Melanie Blanding is an independent documentary and humanitarian photographer.
She has lived and worked throughout the United States, Africa and Europe. Combining her background in photojournalism and visual anthropology, her cultural documentary work has been recognized by the NPPA’s International Best of Photography competition, The Hearst Foundation, The Alexia Foundation, Virginia and Kentucky’s Press Photographer’s Associations and the College Photographer of the Year competition.
Melanie Blanding got interested in Photography while in high school. She was interested in writing and joined the newspaper staff her senior year and started taking pictures. Soon she was made the staff photographer. Her senior year in highschool was devoted to photography for the paper. Then, she was hired as a staff photographer for the basketball team. Melanie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Photojournalism from Western Kentucky University in 2006 and an Masters of Arts in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester in 2009.
Recently, Melanie has been awarded a fellowship from Focus for Humanity to continue pursuing culturally relevant and storytelling photography with international charities. She will start her commitment with the fellowship in Uganda in May 2011.
To combine photography and cultural anthropology allowed her to be a witness to the mundane things and to learn what people do and why they do the things that they do. To be there, and to see how they are involved. She enjoyed being around people and she enjoys documenting life. She’s really more interested in the more humanitarian sector and to use photography for advocacy.