Last night at the monthly DC travel bloggers happy hour I met Carolyn Lane, known to her Twitter followers as @DogMeetsWorld. Lane is a self-proclaimed photo addict, and on her travels in developing countries she loves photographing children. Her life was changed one day when she realized that the child she was photographing had never seen a photo of himself. Struck by the unfairness of the situation and determined to remedy it, Lane decided that instead of just taking photos she would give them as well, and started looking for a sturdy, portable, lightweight photo printer she could bring on her trips, with the idea of printing photos on the spot and giving them away to kids. She found one she liked, and her “take and give” photography project was born, and through her Dog Meets World website, the simple project is spreading to other travelers.
Dog Meets World is named for the little black-and-white toy dog nicknamed Foto that she carries around with her and that acts as an icebreaker and ambassador. Most kids love having their photos taken with Foto, and the resulting portrait is one they will treasure. Says Lane:
My dream is to establish a movement to photograph the children of the
world. To seek children in their own settings, print their image to
keep for a lifetime. We have replicated Foto, the stuffed dog, to
enable scores of world travelers to participate with this intentional
project. The dream of Dog Meets World is to empower travelers to make
real connections to people in other cultures, in essence to become
photo-diplomats. A picture makes anybody a “somebody.” Dog Meets World
clothes people in acknowledgment and affirmation and feeds their souls,
which indeed is priceless.
For more photos of kids holding their photos, click here. To find out how you can participate in photo diplomacy, click here. You can follow the DogMeetsWorld blog here, and if you’d like to have each day’s best photo emailed to you, sign up here.