.

View Gallery

Turkey: The Muted Voices Book

As one of the outcomes of the Muted Voices project, A Face to Reframe published a book, highlighting the work, perspective and authorship of the 9 disabled youth. These photos unveil a dignity within these men and women that has been painfully overlooked. Through this book, we were able to raise awareness and advocacy,
as well as literally make authors of the participants.

Preview Book

Turkey: Muted Voices Exhibit

In partnership with Northwest University in Kirkland, WA and Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle, WA, as well as in Antalya, Turkey, A Face to Reframe exhibited the photos from the Muted Voices project, achieving our goals of raising awareness, giving a voice to the voiceless, exposing injustice, and advocating for those who have been marginalized.

Turkey: Muted Voices Video

Fun. Joy. Laughter. Dancing. Oftentimes we document what is lacking in the "issues" that marginalized populations face. But the "challenge for all of us as we think about how we can serve a local and global community is to think extravagantly as well as practically and to exercise our imaginations in the discipline of whimsy" (Do Justice). Through music and smiles, this video captures the whimsy we sought to bring to and highlight from this group of young people.