Lee Bartran Photography | Humanitarian & Non-Profit Photographer | Visual Storyteller

Together we can plant a spark in people's hearts inspiring them to get involved.

You're doing good work throughout the world and I want to help you share your story, your heart, your passion through provoking imagery.

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Meet Lee | Lee Bartran Photography | Humanitarian & Non-Profit Photographer | Visual Storyteller

 Meet Lee

So who’s the person behind the lens…..

I’m Lee….a Colorado native, single mom to seven, deep-thinking introvert who loves travel and photography. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a pretty cool life so far, especially growing my family through adoption. It’s been a ridiculously fun and crazy journey the past 20 years, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Having run my own non profit for 10 years in an international setting, I understand the demands. Long hours and sometimes being the manager/volunteer coordinator/fundraiser all at once. It's taxing. Yet the deep rooted passion for the meaningful work we do is the driving force. Having been in your shoes, it's that unique perspective that let's me use my photography skills so you can share your story in a way that connects with people.

 Countries I’ve had the pleasure to point & shoot in


“You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give”
~ Winston Churchill

Lee Bartran Photography | Humanitarian & Non-Profit Photographer | Visual Storyteller

My Story

I’ve always said my kids have been (and are) my greatest teachers. Humbling me around every corner, challenging me in ways I never knew were possible, and inspiring me to do things I never would have dreamed of.  Although our family was complete many years ago with our four girls from China, there was always the agonizing feeling knowing thousands of orphaned children still remained behind…waiting.  

A trip back to China in 2003 gave me a glimpse into the lives of those kids who wait. Sigh…it was hard. Hard to know what really goes on, and hard to walk away and wonder what I could do half way around the world.  

So I began with foster care, developing a program for hundreds of kids to be moved out of an orphanage setting into foster families…what a difference it made for them. The next few years, I spent time with a US based volunteer organization serving on their board of directors, leading medical trips, and overseeing the foster care program in China. It was an opportunity I am forever grateful for.

It was incredibly rewarding….but still the demand of children with medical conditions who needed help was huge. So in 2007, in partnership with a family living in China, I created my own non-profit An Orphans Wish. We created a healing home in Guilin, China. Our mission was to bring in medically frail children to our unit, get them much needed medical care, provide them education and a loving family type setting where they could thrive.

And they did….it was crazy rewarding!

To see a few photos of my work in China, click here.

Lee Bartran Photography | Humanitarian & Non-Profit Photographer | Visual Storyteller

Lee Bartran Photography | Humanitarian & Non-Profit Photographer | Visual Storyteller

For 8 years, that was my baby. Running an organization that operated half way around the world.

My 60 hour weeks were full. Hundreds of emails, working alongside 45 dedicated & talented volunteers in the US, collecting & shipping supplies and lots and lots of fundraising. It was during this time I began my journey in photography and quickly learned the power of good imagery. The combination of photography, storytelling and social media became the source of 95% of our funds and it was successful.

Unfortunately due to a changing political climate, a decision was made in 2014 to close my non-profit and begin looking for new ventures. Taking the skills I had learned over the past 20 years, I realized what I can offer others doing the same work.

Powerful storytelling through photography. It just works!

Lee Bartran Photography | Humanitarian & Non-Profit Photographer | Visual Storyteller

So now…. let’s talk about you.

Your story….your work….that’s why you’re here, right?

It takes a special kind of person to run an NGO…. a dedication that goes far beyond the typical 8-5.   Long hours, sometimes being the manager, volunteer coordinator & fundraiser all in one, guided by one strong vision.   You know your heart, and you know the possibilities for change…. .you just need to be heard.  

That’s where I come in.  I’ve been in your shoes and I know the path you are walking down.    All I need is a few weeks by your side.   Hearing your story firsthand, meeting the people you are serving face to face, walking through your day-to day routine, hearing your challenges and sharing in your success…and capturing it all with photographs.  

It’s a powerful tool and one I know first hand that works.

So reach out and say hello…..I’m thinking we might be a perfect fit.

~ Professional headshots taken by Decroce Photography


Lee is a very strong woman and passionate about serving those in dire need through the art of photography. Her determination to serve the poor...and her resilience to tough conditions, have been demonstrated by a vigorous hike in the rugged terrains just to reach out to the neglected communities in the remotest peripherals of Thyolo district. Without saying a word, her presence in the communities has always brought a glimmer of love and hope among the people: young and old.
— Boniface Mbewe, Program Director for CDF, Thyolo, Malawi