October 17th, 2012

I was speechless when I heard over the phone, “You’re going to be busy for the next six months. You just won the Alexia grant.”

It took a moment to recover, to say thank you, but it’s taken a little while to realize the significance. Alexia is a well respected photojournalism foundation and they have supported some incredible work. To win one of their grants is a great honor.

That recognition is confidence-building, but it’s also four years of research, grant writing, and relationship building. It’s four years of reporting on human trafficking in southeast Asia. It’s another ten years of documenting the impacts of sexual violence on individuals and communities. And starting a non profit. It’s years of photography and developing my multimedia skills. It’s hands on experience with education, advocacy, and audience engagement.

All of this went into writing the grant application.

I recently gave a talk to local journalists at a monthly meet up. It was casual; a bunch of photographers and beers and a projector. My kind of thing. They asked me about the grant, looking for tips on how to get one. I picked apart my grant proposal, analyzed the application, and found that I had to go back to those moments over the years where I tried, failed, or succeeded, but each time I learned something. Something that applies to today.

Writing a successful grant isn’t just about the vision of what the end product will be or the budget required. It’s about knowing your subject inside and out, then crafting a strong story to carry it.

I won the grant. I’m still a little speechless. And excited about the work ahead.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Posted in advocacy, award, human trafficking, journalism, recognition Comments Off on WINNING THE ALEXIA FOUNDATION WOMEN’S INITIATIVE GRANT


July 27th, 2011

When I walked into MediaStorm, on my first day, I saw the golden Emmys resting on the window sill and decided I wanted one. Not because I covet a trophy, but because I wanted to have the opportunity to help create something powerful and important enough to rise above all the others. And have an impact.

“What do you know about Pakistan?” Brian asked.

“Well, that they’re complicit in the war in Afghanistan but they’re also nuclear armed and an important ally in the region?” I shrugged.

He nodded, then told me he likes to walk into projects with very little knowledge so he can digest the content with an open mind. I made a mental note.

I spent three months working on this project, through several reviews, then handed it off to Eric Maierson when I left; he went through a couple more reviews. Doing a crisis guide on Pakistan is complicated. During that time I sat in on several meetings with the Council on Foreign Relations team, explaining and sometimes defending the edits I’d made. I wanted powerful and dramatic, but also true and factual. I made both.

The script I was working with came from the Council’s team–some of the smartest, most knowledgeable people on Pakistan’s history and politics. And, if they wanted General Petraeus for an interview, they could get him (and they did). The images and video I sourced were from the world’s best photojournalists and news videographers. It was awesome, inspiring, and I wanted to do the story justice.

And so, a year later, it turns out this project was nominated for an Emmy. That very same golden trophy sitting on the window sill at MediaStorm.

In late September, we’ll see if it wins.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!


March 15th, 2011

Several months ago I entered the Link TV ViewChange contest, looking for another means of distribution for a story I felt needed to be told. As a finalist, I found Srey Neth’s story would see the distribution I hoped for. I think it is a great example of independent distribution leveraged by social media.

Yesterday, Link TV told me they’ve compiled half-hour episodes from the ViewChange entries. Srey Neth’s story will air in the “Crossing the Gender Gap” episode.

The film will air Wednesday, March 16th at 8:30pm PT/ 11:30pm ET and Saturday, March 19th at 6:30pm PT/ 9:30pm ET on DIRECTV 375 / DISH Network 9410. Srey Neth: Victim to Survivor will be part of an episode featuring inspiring stories of women fighting poverty, disease, and oppression in the developing world.

The film is also available to watch at and Link TV is planning to disseminate my film through other outlets as well such as Snag Films, WGBH’s “World” Channel (which is carried on 150 PBS stations), and other international stations.

Many thanks again to Transitions Global and Srey Neth who offered me access and their trust to tell an important story. (where the “Crossing the Gender Gap” episode will be available online, starting later today) (Srey Neth video on

@ViewChange (twitter)
@LinkTV (twitter)

And don’t forget my Facebook Page and Twitter Feed!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Posted in activisim, advocacy, articles, award, coolness, events, human trafficking, media, multimedia, publishing, recognition, social justice, video Comments Off on AIRING ON LINK TV: SREY NETH, CROSSING THE GENDER GAP


February 25th, 2011

This year’s photo contests, at least the major press photography ones, are wrapping up and I wanted to share some of my favorites. Definitely, there is a lot of strong stuff, and definitely, there are a lot of similarities to previous years and styles. One criticism I heard, and can’t really argue with, is that there must be a dead body in the image for it to win. While there are a lot of dead bodies, I do think it’s both gratuitous and representative of a reality, and necessary to show.

You could certainly spend a good chunk of time this weekend looking at the winning images and multimedia at World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year International.

There was also some discussion around the use of cell phone images, and the “apps” used to process the images; another discussion was about the unorthodox use of images captured by that Google mapping car–you know, the one with the cameras on top that creates the “Street View” images we use in Google maps?

Read the rest of this entry »

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Posted in award, coolness, journalism, photography, Uncategorized, work of others Comments Off on PRESS PHOTO CONTEST AWARDS

Recognition: Inupiat Whaling Boat Photo

June 10th, 2010

2010_color_awardInupiat Whaling Boat gets nominated in the International Award Honoring Color Photography’s 4th Annual Master’s Cup.

Seems to be quite the popular photograph. I’ve also sold a second one through the Photo Center Northwest Critical Mass Top 50 exhibition and, if you’re going to their fundraiser in October, you’ll see yet another print of this boat.

Maybe I should start a boat series?

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Posted in award, photography, publishing, travel Comments Off on Recognition: Inupiat Whaling Boat Photo


US mobile: 1.206.409.3069
skype: timmatsui
e: tim(at)

PO Box 17941
Seattle, WA 98127 USA