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World Photo Day: Fargo-Moorhead artists inspire positivity

"I’m often drawn to rituals whether daily, weekly or annually. An interest in ritual, in part, is why I spent the early morning hours with Joan and Dave Ellison at their Northcroft Farm near Pelican Rapids, Minn.," Arbor Miller said. Ann Arbor Miller, Arbor Photographic / Special to Forum News Service1 / 12
Local singer Mark Proulx sings a song to his daughter that he wrote for her. Dan Francis Photography / Special to Forum News Service2 / 12
Seiler captured Concordia College’s famous Louise’s tree, named after a woman who grew up near it. When the woman sold her house, the photographs allowed her to see “her” tree every day. “Sometimes the inspiration is the joy that other people receive,” Seiler says. Scott Seiler Photography / Special to Forum News Service3 / 12
Just more than a year old, the boy offers treats as the dog patiently waits. “There’s something about a relationship between a dog and a human that just seems electric,” Stoneburner says. Stoneburner Studios / Special to Forum News Service4 / 12
On a gloomy day, sun pokes through the clouds, beaming sunlight across a field of sunflowers. “It was about luck and timing of Mother Nature, but also a proud moment for me as I was able to capture the beautiful landscape of Minnesota and North Dakota,” Seiler says. Scott Seiler Photography / Special to Forum News Service5 / 12
Knowing his puppy and 6-year-old son Kenobi wouldn’t stay small forever, Francis captured a memorable image of the two. “My son inspires me everyday and is a positive force in my life,” he says. Dan Francis Photography / Special to Forum News Service6 / 12
“Hines says everything is worth a lick,” Stoneburner says. “Dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about 6 million in humans. A dog's brain has 40 times greater brainpower than ours devoted to analyzing smells. If that’s not incredible, what is?” Stoneburner Studios / Special to Forum News Service7 / 12
Just a few days old, “his mom had just slipped on his ‘happy’ outfit – and it seemed to fit well,” Stoneburner says. Stoneburner Studios / Special to Forum News Service8 / 12
Pollestad captures a special moment for her 5-year-old niece from Atlanta: playing in the snow for the first time. Erin Pollestad Photography / Special to Forum News Service9 / 12
“Here in Fargo, it gets cold but no matter the coldness, we are people of warm hearts. The fact that somebody took the time to build this – just to make people smile, laugh and take pictures before it melted – shows that,” Francis says. Dan Francis Photography / Special to Forum News Service10 / 12
“Being present not only at a birth – which is an incredibly humbling experience in and of itself – but an emergency cesarean at the hands of an all-female surgical team was so inspirational,” Kupfer says. Lauren K Photography / Special to Forum News Service11 / 12
“For me, this image reminds me to take time to enjoy the little things in life. We can get so caught up in the day-to-day hustle,” Seitz says. Nichole Seitz Photography / Special to Forum News Service12 / 12

FARGO — With shootings, terrorism and hate-filled marches filling newsfeeds, it's easy to lose sight of the good in our world. But today — on World Photo Day — we share the captured good.

Sharing Aug. 19 with World Humanitarian Day, World Photo Day was founded by Australian photographer Korske Ara in 2009 in an attempt to inspire a better world through photography.

With a global photo contest and citywide photo event in Canberra, Australia, the day unites millions of photographers while pledging 10 percent of total gross annual revenue to support individuals and organizations that inspire positive change in the world, according to the website.

"Photography is a powerful method of communication that we can use to uplift, inspire and initiate change in our world," Ara says on the website.

In light of World Photo Day, local photographers share their thoughts on this art as well as their own images that reflect positivity.

Q: Why did you choose to become a photographer?

A: I chose to become a photographer because I enjoy turning a family's everyday moments into art. I love being able to capture little moments that they don't even notice as significant and showing it to them in such a way that they say, 'Yes! That's our life — that's us' and making that something beautiful that they'll want to show off and remember forever. — Lauren Kupfer, 34, Lauren K Photography

Q: What inspires you about photography?

A: Photography makes me want to travel, both in seeing it and having the desire to capture it. I love capturing people in moments they don't realize they're being photographed for a true illustration of who they are. — Laura Stoneburner, 32, owner of Stoneburner Studios

Q: How do you think photography impacts the world?

A: Photography gives us pause, and I can think of no other time in history when we've needed that more. A photo can capture a moment and leave it for reflection, learning, change, hope. Photography can reach people and places inside our hearts that cannot be reached by anything else. It is whole and singular at the same time, allowing each viewer to determine their own emotions about a photo in the privacy of their minds. — Kari Lugo, 43, owner of Kari Lugo Photography

Q: What don't most people realize about photography?

A: In my experience, some folks equate high-end equipment with excellent photographs. An interesting and/or compelling photograph is usually created thanks to the eye, heart and the mind of the photographer. And, sometimes luck is a factor. Equipment is simply a tool, especially in the age of digital cameras. — Ann Arbor Miller, 45, owner of Arbor Photographic

Q: How can photography help make a difference?

A: By provoking hearts and minds to react, to think, to learn, to remember. Photography can move people to do incredible things, and it can be the most simple learning tool, to teach the toughest of lessons. — Kari Lugo, 43, owner of Kari Lugo Photography

Q: What are some reasons to celebrate photography?

A: There's something so enjoyable about a beautiful photo. It's amazing to me the level of creativity and talent that other photographers have. It serves as a constant inspiration to be better and to keep learning. There's something so pure about being able to enjoy a great photo because you are left to interpret the image. You don't have any outside influences swaying your decision or telling you how to feel. While a photographer can shoot an image to highlight certain aspects of a situation or conflict, it is ultimately up to the viewer to make a decision as to how they want to feel about the image. That is something that seems harder to come by nowadays.

— Nichole Seitz, 31, owner of Nichole Seitz Photography

Read more local photographer's responses online at


World Photo Day contest

To submit photos to the World Photo Day global photo contest, visit


2017 N.D. Governor's photo contest

Launched in 2004, the North Dakota Governor's Photo Contest calls for North Dakota residents to submit their best photos that capture the beauty of the state. Starting with just 300 entries the first year, the contest has grown exponentially with nearly 11,000 photos submitted in years since.

Categories: Adventure and Recreation, Scenery, Communities and Events, Fun with Family and Friends, Places to Visit and Wildlife.


• Category winners: $200 cash prize

• Selected honorable mentions: $50 cash prize and North Dakota Legendary merchandise

• "Best of Show" winner: additional $300 cash prize, one-year membership to AAA

• Winning photos will also be published through N.D. Tourism, AAA and N.D. Capitol building

Deadline for entry is Aug. 31. Complete contest rules can be found at

For more information, contact the Tourism Division at (701) 328-2525.