vision of vets

vision of vets

Vision of Vets – A Photographer’s Project

I’d like to tell you a story about a colleague of mine. He’s a kind man. A giving man. A selfless man. And, a veteran himself.

bruce roscoe portrait

Bruce Roscoe, Vision of Vets Founder. Portrait courtesy Studio 3 Images

In 2014 my friend Bruce Roscoe (of Aiyana Studio) had a vision. It came on a flight back from Rhode Island after photographing his best friend of 58 years. Doctors had told Bruce’s friend, Joe Rowe, he had only six months to live due to complications brought on by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Bruce offered to professionally photograph Joe so his family and friends would have something to remember him by when he was gone.

The Concept

Bruce’s idea was to create a nonprofit organization whose mission was to memorialize the stories of U.S combat veterans and share that history with the family and the world. He envisioned adding a method for bringing photographs of combat veterans to life with the use of Live Portrait technology. Families could now view these after their loved ones had passed.

Bruce gained support for his idea in the local community of Prescott, Arizona. This was no surprise because Prescott and the surrounding towns host the largest number of veterans per capita in Arizona. With a wonderful Veterans Administration (VA) hospital and the large veteran population, he started gathering veteran stories with the help of experts. The helpers are now the Vision of Vets board of directors.

Following three years of continual work, in June 2017, the IRS recognized Vision of Vets as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and Bruce’s vision became a reality.

vision of vets portraits

Vision of Vets Portraits by Bruce Roscoe

The Vision of Vets team are committed to not only capturing the stories from our country’s living veterans, but also telling the stories of war heroes from the French & Indian War and forward. Vision of Vets hires professional re-enactors to bring the stories of heroism and sacrifice back to life with the use of modern technology.

The Gift

Each veteran in this project receives at no cost, a professional 16×20 framed portrait, prints in different sizes, a DVD of their interview, and an essay summarizing the interview.

You Can Help

You can be part of this story too! Help preserve history and add to the education tools in schools have to teach and remind students that ‘Freedom isn’t Free.’ Click here to learn more or Donate to Vision of Vets.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

PS – Below you can get an idea of how the Vision of Vets Live Portraits work.

sunday photo/art quote 11/28

It’s the Sunday Photo/Art Quote with a bit of a twist… In support of PPA Charities I turn this space over to Giving Tuesday. But I can’t do that without a chat about a quote so let combine the two!

As photographers we have the unique opportunity to use our photo skills to help out the community. Giving back is a chance, as Winnie says, to help ‘make a life’ rather than just a living. Being able to combine our photography and service to the community is a win-win. And you know how much I like win-win scenarios!

PPA charities quote

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

All the details are below. I’ll be doing my Periscope at 11AM Eastern time. Hope to see you there!

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob


On Tuesday, December 1st, log in to Periscope, Twitter’s live broadcast partner, to join Professional Photographers of America Charities in the first ever #GivingTuesday fundraiser. From 8:00am until midnight, eastern time, we will be broadcasting every half hour. Join in as each of our guests does a five minute presentation on a variety of subjects. Everything from photography to marketing, or even some human interest or general information will be shared. Find us at @PPACharities

Scheduled to appear are (in order): Bert Behnke, Gary Hughes, Mary Fisk-Taylor, Melanie Anderson, Jamie Hayes, Trish Gilmore, Susan Michal, Kay Eskridge, Trish Logan, Bob Coates (hey that’s me!) Jeff & Lori Poole, Carl Caylor, Lori Nordstrom, Trey Homan, Beth Marshall, Bry Cox, Roch Eshleman, Beth Forester, Don Dickson, Tina Timmons, Elizabeth Homan, Michael Timmons, Travis Gugelman, Deanna Duncan, Al Behnke, Cindy Behnke, Cris Duncan and more.

At the end of each segment, feel free to hit the Donate Now button on Home Page if you feel inspired. Then change your profile pic on Facebook or Twitter to one of our icons and challenge others to participate in #GivingTuesday for PPA Charities. If you miss the Periscope broadcast, go to our Facebook Facebook/PPACharities and see the recorded versions.
Find us at @PPACharities

Please donate what you can and mention why you are donating if it is to honor one of the presenters or to help PPA Charities meet our end of year goals. Then remember to ask your  friends and tag them when asking on Facebook or Twitter. For every dollar you pledge we have matching grants, two for $2500 and one for $1000! So that is $3-$4 earned for every dollar you donate. Thank you Mike Hanline of WHCC and Roch Eshleman of Romaguera Photography for your matching funds, and also to our Anonymous friend!

Let’s have some fun and help PPA Charities support our charitable partners like Operation Smile, Dando Amor, the PPA Affiliate Schools and others in need.

Join in on Periscope for live feeds and Facebook and Twitter for updates on Tuesday, December 1st, #GivingTuesday, #PPAGives. Find at @PPACharities

nilmdts and the today show

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. An amazing organization and an opportunity to give back using your photography skills. Pass the word of this post so more people become aware of the organization and know of the service. Monday the 19th of January at 9:50 AM. If you get a chance to watch… Even better.


today show and nilmdts

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and the Today Show

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

friendship centers photo shoot

While on vacation in Sararsota, Florida I was asked by my buddy Skip to help create an image for an ad campaign for the Friendship Centers. The look of the requested image was based on previous photos from the campaign. The speaker would be in the foreground and sharp with the secondary person in the back slightly out of focus. Here’s the resulting ad that will run full page and on their web site…

friendship center ad

Photographed with Lumix GH4 & Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 lens

Settings – f1.2 ISO 200 1/250 sec Window light from 4×6 ft window with shear curtains camera right

MeFoto Backpacker tripod for support (because I was traveling – came in quite handy because it’s small for packing)

It was a pleasure making the image. I just happened to have the proper tools with me. The Nocticron lens is sweet and allowed me to get just the right fall-off of focus that was needed for the photo. If the MeFoto wasn’t so small and easy to pack I wouldn’t have had a tripod with me on vacation.

Small light and powerful tools are amazing to work with and I’m enjoying photography more every day.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

volunteering photography in your community

One of the ways to keep your name and face in front of your community is through volunteering your photography services to help in raising awareness for causes or raising money for charities.

Last Saturday night was a case of creating images from the Oktoberfest event put on by one of the local Rotary Clubs. Funds are raised and Oktoberfest will support many local causes – The Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks and their efforts within the community.  Our club offers Red Rock High School Seniors $1000 scholarships, supports the West Sedona School Summer Reading program, Teacher of the Year program, dentistry for qualifying needy children and we were instrumental in raising the funds needed to open the Sedona Splash Park – open in July 2014.

Rotary International is the world’s largest charitable organization  whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

Here’s a few images from the day…

Oktoberfest image Sedona Arizona

Lots of people get into the spirit with the costuming. These are some of the volunteers and greeters.

Oktoberfest beer mugs photo

The Red Rock Oktoberfest beer mugs that are part of the goodies people get with their donation.

oktoberfest guests

People get into the spirit and come in costume to the event.

Things you should look for when volunteering…

Web site link recognition.

Recognition as a sponsor of the event.

Make sure images used for publicity for the event are credited on posters, advertising materials and news releases.

Make sure you send an invoice for your services so the organization knows the value of your donation.

Don’t do this just for the recognition. You should believe in and support the organization’s goals.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and support your favorite charity!

Yours in Creative Photography,          Bob

Images created with the Lumix GH4