Pics with a Purpose

Changing Lives with Just the Click of a Camera

Raising $3,000 for charity may seem like an overwhelming task for any student, but Freshmen Sammie Lee and Jessica Cascio, founders of the company Pics with a Purpose, are well on their way to achieving this goal.

The company is the brainchild of Lee, who hoped to sell photographs in order to raise money for charity. In early 2013, Lee teamed up with Cascio to gather photographs to sell online. Lee and Cascio both take photographs and solicit pictures from others. Each month, they choose an aspiring photographer to feature on the Pics with a Purpose website. The prints are available for sale for one month before another Featured Photographer is chosen. According to Lee, “it is a great way to showcase their art and give back, as well.” Pics with a Purpose has already contributed to Lumos, Metropolitan Ministries, Amnesty International, and Pencils of Promise.

When asked about how their business was going so far, they said, “We are a fairly new business, but we are getting there, we have already raised about $100 so far.” According to Lee, creating the website and logo, coming up with the name, and finding suitable pictures was not difficult in comparison to the task of establishing a base of supporters—something that they are still working on.

Lee said that their inspiration for new photos “comes from the environment” as well as from travels. The photos range from color close-ups of scarlet poppies to black-and-white waterfalls. “Most of the shots are completely spontaneous. You kind of know what you want to capture when you see it and how you want it to look.” Both Lee and Cascio, who take many of their photos with their smartphones, find a lot of inspiration from other photographers and enjoy trying to re-create photos themselves.

Both Lee and Cascio agree that they want to expand their business in the near future. They are constantly brainstorming ideas on how to do this and are working on using their photos on greeting cards, coffee mugs, and iPhone.

Pics with a Purpose has helped, and continues to help many people. By giving back while doing something they love, Lee and Cascio have succeeded in making a lasting impact on people and their lives.

Photographers who wish to be featured can apply by emailing their photos to Lee and Cascio or by posting their photos on Instagram with the tag “#pwpphotographerofthemonth,” and following their Instagram, (@picswithapurpose).