The vast world around me revealed itself during a Global Outreach Ministries mission trip to the Dominican Republic at age fifteen. From the moment I arrived, new and foreign worlds opened up. This trip shifted and impacted my world so immensely that I signed up for two more mission trips to further the teaching, community building and documentary photography that I began in the Dominican Republic. These mission trips compelled me to help people transform their lives and taught me that raw joy and happiness doesn’t come from material goods. As a result of the impact of the trips, I tattooed a world map on my shoulder as a reminder of my commitment to the world. These mission trips molded and transformed who I am as a person today and gave me the compassion to continue my not-for-profit work.
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Diane Dammeyer believes in the transformative power of storytelling. After finishing a career in business and real estate, she enrolled at Columbia College Chicago to develop her skills in photography, unsure precisely where they’d take her.
She now describes herself as a “philanthropic photographer,” capturing images of children and young adults and their economic circumstances around the world. “I’m trying to give a voice to individuals who don’t have the opportunity to tell their stories,” Diane says. Today, Dammeyer donates her time and images to organizations that can benefit from a pictorial approach to their mission and goals. She believes in the power of visual literacy, a transforming emotion that can reach all senses, when viewing images that tell a story.
“I believe there is spirituality in my approach to photography. It’s hard to describe, but I feel a sense of strength in my work that comes from God, and I see the spirit of God in nature and in people. I believe my approach to landscapes reflects a sense of spirituality, a sense of unity and peace. These are the feelings I have when I am in nature, these are the feelings I am trying to interpret.“ Dammeyer says.