You get what you give. Show you care by becoming a photographic philanthropist.

Stacy Pearsall, former combat photojournalist and founder of the Veterans Portrait ProjectTM, has seen her personal project go from some-of-the-time to all-of-the-time. In 2008, she began her Project as a way to say “Thank You” to veterans for their service in her hometown of Charleston, S.C. Since that time, she has traveled to 27 states and thanked over 6,000 veterans in more than 65 cities. Not only has she made a positive impact on the veteran community, her work has led to social and political change nationwide. For her determined efforts, President Barak Obama recognized Stacy as a White House Champion of Change.

In the Photo Philanthropy course, Stacy will identify each attendee’s photographic strengths and interests to better understand the type of services they may offer potential charities, whether that’s portraiture, event photography or action shots. From there, she’ll ascertain individual’s non-photographic interests in order to best recommend various organizations which align with each student’s recreational activities from animal husbandry to sports. Photo philanthropy is deeply personal and should be equally pleasurable and fulfilling for the photographer.

Each day will be balanced with classroom and camera time. When the class is not engaged in on-location photo shoots at various mid-coast Maine non-profit establishments, Stacy will guide attendees through the process of establishing relationships with organizations, how to build strong contractual agreements with associations, setting achievable goals with beneficiaries, understanding support limitations, equipment acquisition, branding one’s work, assessing risk verses reward and, most importantly, how to quantify your contributions.

The shoot locations will offer a variety of photographic opportunities from lit portraiture to photojournalism-style documentation. While on-sight, Stacy will offer guidance on interpersonal interaction with the organization’s representatives, how to communicate your objectives clearly, the art of creative collaboration, and hands-on photographic instruction.

While Photo Philanthropy will provide food for the soul, it often does not put food on the table. Stacy will show you how your charitable time leads to income. Again, you get what you give. She will discuss the best ways to convert your efforts into equity through self-promotion, exhibitions, brand development, paid assignments and more. By course conclusion, each attendee will be a Photo Philanthropist.



Stacy L Pearsall

Stacy L. Pearsall got her start as an Air Force photographer at the age of 17. During her time in service, she traveled to over 41 countries, and attended the Military Photojournalism Program at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. During three combat tours, she earned the Bronze Star Medal and Air Force Commendation with Valor for combat actions in Iraq. Though combat disabled and retired from military service, Pearsall continues to work worldwide as an independent photographer, and is an author, educator, military consultant, public speaker and founder of the Veterans Portrait Project. 

Pearsall was one of only two women to win National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Military Photographer of the Year competition, and the only woman to have earned it twice. She's been awarded the Trojan Labor American Hero Award, the Carolinas Freedom Foundation Freedom Award, honored with the Daughters of the American Revolution Margaret Cochran Corbin Award, lauded by the White House as a Champion of Change, and holds an honorary doctoral degree from The Citadel. Pearsall has served as a nominating juror for the Pulitzer Prize and held a presidential-appointed board member position for the NPPA. She sits on the advisory board of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at The Citadel since 2009 where she helped establish their photography program. 

The PDN “Personal Project” award-winning series Veterans Portrait Project (VPP) began while Pearsall rehabilitated from combat injuries sustained in Iraq. Spending hours in VA waiting rooms surrounded by veterans from every generation and branch of service, Pearsall was compelled to honor and thank them in the only way she knows how, photography. She’s traveled coast to coast with the VPP and has documented roughly 6,000 veterans in over 100+ engagements.

Pearsall has hosted a dozen community-based exhibitions showcasing veterans from their respective hometowns, conducted countless speaking events and took part in a USAA sponsored YouTube docu-series of her adventures on the road with the VPP. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and those who fought valiantly, several VPP images presently cover the walls within the Pentagon. In 2017, her work will be featured in a joint exhibition, “The Face of Battle, Americans at War 9/11 to Now,” at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.


  • •    Personal Website:
  • •    Facebook:
  • •    Instagram: slpearsall
  • •    Twitter: @StacyPearsall


  • •    Veterans Portrait Project:
  • •    Blog VPP:
  • •    Facebook VPP:
  • •    Instagram VPP: veterans_portrait_project
  • •    Twitter: @VetPortraits
© Stacy Pearsall

Course Dates

Aug 6 to Aug 12



Class Size


Sponsored By

MAC Group