Lifework Photo was founded in 2017 as an instrument for social change by a concerned photographer who found his true calling in capturing and disseminating images in photo books that address important social issues. It uses social documentary photography to call attention to the plights of vulnerable individuals and groups facing a range of challenges and social injustices, educate people and unite them in advocacy efforts.

Lifework Photo’s first photo book project focused on the issue of immigration.  The Cultural Fabric of Philadelphia: An Intimate Look at Philadelphia’s Immigrant Communities photo book project started in 2015 in collaboration with the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, a large immigration nonprofit organization in Philadelphia. The aim of this series is to raise awareness and educate people about the contribution’s immigrant communities make to the cultural and economic development of Philadelphia and to build community pride, self-respect and empowerment.

Volume I of this series included the photo stories of the Chinese, Dominican, German, Indonesian, Liberian and Vietnamese communities in Philadelphia. Volume I was completed in 2018 and is available for viewing under the Gallery Tab on this website.  You can also purchase a copy of the Volume I photo book through the Online Store tab.   A book release event for Volume I was held on September 20,2018  in City Hall that was sponsored by the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.  Financial support is currently being sought for the next volume in this series.

LifeworkPhoto has begun work on a new photo book project, focusing on the issue of suicide prevention, an urgent issue of national importance. Suicide is a leading, longstanding and preventable cause of death in the United States that transcends all demographics. Suicide rates have soared over the past twenty years. The mission of the I Chose to Live: Photo Stories of Hope photo book project is to save lives and prevent future suicide attempts.  

This photo book project will bring forward the voices and images of a diverse group of people with lived experience around suicidality, showing them in the midst of what makes their lives meaningful and purposeful – their families and friends, their communities, their work, the activities they pursue.  In a culture in which silence, shame, stigma and myths permeate any discussion of suicide, this photo book project aims to break the silence around suicide and suicide attempts. It strives to foster hope and a search for meaning and purpose in those who struggle with suicidal thoughts; raise suicide awareness, and challenge and change attitudes, beliefs and myths about suicide and suicide prevention.  

A key project outcome is to increase knowledge about effective suicide prevention strategies based on the lived experience of people impacted by suicide. Consistent with Lifework Photo’s values, this project is a collaborative effort with two major Philadelphia based behavioral health organizations: Children’s Crisis Treatment Center and Horizon House. Both organizations are providing in-kind technical assistance and support.