Foto’s Blog: Photo Essay in PhotoPhilanthropy Contest by phodographer Samantha Coffin

Sep 27, 2010   //   United States of America, Zambia  //  Comments Off on Foto’s Blog: Photo Essay in PhotoPhilanthropy Contest by phodographer Samantha Coffin

One Child, One Foto
By Samantha Coffin for Dog Meets World

Dog Meets World is a photo diplomacy project where photographers traveling the world bring a camera, portable photo printer and the stuffed animal dog named Foto. Once abroad the photographers begin taking pictures of the children with Foto, printing them and handing them to the children. The photo is theirs to keep.

Becoming a Dog Meets World phoDOGrapher only made sense to me for who I am and what I believe in. I was on my way to study abroad in Africa when Carolyn Lane, founder of Dog Meets World, placed Foto and a Canon Portable Printer in my hands. I knew then that my experience abroad would be more than I could ever have wished for.

After spending six months in South Africa practicing Dog Meets World, I then traveled to Zambia and continued spreading the love of gifting a child with a photo. The children of Zambia are full of a different spirit and love than any other children I had met before. These children did not expect anything from me other than my temporary presence. When I took the camera out, they were still not expecting anything. They lined up in a single file line and came up one at a time for the photo. Once I began the printing process, the children were amazed. I then handed them something they had never seen before, a photo of themselves. My photographs capture a child’s emotions at the site of their first personal photograph.

Photographer (phoDOGrapher): Samantha Coffin
Photographer Website:
Award Year: 2010
Non Profit: Dog Meets World
Non Profit Website:
Location: Zambia, Africa

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Praise for DMW

"Participating in Dog Meets World was a truly magical experience, bringing joy and wonderment to all I met."

John Carr, Phodographer across South America

"Dog Meets World unleashes the power of photography as a diplomatic and personal tool in building connections among the people of the world. It embeds a memory in photographer and subject alike."

Prof. Patrick Fleming, Fulbright scholar & Phodographer Cambodia & Kyrgzystan

"You will never know just how important that photo will be long after it is taken and given."

Delores Barr Weaver, co-owner Jacksonville Jaguars

"Dog Meets World went over fabulously in my village. It is a perfect option for Peace Corps volunteers like myself. I like the Foto dog mascot, kids like it, and it is a representation of the peace and the ideas of the project."

Kristen Woodruff, Phodographer Costa Rica

"The kids are absolutely loving Dog Meets World. For a majority, these were the first images of themselves that they have ever owned."

Marti Johnson, Phodographer Uganda