Inspiring Event Shoot for Virgin Unite

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a really inspiring event organised Virgin Unite, part of the Virgin Group. I was there to take photos but it was sometimes difficult to keep my mind on the job as the speakers were covering some fascinating topics.

Having shot for Virgin Unite a few times I knew that Jean Oelwang, President of Virgin Unite, would help to get the day off to a positive start. She was joined by speakers from Unilever, EY Beacon Institute, Starbucks, Cook, Ella's Kitchen, Airbnb, Big Change, Virgin, and Next Jump UK. The discussed topics from 'Designing the Future of Leadership', 'Reimagining Education', 'Bringing Your Whole Self to Work', 'Little Wins in the Workplace' and ' Refugees & the Business Community'.

This last topic was presented by Cameron Sinclair, Humanitarian Lead at Airbnb. It was fascinating to hear how Airbnb has made a significant effort to reach out and house refugees. And how the general public and Airbnb hosts have given so much of their time and space in their homes for this cause. In these days of rather dark and depressing news it was a real beacon of light.

Taking photos for NGOs

Having worked at two very successful charities (Laureus Sport for Good, ELBA) before I became a photographer, I'm now always really excited to shoot for charities/NGOs. Theses jobs allow me to combine my two passions: photography and charity work.

I've shot events as a volunteer including some truly inspiring evenings on behalf of Magic Bus and their inspirational founder Matthew Spacie.

Matthew Spacie speaks at the Magic Bus Gala, Singapore, April 2014

Matthew Spacie speaks at the Magic Bus Gala, Singapore, April 2014


I have also been lucky enough to travel to shoot for various NGOs including Spirit of Soccer (Laos), Special Olympics (Korea), The Island Foundation (Indonesia) and The Tabitha Foundation (Cambodia).


Spirit of Soccer participants, Laos, April 2015

Spirit of Soccer participants, Laos, April 2015

Contestants at the Special Olympic World Winter Games, Korea, February 2013

Contestants at the Special Olympic World Winter Games, Korea, February 2013

Aung San Suu Kyi meets a participant at The Special Olympics Winter Games, Korea, February 2013

Aung San Suu Kyi meets a participant at The Special Olympics Winter Games, Korea, February 2013


Along the journey, working directly for charities as well as taking photos for their marketing and PR requirements, I have met some incredible people: charity workers, volunteers, celebrity supporters and of course the beneficiaries themselves.

I've been lucky that my work has mainly revolved around the use of sport as a tool to engage with young people with social challenges. Sport provides an excellent platform to teach and help these young people. It also provides a lot of fun and some wonderful photographic opportunities.

Shooting for NGOs not only provides superb photos, it also gives me a chance to reflect and to realise how fortunate I am to do what I do and to live where I live. I always come back feeling humbled and really motivated to move forward and take more and better photos.

Contestant at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, Korea, February 2013

Contestant at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, Korea, February 2013

Tabitha Foundation participants, March 2012.

Tabitha Foundation participants, March 2012.

Spirit of Soccer coach, Laos, April 2015

Spirit of Soccer coach, Laos, April 2015

Yao Ming at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, February 2013, featured in the  Shanghai Morning Post

Yao Ming at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, February 2013, featured in the Shanghai Morning Post