Photo of the Week: Family and Grandparents

May 22nd, 2015

Robyn Goldsmith, Social Media Coordinator

We are getting excited about our next shoot on May 30th! We are incredibly lucky to have Natasha Alipour-Faridani on board as our photographer. The theme of the shoot will be family and grandparents, and Natasha is sure to capture some gorgeous images.

This week’s Photo of the Week is one from a previous Compassionate Eye Foundation shoot by Natasha. Her ability to capture familial love is striking. For more of Natasha’s past CEF work, check out our collection of her photos on Getty Images.

Photo of the Week: It’s Bike Season!

May 14th, 2015

Robyn Goldsmith, Social Media Coordinator

In continuation of last week’s theme, we are taking another look at the many great bike images available in our Getty Images Collection to help you get inspired for summer.

The weather is warming up (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) and it’s a great time to get out and be active. Biking to work or school is a great way to burn off some steam and save yourself the hassles of traffic and parking. If you live in British Columbia, Bike to Work Week is coming up from May 25-31. It offers an excellent opportunity to get in the habit of biking to work. As shown by our volunteer models, you’ll also look great doing it!


Photo of the Week: National Bike Month

May 7th, 2015

Leah Yee, Social Media Manager

At Compassionate Eye Foundation we pride ourselves on having a quality, commercial image for every occasion. May is National Bike Month, in which cycling enthusiasts share the many benefits of biking. We would like to celebrate this month by sharing our favorite reason to ride a bike – it’s fun! – and one of our many themed stock images. The sale of this, or any other CEF image through Getty Images, will support international development projects.


The CEF Advanced Style Photoshoot: Absolute Verve and Pulchritude!

April 27th, 2015

Lory Keller, Social Media Coordinator

On February 22 a group of like-minded people gathered at S1 Studios, Suite 201B, in Toronto, Canada for Compassionate Eye Foundation’s 2015 Advanced Style inspired photoshoot. The commercial images of our 60+ aged models, created and captured by photographer John van der Schilden, are the epitome of Advanced Style; a celebration of beauty, age, and modish, polychromatic fashion.

John, with behind-the-scenes photographer Kara Leo, and the production team spent the day with the fab five stylish and sophisticated women who view wrinkles, not as imperfections, but as the beauty marks of a rich and robust life. Incredible ladies for whom age is but a state of mind. John’s and Kara’s fine art images capture the vibrant individual essence of each of our resplendent volunteers.

Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with our fab five models to ask them about their day in the studio. I asked Penelope Goranson, Andrea Bolley, Octavia Haggis, Louise Kerr, and Win Kuplowsky about the photoshoot, their volunteer experiences, and more. Thrilled to be volunteering for CEF, the day got better as they suited up in wardrobe. Cosmopolitan designer outfits, oh my! Next, they were off for a dash of color in makeup and then on to strut their stuff in front of the camera!Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 10.24.19 PM

With an Advanced Style outlook that reveals a lifetime of learning and a desire to give back, these models do just that. They share their flair for fashion through artistic ensembles that catch and delight the eye. They give of their time through volunteering with CEF and other non-profit organizations. Model Win Kuplowsky shared with us her love of helping others through the Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund and the Ukrainian Art Song Project a Canadian organization formed to promote Ukrainian classical music.

Win contributed not only her volunteer experiences, but took time to share a terrific description of all-things-wardrobe: “Sarah’s selection of eclectic jewelry, shoes, funky boots, hats of every colour, texture and style adorned the work tables, clothes racks brimmed with fashion statements, the best of the best and she, like a magician at ready to create magic for the camera.  Hair and makeup… found us in up-dos, smokey eyes, lashes and tinted pouts. Transformation underway as an array of costumes, gloves, bangles, boots, berets and bags were mixed and matched in artistry. It was as if through this artistic collaboration of creativity a character of sort were born. What a wonderful day it was!”

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 11.30.37 PM

In response to my request to pick three words to best describe the day, Louise Kerr chose these: “Liberating: having had the opportunity to present a refreshed view of the older woman (and there are plenty of stereotypes to wrestle with). Let’s see more of these incredible 60+ women! Validating: This project embraces older women with all their ‘creases’ (a testament of their substance and resilience). Also the fact that this group of artists believed in the project and was willing to put their time and resources in to producing it: the celebration of aged beauty and experience. Celebration: of the strength and experiences that are etched on each one of our faces and bodies. Everyone is physically ‘perfect’ in their own way when they’re 18, but the honoured portrayal of age with all it’s ‘flaws’ is a testament to a discerning and civilized society.” Penelope Goranson shared, “The shoot itself was magic. What a marvelous adventure!”  Volunteering is large part of who they are. Giving back is a pleasure, and as you can see, they do it with pizzazz!

CEF is immensely grateful for the generous donation of studio time from S1 Studio Director Craig Samuel, and for all our volunteers like the fabulous five, that bring such vivacity to share with our organization. Volunteering for CEF is always a unique and wonderful experience. Each CEF photoshoot is its own creative environment, full of effervescent energy and everyone bubbling over with a contagious enthusiasm. Beautiful photos aren’t the only thing created at a CEF photoshoot, just ask the fabulous five. I’m certain they’ll all tell you beautiful memories are created there, too.

Want to see more from the Advanced Style inspired shoot? Check out the amazing behind-the-scenes images on Facebook.

A Message from Dan Rogers: Thank You Volunteers!

April 24th, 2015

Dan Rogers, Board Chair

April 18th marked the close of National Volunteer Week in Canada and this gives me an opportunity to thank all the volunteers who do so much for CEF all year long. I am slightly reluctant to use this “week” to thank our volunteers. It’s a bit like only thanking your Mother on Mother’s day. I like to celebrate those, like mothers, that make a difference in our lives all year long. And so it is with CEF volunteers. I appreciate and celebrate those that make what we do at CEF possible all year long. And hope they know how valued they are not just this week but throughout the year.

As many of you know, CEF started with a vision for volunteers from the photographic community to generate funds to assist kids in developing countries to go to school. That mission is still at the heart of what we do every day although it has evolved somewhat. We now support clean water and health care projects as well as education. As well, we now have some skilled folks as contractors in order to get some core functions done but so much of what we do very much relies on volunteers. The vast majority of our excellent communications is done by volunteers. Much of the planning and production of our fantastic shoots is done by volunteers. Some of our admin is done by volunteers as well as our event implementation. And of course, our dedicated Board of Directors and Advisory Board are volunteers, many of whom dedicate hundreds of hours per year to help make CEF function. And our volunteers are certainly not found just in Canada. We have folks in the UK, and the US, and New Zealand, and of course Hawaii (I know it’s the US but I wanted to give a special shout out).

As we enter our 10th year, volunteers will remain at the core of who we are at CEF. You are an inspiration not only to CEF but also to others who see you helping out and then want to help too. So thank you, all of you. I love what you do and am glad you love to help us out.

Photo of the Week: Earth Week

April 23rd, 2015

Charlene Tsang, Social Media Coordinator

In celebration of Earth Day (April 22nd) yesterday, we at CEF thought we would dedicate the week in recognition of environmental issues and protection. Did you know the first Earth Day was organized and founded in 1970 in the United States and is now the largest civic event in the world? More than a billion people participate in Earth Day campaigns every year by people of all nationalities, faiths and backgrounds. Earth Day is organized globally by the Earth Day Network working with over 22,000 partners and organizations around the world in 192 countries. How are you making a difference?

There are so many ways you can participate in Earth Day because Earth Day is Every Day. You can attend festivals and rallies around your community that supports environmental activities. Go volunteer. Help launch a community garden. Install energy efficient windows and appliances in your home.  Or even as simple as changing a habit like switching off your lights when not in use or turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth. The possibilities to get involved or take action as more conscientious global citizens are endless!

Photo of the Week: Photography Inspiration

April 16th, 2015

Charlene Tsang, Social Media Coordinator

Are you an aspiring photographer? We thought we would dig through our Getty Images archive this week as The Allard Prize for International Photographers is open for submissions!

This semi-annual photography competition recognizes photographic excellence that reflects themes of courage and leadership in anti-corruption and human rights. The winning entry receives a $1,000 CDN cash prize and their work will be featured on the Prize website for six months. This is a great avenue for all aspiring photographers to get their work recognized on an international level. Check out the amazing work of some of the past winners.

We think this photo from our archive may fit the theme, what do you think?

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 7.41.47 PM

Photo of the Week: Aloha from the Eco-Holiday photoshoot

April 2nd, 2015

Mia Wesley, Social Media Coordinator 

On March 22, Compassionate Eye Foundation celebrated World Water Day at the Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm in Puna, Hawaii! At this unique location the photographer and founder of CEF, Robert Kent, was joined by photographer Attila Pohlmann and the shoot producer Zoe Eisenberg collaborating together for a family themed Eco-Holiday photoshoot. Below is a behind-the-scenes shot from the day featuring three of our fantastic volunteers and photographer Robert Kent.

Unsure of what an eco-holiday is? Look no further! Eco-holidays, also known as ecotourism, are a responsible form of travel to natural areas that help to conserve the most pristine areas of our environment. This form of travel is much more sustainable than traditional mass tourism. Ecotourism is not only a more environmentally sustainable form of travel but it also helps to educate the local and global communities about the importance of environmental preservation.

The Hawaiian Islands have some of the worlds most complex ecosystems and consequently the islands are at a very high risk as climate change continues to threaten the ecosystems. There is so much to learn and explore throughout the various ecosystems of the Hawaiian Islands and eco-holidays are one of the best ways to do it. The Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm is an absolutely breathtaking facility which provides “the lower Puna community with purified, blessed and structured water.” Please visit the Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm’s website to learn more about their environmentally sustainable and innovative approach to the most sacred source of life: water.


World Water Day

March 22nd, 2015

Lory Keller, Social Media Coordinator

Perhaps those of us with access occasionally take for granted the water we have at the turn of a faucet or the disease-prevention we have at the flush of a toilet or the easy access some of us have to greater health through exercise each time we dive into a local community pool. With such water conveniences available it is important for us to remember that there are millions in this world who go without access resulting in disease and death.

To raise awareness about this, the United Nations designated March 22 World Water Day. The UN’s designation of this day 22 years ago has paved the way to greater access for those in need. Compassionate Eye Foundation recognizes the importance of this and focuses on helping to expand access to education, health and sustainability using the proceeds from the sale of our stock images.

We welcome the opportunity to work with like-minded organizations, such as Kids International Development Society (K.I.D.S), with whom we have worked on humanitarian ventures like the Kauk Chrey and the (very recently completed) Kompong Kleang water tower projects in Cambodia. Both projects bring quality water to over 1,000 formally underserved residents.


Students enjoying a drink from the water tower at the Kauk Chrey School in Cambodia


We are also delighted to announce that to align with World Water Day, Compassionate Eye Foundation’s founder, Robert Kent, will be holding a photoshoot today in beautiful Puna, Hawaii. Kent will work with photographer, Attila Pohlmann on an Eco Holiday themed shoot. Be sure to follow us on social media for more updates!

If you’re looking for ways to participate in this year’s World Water Day to help others around the world in their quest for clean water, here are a few ideas:

  • Check out the events happening around the globe to celebrate progress and plan for future actions
  • Join in a Global Meditation Sunday, March 22. Register at Unify or on their Facebook page
  • Show your support and raise awareness by sharing what water is to you: Join the UN-Water’s #WaterIs social media campaign. Invite your family and friends to do the same, then watch as everyone’s messages are blasted out simultaneously!
  • Last but not least, volunteer or make a financial donation. At CEF, there are three ways we welcome you to make a positive impact: volunteer your time, donate your money, or purchase our fabulous stock photography through Getty Images. Make Compassionate Eye Foundation your feel-good stock-image source.

Help us ensure #WaterIs available for all!

Photo of the Week: World Water Day

March 20th, 2015

Mia Wesley, Social Media Coordinator

Did you know that more than one billion people around the world lack access to clean water? This Sunday, March 22nd, is World Water Day and in recognition of this day we’d like to share a photograph from one of our clean water projects in Cambodia taken by Vancouver based photographer, Steven Ericco. The newly developed wells funded by the Compassionate Eye Foundation benefits students as well as the residents of the Kauk Chrey and Mook Pen communities of rural Cambodia. With these projects we hope to not only improve the access to clean water but to also advocate healthier and brighter futures to the individuals within these rural communities. Clean water projects are one of the most fundamentally important projects organized by the Compassionate Eye Foundation, therefore the promotion of this day is very close to our hearts.