film

 

Phil Borges: Shooting for a Cause
June 27, 2016

by Jeramy Pritchett

At the end of a long day, watching inspiring work by some amazingly talented filmmakers at Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado, I was casually introduced to Phil Borges, whom was told to check out my socially conscious magazine. I was tired by then, so I’m sure I came off rather detached. But as I chatted with Phil, it dawned on me who he was. Phil’s work is part of the reason I decided to give up my day job, and chase my dream! The work that Phil has done as a social documentary photographer, is changing the lives of people around the world, and showing the power an image can have on us.


Photo by Jeramy Pritchett
Phil Borges
At the end of a long day, watching inspiring work by some amazingly talented filmmakers at Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado, I was casually introduced to Phil Borges, whom was told to check out my socially conscious magazine. I was tired by then, so I’m sure I came off rather detached. But as I chatted with Phil, it dawned on me who he was. Phil’s work is part of the reason I decided to give up my day job, and chase my dream! The work that Phil has done as a social documentary photographer, is changing the lives of people around the world, and showing the power an image can have on us.


Photo by Jeramy Pritchett
Photo's taken by Phil Borges

Back in the 60s Phil was a dental student in San Francisco. He was on a safe path for success; he planned to get a dental degree, open a practice, and live out the rest of his days telling people, “This isn’t going to hurt”. The hippy movement was in full bloom; Haight-Ashbury was part of a social revolution, and our young men were entrenched in a war that made no send. And while he spent his days learning about teeth and gums, at night Phil took pictures and video to emulate the changing times in which was engulfed.

Photo by Jeramy Pritchett
Photo's taken by Phil Borges
After graduation, he went into a private practice and spent the next 18 years in dentistry. Yet he never let go of his passion for photography. He knew that being a dentist just never felt right. Then one day, he decided it was time for a change. He packed up all of his belongings and asked his girlfriend if she and their little baby would like to come with him to Seattle so he could follow through on his dream of being a professional photographer. Lucky for Phil, she was all aboard with his vision. And while his former dental partners, friends, and family thought he had lost his mind and was throwing away a great career, Phil knew he had to take the chance. Through a lot of hard work Phil landed a job shooting the covers of women’s romance novels and doing family portraits and whatever else new photographers need to do to make ends meet. He wasn’t out to prove anything, only to do what was in his heart. After some time, Phil earned a reputation in his community as a talented photographer.

Photo by Jeramy Pritchett
Photo's taken by Phil Borges
Still, he wasn’t truly doing what he wanted to accomplish with his photography. He saw an advertisement for a benefit to raise money for women  in Tibet, and decided to approach the women at the event with a proposition. He told them he wanted to go to Tibet and take photographs, and that he would pay for his own trip, as long as they could point him in the right direction for who to talk to and see.


Photo by Jeramy Pritchett
Phil Borges taking photos during his trip
Once again, everyone thought he was crazy to leave his budding photography studio to work on something that wouldn’t bring in money, but he went anyway. During the trip, he met people who would open his eyes - as the 60’s had - and keep them open to what he would do for the rest of his life.


Photo by Jeramy Pritchett
Photo's taken by Phil Borges


Photo by Jeramy Pritchett
Photo's taken by Phil Borges
For the past twenty-five years Phil Borges has been living his dream by helping document the lives of indigenous and the tribal cultures around the world. Through his photography, Phil draws his audiences into the lives of people they will likely never meet. He helps us to step closer to the varied cultures, beliefs and conditions of other countries. I recommend you check out his work and follow his projects on his website at www.PhilBorges.com.

Photo by Jeramy Pritchett
Photo's taken by Phil Borges

Photo by Jeramy Pritchett
Photo's taken by Phil Borges
His latest project, Stirring the Fire, dives into the subject of gender equality. Here are some of the states from the website.


Photo by Jeramy Pritchett
Phil Borges taking photos during his trip

When you look at the Stirring the Fire website you will notice in bold bright red, Take Action. On Phil’s journey of life that is exactly what he has done. A simple man on his own dime, is helping to change the landscape of gender issues for women around the world.


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About The Author: Jacqueline Romano

Jacqueline Romano is the Creative Director & Editor of Blindfold Magazine. She feels it is her personal vocation to use her creative skills to raise awareness for people and organizations who are making positive change, both globally and locally.





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