Nancy Richards Farese is a social entrepreneur, photographer and philanthropist whose work centers on the nexus of art and social change. She believes that photos have a unique capacity to connect people to vital social issues, and to each other; and that there has never been a more important time to understand and advance that transformative power.
Nancy travels extensively as a social documentary photographer, shooting images and visual stories for nonprofits including CARE.org, The United Nations High Commission of Refugees, Mercy Corps and The Carter Center, which leverage her visual narratives for advocacy efforts. Recent work includes shooting in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, post-hurricane relief work in Haiti, and at The Child Abuse Prevention Center in San Francisco.
In 2009, Nancy founded the non-profit, PhotoPhilanthropy, to reward and promote advocacy through visual storytelling. PhotoPhilanthropy’s Activist Awards and exhibitions amplify the work of hundreds of photographers shooting “photography that matters” in 88 countries in collaboration with more than 400 social agencies.
Nancy re-positioned PhotoPhilanthropy as CatchLight in 2015 and dedicated the organization to visual storytelling and the power of photography to drive social change. CatchLight serves as a transformational force, urgently bringing resources and partners together to help photographers of all levels tell visual stories that have social impact.
Nancy serves as executive director and board chair of CatchLight.
The mother of five children, Nancy had a career in banking and personal finance before becoming a photographer. She is originally from Carrollton, Georgia, and now lives in Boston and San Francisco. Nancy holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.