In 2011, I was in my third year of running my own professional photography businesses and started to feel a call to look for a way to give back with my photography. That summer I started Fotolanthropy, a non-profit organization that documents inspiring true stories of individuals and families that have faced adversity. Through photography and film, Fotolanthropy provides servant-hearted creatives with the opportunity to use their talents to give back, and gives recipients a platform to share their stories and inspire others.
The economy was still recovering from the 2008 crisis and I knew at that time it would be difficult to rely solely on donations to continue our work. I ws inspired to create a socially conscious product so that we could have a sustainable business model that would ensure Fotolanthropy could continue the work of documenting inspiring true stories. A camera strap seemed to be the perfect fit since it would support a movement of photographers and filmmakers. The dream of Fotostrap was developed on a 16 hour road trip to Colorado and then came to life in 2012.
I went to the drawing board with my co-creator, Brooke Moore, and we both shared a background in design and love for clean, classic styles. When we started talking about creating a camera strap to help support Fotolanthropy, we knew we wanted our product to reflect the same aesthetic, with high-quality materials and a timeless look. We also strongly felt it was important for us to be creating a product that is made in the United States.
Our favorite design feature of the Fotostrap is the ability to add your monogram or custom design file to the shoulder pad. This makes the Fotostrap the perfect personalized gift for a loved one or a great way to display your business logo – whether you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist!
I love that the Fotostrap is not just a product, but a partnership. Not only do we get to be a part of the stories our customers are telling with their cameras, but our customers are also playing a part in telling the stories of those who have faced adversity. Because of our customers, Fotolanthropy has been able to document over 20 inspiring true stories, including two feature documentaries: the award-winning Travis: A Soldier’s Story and The Luckiest Man.
Starting a socially conscious brand was a life changing decision. Working each day to support a movement of giving back has given our team a sense of fulfillment and joy. Fotostrap sells across the globe and this fall will be releasing new leather made products.