Dear Canon Cameramakers,

We haven’t met, but I hope you don’t mind me introducing myself. My name is Caroline Collie.

This is my Hero Hubby, Mark.

We have one wonderful son we call the Bear…

And another little one on the way.

Almost three years ago we decided to invest in your Canon 40D. The Bear was on his way into the world, and we lived 1,000s of miles away from family, so we thought having a good camera to capture his first moments would be a good idea.

We got more than we bargained for.

Over the past two and a half years, we have had the joy of capturing moments, one by one. We often scroll through photos from the early days with our son, or special trips with family. They are priceless walks down memory lane.

We captured the long and exciting days anticipating the birth of our son.

We captured the early moments when our tiny Bear had just entered the world. We were very thankful to have these precious memories well recorded, to share them with grandparents and siblings, family and friends around the globe.

We captured the first moments when each of our parents met their first grandchild for the first time.

We captured memories as we enjoyed special adventures together.

And we captured pieces of our life in the land where we met and fell in love, Scotland.

We captured moments from our ministry there, which we’re incredibly thankful to hold on to.

We moved from Scotland to South Africa, and our joy for photography grew.

The wild scenery of our beautiful Africa has continually beckoned us to take one more shot, look for one more angle.

And we’ve found new purpose in the pictures we’re taking, as we sometimes have the privilege of giving a voice to the voiceless.

We truly believe that every person has a story, and our camera has helped us tell stories, even when we didn’t have the words.

In our work here, we hold on to the belief that people matter. We wash feet and we put new shoes on those feet, because we want people in poverty to know that they’re important, and that they matter.

And when we point our lens at faces that have seen hard times and known hunger or distress, we believe that we are building bridges. We believe that when people see, they can’t help but care. And when they care, they can’t help but try to make a difference.

Today we’re writing you, and asking you to care and to make a small difference. A few weeks ago, we stopped to give a ride to someone walking in the rain. They repaid the favour by silently unzipping the lid that held the investment we made three years ago. When they got out of our car, they walked away with a part of our voice, because they walked away with our camera.

If you look back through the posts on this website, you might discover that we’re missionaries hoping to make a small difference in South Africa. You might find that our most recent concern has been pulling together the funds to be able to go home for Christmas this year. And you might gather from what we’ve shared that we don’t have the finances to invest in a new camera right now.

But we’d like to ask for your help. In return we can only promise to talk about our thankfulness to anyone who’ll listen. We’ll unashamedly advertise for you because of your kindness. We’ll make sure everyone who visits this site knows what we’re very pleased to tell you: every picture in this post was taken with our Canon 40D.

And though that camera might be long gone by now, we are so thankful for the memories you’ve helped us capture and the stories you helped us tell. If it’s at all possible, we’d be incredibly thankful if you’d help us capture more.


Mark and Caroline Collie


Dear friends, I am sending this blog post to Canon in hopes that they’ll read our story and want to help. I wondered if you might be willing to help, too. Would you send the link to this post to (And CC cedcollie {at} gmail {dot} com so that I’ll know you sent an email on our behalf?) Perhaps if you’ve been inspired by the photography on this site, you could share a story with the folks at Canon, or you could simply encourage them to respond to our little request. Will you pass this on to friends and ask them to do the same? We would really appreciate it. We have more stories and inspiration to send your way soon! xCC