Unequal Scenes is creating Drone Journalism
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patrons
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Unequal Scenes is a storytelling project of inequality around the world. It’s a project that started in South Africa, where I live, but has expanded to six different countries throughout the world - South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, India, Mexico, and the USA. In the last three years since I've started the project, it has grown into a global phenomenon. The photos (many of them taken with a drone) have been published in major magazines and newspapers (like National Geographic), used by NGOs and governments to help bring awareness on social issues, won awards, and even led me to a Fellowship to study inequality at the London School of Economics. 

I didn't start off expecting a big success with this project. In fact, the first photo I posted onto my Facebook page (where I only had 200 likes at the time) went viral, something that had never happened to me - and which is both overwhelming and scary at the same time. People would comment on my Facebook page with messages of support, but also messages of criticism and hate. I realized that I had touched a nerve with these drone images, something that sparked really passionate responses in all kinds of people, both inside and outside South Africa.

I self-financed all the photos in South Africa, borrowing money and staying on my friends' couches. I finally got my big break, a commission by Thomson Reuters to shoot for a series called Slumscapes in Mexico, Kenya, and India in autumn 2016. Those photos allowed this project to become truly "global". Soon afterward, I partnered up with an NGO called Code For Africa, which allowed me to shoot in the USA and Tanzania, helped me set up an NGO called africanDRONE, and supported me in building a truly global community. 

This project has been grassroots from the start, and the next steps in the project are important for me to do right. Unequal Scenes is expanding into a platform for investigating unequal issues - not only social and cultural, but environmental as well. I want to continue to use drone technology, but also use traditional documentary photo and video to take portraits and record interviews, and tell stories. To do this I am building a platform (through my website and social media), a community (through my Fellowships and speaking opportunities), and encouraging co-creation (through my NGO africanDRONE). This means quite a lot of research, relationship building, trust, and travel.

I've discovered Patreon and hope that it will help to offset some of the expensive costs of running this project. I estimate that I need between $8000-$10000 for each country I visit, with permits, safety measures (anti-theft and personal safety), travel costs, fixers, and visas. This is above and beyond the cost of purchasing the drone, camera, computer, and hosting fees necessary to capture the images and put them onto my website. Right now, I make money through a small fellowship stipend per month and selling prints of my work, which is hardly enough to cover future countries. 

In return for your support, I can provide behind the scenes updates, release new images here first, and offer photo prints as thank yous to my patrons. When I'm in your town, I'm happy to host a meetup, a photo club, or offer any other advice or support you might need. Next up on my list to travel is: Brazil, India, USA, Philippines, Nigeria, China, and Mongolia. I am happy to hear your advice on where I should go next and who I should meet while I'm there!
Tiers
Mavic
$5 or more per month

- You're supporting a great community and platform! 


- Access to unreleased photos and content on my Patreon page before it goes live


- 5% off any prints from Unequal Scenes for purchase

Phantom
$10 or more per month

- Everything in the Mavic tier, plus


- Exclusive video blogs (either on Patreon Lens or another format) on my upcoming trips which you'll have access to. 

Inspire
$25 or more per month

- Everything in the Phantom tier, plus


- Listed on the Unequal Scenes website as "Supported By"


- Hand-signed print from Unequal Scenes (6x8") thanking you for your support! 

M600 Pro
$75 or more per month

- Everything in the Inspire tier, plus


- 10% off prints of Unequal Scenes for purchase


- Personalized video thank you

Unicorn
$250 or more per month

- Everything in the M600 Pro tier, plus


- An hourlong photo presentation of my work and a social meet and greet, whenever we are within the same geographic area (within 100 miles, excl. travel costs)


- 20% off any prints from Unequal Scenes for purchase

Unequal Scenes is a storytelling project of inequality around the world. It’s a project that started in South Africa, where I live, but has expanded to six different countries throughout the world - South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, India, Mexico, and the USA. In the last three years since I've started the project, it has grown into a global phenomenon. The photos (many of them taken with a drone) have been published in major magazines and newspapers (like National Geographic), used by NGOs and governments to help bring awareness on social issues, won awards, and even led me to a Fellowship to study inequality at the London School of Economics. 

I didn't start off expecting a big success with this project. In fact, the first photo I posted onto my Facebook page (where I only had 200 likes at the time) went viral, something that had never happened to me - and which is both overwhelming and scary at the same time. People would comment on my Facebook page with messages of support, but also messages of criticism and hate. I realized that I had touched a nerve with these drone images, something that sparked really passionate responses in all kinds of people, both inside and outside South Africa.

I self-financed all the photos in South Africa, borrowing money and staying on my friends' couches. I finally got my big break, a commission by Thomson Reuters to shoot for a series called Slumscapes in Mexico, Kenya, and India in autumn 2016. Those photos allowed this project to become truly "global". Soon afterward, I partnered up with an NGO called Code For Africa, which allowed me to shoot in the USA and Tanzania, helped me set up an NGO called africanDRONE, and supported me in building a truly global community. 

This project has been grassroots from the start, and the next steps in the project are important for me to do right. Unequal Scenes is expanding into a platform for investigating unequal issues - not only social and cultural, but environmental as well. I want to continue to use drone technology, but also use traditional documentary photo and video to take portraits and record interviews, and tell stories. To do this I am building a platform (through my website and social media), a community (through my Fellowships and speaking opportunities), and encouraging co-creation (through my NGO africanDRONE). This means quite a lot of research, relationship building, trust, and travel.

I've discovered Patreon and hope that it will help to offset some of the expensive costs of running this project. I estimate that I need between $8000-$10000 for each country I visit, with permits, safety measures (anti-theft and personal safety), travel costs, fixers, and visas. This is above and beyond the cost of purchasing the drone, camera, computer, and hosting fees necessary to capture the images and put them onto my website. Right now, I make money through a small fellowship stipend per month and selling prints of my work, which is hardly enough to cover future countries. 

In return for your support, I can provide behind the scenes updates, release new images here first, and offer photo prints as thank yous to my patrons. When I'm in your town, I'm happy to host a meetup, a photo club, or offer any other advice or support you might need. Next up on my list to travel is: Brazil, India, USA, Philippines, Nigeria, China, and Mongolia. I am happy to hear your advice on where I should go next and who I should meet while I'm there!

Recent posts by Unequal Scenes

Tiers
Mavic
$5 or more per month

- You're supporting a great community and platform! 


- Access to unreleased photos and content on my Patreon page before it goes live


- 5% off any prints from Unequal Scenes for purchase

Phantom
$10 or more per month

- Everything in the Mavic tier, plus


- Exclusive video blogs (either on Patreon Lens or another format) on my upcoming trips which you'll have access to. 

Inspire
$25 or more per month

- Everything in the Phantom tier, plus


- Listed on the Unequal Scenes website as "Supported By"


- Hand-signed print from Unequal Scenes (6x8") thanking you for your support! 

M600 Pro
$75 or more per month

- Everything in the Inspire tier, plus


- 10% off prints of Unequal Scenes for purchase


- Personalized video thank you

Unicorn
$250 or more per month

- Everything in the M600 Pro tier, plus


- An hourlong photo presentation of my work and a social meet and greet, whenever we are within the same geographic area (within 100 miles, excl. travel costs)


- 20% off any prints from Unequal Scenes for purchase