A photo for Eastside Baby Corner will be a part of the Witness to Hope exhibit at SBCC. Merrill Images.

A photo for Eastside Baby Corner will be a part of the Witness to Hope exhibit at SBCC. Merrill Images.

Local photographers highlight Eastside nonprofits in new exhibit

John and Lisa Merrill share their Witness to Hope exhibit at SBCC.

John and Lisa Merrill are among the fortunate few to turn their passion for photography into a full-time business. As the photographers behind Merrill Images, they have worked with a broad variety of nonprofit clients and businesses to tell compelling visual stories for more than 20 years.

The Merrills first began in travel and culture photography. In 1994, the two took a break from their careers and rented out their home. They then traveled to Africa and Asia, documenting their experiences. Upon their return, they founded Merrill Images and signed contracts with three stock photography agencies. Through working with the stock photography agencies, they were introduced to taking photographs of local nonprofits.

With two decades’ worth of photographs, the Merrills decided they wanted to shine a light on the nonprofits they have worked with over the years.

Now through May 29, photos of nine Eastside nonprofits are on display at the South Bellevue Community Center (SBCC) as part of the Merrills’ Witness to Hope exhibit.

A larger Witness to Hope exhibit recently concluded at the Seattle Foundation highlighting Seattle area nonprofits.

“It’s really nice to shine a light on businesses and nonprofits that serve our communities,” Lisa Merrill said.

Some of the nonprofits highlighted in the Witness to Hope exhibit include Kindering Center, KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Bellevue Boys and Girls Club, Eastside Pathways and Eastside Baby Corner.

The exhibit name, Witness to Hope, was inspired by the Merrill’s perspective of the challenges communities and society face. John said that the need for action is great, as is the need for hope to support that action.

The Merrills consider their photography as “social impact photography” because it serves to tell the stories of local nonprofits and their positive effect in their communities.

Lisa said it’s a privilege to witness and document moments of connection, learning and empowerment that is brought by the organizations.

“This kind of photography strengthens communities,” she said. “It’s our job to tell these stories well.”

At the May 4 debut of the SBCC Witness to Hope exhibit, Lisa will speak more about her and John’s experience doing social impact photography from 10:30-11 a.m.

For more information about the Witness to Hope exhibit or about Merrill Images, go online to https://www.merrillimages.com/index.

A photo for Tiny Trees Preschool will be a part of the Witness to Hope exhibit at SBCC. Merrill Images.

A photo for Tiny Trees Preschool will be a part of the Witness to Hope exhibit at SBCC. Merrill Images.

A photo for Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue will be a part of the Witness to Hope exhibit at SBCC. Merrill Images.

A photo for Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue will be a part of the Witness to Hope exhibit at SBCC. Merrill Images.

John and Lisa Merrill will have their exhibit, Witness to Hope on display from May 4-29. Photo by Bruce Hudson.

John and Lisa Merrill will have their exhibit, Witness to Hope on display from May 4-29. Photo by Bruce Hudson.

More in News

Police arrest man suspected of assisted living facility thefts

Similarities found in several theft reports.

Bellevue takes steps toward transit oriented development

Bellevue city council approves the guiding principles for East Main’s transit focused development.

City council position 3 candidates talk affordability and growth

The Bellevue Reporter reached out to council candidates to share who they are and what they value.

King County Correctional Facility is located at 500 5th Ave., Seattle. File photo
King County jail’s leaky pipes have national implications

Lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court alleges Aquatherm has been selling faulty pipes.

Council candidates for Position 1 speak to level of service, growth, and homelessness

The candidates are incumbent John Stokes, Holly Zhang and Martin Acevedo.

VoteWA is a $9.5 million program that came online last May and is meant to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single entity. Courtesy image
WA’s new voting system concerns county elections officials

VoteWA has run into some problems in recent months as the Aug. 6 primary election draws closer.

Bellevue PD: 153 firework reports made on temporary heat map tool

Improvements to be made, tool expected to return next year

Islamic Center Approved to Rebuild on Damaged Building’s Footprint

After being hit by two arsons since 2017, the Islamic Center of Eastside is on its way to a rebuild

Most Read