Celebrating 10 Years of Creative Impact!

It was a family reunion of sorts for the Compassionate Eye Foundation (CEF) last week as past and present volunteers, board members, photographers, and project partners gathered in Vancouver to celebrate a decade of creative impact.

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Back in the city where ten years ago he held CEF’s first photo shoot, CEF’s founder, Robert Kent, gave a heartfelt reflection on the past decade and growth of the organization. This was followed by a moving song by guitarist, Jonah Ocean.

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Steven Errico, who has shot for CEF each year, shared photographs and memories from his trip to Cambodia to see some CEF projects firsthand. Our project partners in Cambodia, Rick and Adrianne from Kids International Development Society, also gave an update on their projects and shared a framed Certificate of Thanks from the community where  the latest school build we helped fund was recently completed.

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Board Chair, Dan Rogers, acknowledged CEF’s global community of volunteers, partners, photographers, and other contributors who were missed at the event. CEF would not be where it is today without this incredible network of dedicated and talented individuals – including our stellar production team in the UK – Kate Stevens and Philippa Cooper, and former creative director, Fiona Watson.

As an example, this has been a busy couple of weeks for CEF. On June 14, Christopher Robbins was shooting in New York City. June 18 was a big day with four photographers in two cities – starting in London with photographers Kelvin Murray and Oli Kellett and later that day with Robert Kent and Steven Errico on an education themed shoot in Vancouver with producer Amy Jones (see photos below). On June 24, there will be a photo shoot in Toronto with Kara Dillon and Vicki Schelstraete.

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So far our tenth year has been a big one, and there’s more to come! Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up to date. We will also be sharing memories throughout the year and hope you will too. Post your CEF memories on social media and tag them with #CEF10x10. Thank you for helping us have a wonderful first decade of making a positive difference around the world!

Many thanks to Gavin Kennedy for these great shots from the 10 year anniversary party and behind the scenes Vancouver photo shoot. Be sure to check out our Facebook page to see more!

Photo of the Week: Earth Week

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: World Water Day

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.


Photo of the Week: Pool Party

Krystele Chavez, Social Media Coordinator

The month of January always leaves us in the North Hemisphere trying to stay warm in our thick coats. A great way to beat the cold is by reminiscing about summer fun, as shown in this week’s chosen image taken by Steven Errico. Steven has volunteered his world-class talent to CEF for 8 of CEF’s 9 years, and also accompanied our CEF board members on their recent trip to Cambodia. See more of his extraordinary work on the Getty Images Collection – we’re sure you’ll find many images you could use!


Steven Errico’s ‘2013 Family – Work, Rest and Play’

Krystele Chavez, Social Media Coordinator

469851153Steven Errico has been a longtime supporter for Compassionate Eye Foundation since its beginnings when he worked as a full-time photography assistant for our founder, Robert Kent.

We cannot express how grateful we are to have someone as admirable as Steven be a longtime volunteer for CEF, and we are even more than ecstatic to see his collection of ‘2013 Family – Work, Rest and Play‘ up on Getty Images. Steven shared with us how the concept of this collection was really the brain child of CEF’s Creative Director, Fiona Watson. With their goal to provide a modern, upscale twist in the theme, they planned an inter-generational family interaction stock theme, but shot it with a less traditional feel. We are thankful that Steven and his crew of models, and techs, donate their time at these day-long shoots to produce a variety of high-quality stock images.

As a well-known commercial photographer, Steven explained to us the complications that he comes across when doing any kind of photography work. Although he finds it a struggle to re-enact real moments in life, he strives to make the models during a shoot feel as comfortable as possible on set so that with a little direction, they are free to be themselves and able to interact in unplanned ways. The images that resonate with him the most are the ones that capture genuine moments between people, as if to forget that the photographer was never in the room snapping shots.

You probably think that having photography as a full-time job would keep him busy enough, but Steven shared how spending time with his family is probably his biggest passion. Additionally, Steven could not contain his excitement as he and his wife Tanya are expecting their second child in July. Perhaps you may assume that both his passions are time consuming, but Steven does not stop there. A recently completed project he is excited to share is a very fun multi-day lifestyle shoot he did for the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui.

Finally, after asking Steven why he chooses to stay as a committed volunteer, he states, “It is pretty simple.  You get to work with great people who are doing great work to help some of the most impoverished people in the world.  It is nice that I can take my skills as a photographer and with the help of some very creative, very talented and very smart people, we can produce something that makes a real difference to many in need.”

Thank you for your dedication and hard work, Steven! You can check out his website at stevenerrico.com or contact him for any inquiries at info@stevenerrico.com.

Photo of the Week

by Krystele Chavez, Social Media Coordinator


This blissful image was taken by Vancouver commercial photographer, Steven Errico. Steven’s involvement with CEF started as being Robert Kent’s full-time photography assistant, and since then, he has been a part of our community as a dedicated photographer for our annual Summer Solstice Shoots.

It is because of our amazing volunteers, such as Steven, that since the Summer Solstice Shoots were first held in 2006, we are able to raise funds generated through image sales on Getty Images. Stay tuned to see more of Steven’s Errico’s 2013 Family – Work, Rest and Play imagery up on Getty Images!

Behind-the-Scenes: On Set with CEF Photographer Steven Errico

By John Grant, CEF Contributor

Steve Errico Shoot

Passion. Talent. Philanthropy. It’s hard to come across all of those elements in one room on a given day, but that’s exactly what I walked into when I visited a recent CEF photo shoot with Steven Errico and his team.

The shoot’s setting was located in a brand new loft-style condo atop Burnaby Mountain in British Columbia, Canada, also home to Simon Fraser University. The condo itself is located in a relatively new sustainable community appropriately titled “UniverCity.” The breathtaking view that sweeps across the Lower Mainland, and as far away as Vancouver Island, still managed to peek through the drizzle and fog on this day, providing the perfect distraction to keep the models, makeup artists, and production team members occupied during their breaks.

This was my first time attending a CEF shoot and it was… fun! Everyone was laughing as Steven, a seven-time CEF photographer, set up each scene and encouraged the models to have fun. I’d be remiss if I didn’t tattle and say that there was jumping on the bed, doing backwards somersaults off of couches, and making faces behind backs. Steven clearly knows how to energize his models to get authentic emotions to come out in his photos.

What caught me off guard was how many people were involved! I was expecting to see Steven and photo shoot producer Amy Jones there with a couple of models. Instead I found makeup artists, a wardrobe stylist, production assistants, models, grandparents and moms of some of the younger models who were far from the legal driving age, and seven models! The best part was seeing how everyone seemed to work together as if they’d know each other for a long time. In some cases that’s true; Amy and Steven have worked together for several years now. Most of the models I chatted with have also done multiple shoots with CEF before.

When asked why those involved continue to support CEF, the answers were quick and essentially identical, focussing on how empowered each person felt to use their profession to make a positive difference in the world – and that’s really what CEF is all about.

Steve Errico Shoot

Steve Errico Shoot

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Photo of the Week

By Leah Yee, Social Media Manager

This has been a busy and amazing summer for CEF shoots and our Focus on Change Photoshoot Tour has been a huge success so far! As part of this campaign, CEF recently hosted a photoshoot in a home on the beautiful SFU Burnaby campus, and John Grant, of the CEF public relations team, was on the scene. He snapped this great behind-the-scenes shot of long-time CEF photographer, Steven Errico, in action!

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