Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions? We have answers.


Photo Start is a nonprofit organization that teaches students critical, marketable skills, helps them find their voice, and supports their personal and academic growth.

We currently operate programs in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and the United States, with Israel set to join the family in September 2021.

Photography is uniquely suited to Photo Start’s goals:

  • Students who learn to operate digital cameras and photo editing programs gain transferable skills and can seek employment in many fields beyond photography.
  • Photography integrates science, technology, art, storytelling and digital production. Our lessons also include social-emotional learning and development, making Photo Start a low-cost, high-value educational program for under-resourced and marginalized communities.
  • Photography is a valuable outlet for expression especially for those who are deaf and learning to speak or have difficulty communicating due to trauma or special needs.
  • It’s fun! Photography is a great way to engage students in a new hobby to teach marketable skills.

The program includes lessons on theoretical and practical photography as well as life skills. Students learn in the classroom and in organized and independent photography sessions. Students also enjoy going for regular walks through the community, taking field trips, and putting their work on display in exhibitions.

Students ages six and older can participate in the program. These students live in communities where obstacles such as poverty, abuse, crime, and malnourishment are a daily part of life. We also work with many partners whose students face other difficulties accessing opportunities for growth.

Photo Start partners exclusively with nonprofits, schools, and community organizations to deliver programming to their current and future students. These organizations provide students with necessities like food, water, sanitation, and education, and Photo Start complements their work with its programming.

No. Photo Start relies on cash and in-kind donations from individuals and brand supporters to ensure no child is left out.

David Lehman developed the idea for Photo Start after reading an article about young people in the Nairobi informal settlements pursuing photography as a way to escape the street. After several visits with the Nairobi students, David, along with his sister Abigail and their friend CJ Meyer, established Photo Start in 2016.


One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time. If you have a talent or skill you would like to share for the greater good, please complete our volunteer form HERE.

We are always looking for people to spread the word about our mission and to provide whatever support might be unique to YOU!

A really fun and easy way to help is to follow us on Instagram and Facebook and make sure to like, share, and comment on our posts. Find our links in the footer.

You can also host fundraisers or exhibitions, organize a donation drive, or even dedicate your special event to benefit Photo Start. Contact us for more information.

Yes! Equipment donations are vital to our program. Please fill out our equipment donation form HERE.


Photo Start depends 100% on cash and in-kind donations from individuals and brand supporters.

For a one-time or recurring monetary donation, please visit THIS PAGE. For other donations such as cryptocurrencies, stocks, bonds, and more, please contact us at

Photo Start is a registered United States 501(c)3 organization. Donations made within the United States are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Spending most of our time in Africa, it may take a bit longer than we’d like to accept, inspect, and issue donation receipts. We aim to have all receipts delivered within 4-8 weeks of receipt of donation. For further information, feel free to contact us at

You Can Help

Photo Start relies on donations to operate. Your generous gift today will brighten the tomorrows of our students.