Artist Spotlight: Walter Grio

He never set out to be a philanthropist, but Walter Grio is right where he is supposed to be. Walter explains that Shoot for Change manifested itself after a fashion and makeup photo shoot in Stockholm, Sweden. After posting those photos on the web in November 2006, a couple of people asked him to take their photos and to name his price. He was not a professional photographer and was surprised when someone asked him to do this, let alone actually wanting to pay him for his services. Walter then realized that money would never be a motivating factor for him. He thought about it and a few hours later, this statement was born: “All the money from every photo shoot that I do will go to a charitable organization.”

Since then, Shoot for Change has become a creative community with one thing in mind: to shoot for change and inspire the world one click at a time.

What was your favorite thing as a child? Why?

My favorite thing as a child was this really large gray teddy bear and I never let go of it.

How do you measure success?

I think if you’re happy with what you have, then you’ve been successful. Life is hard enough to try and measure happiness based on numbers. The bottom line is that most people have everything they could possibly need right in front of them.

Who do you admire most?

I admire my parents greatly. They sacrificed so much for me and my sister. They could have easily stayed in the Philippines, but they knew that their children’s future was at stake. So they decided to move – left their friends, careers, family, their home. All for a better future for their children.

What is the most memorable compliment you have received?

My first client, which was actually to video their wedding, said that I cared about their wedding just as I would if it was my own.

Who would you take a cross country trip with and why?

My girlfriend Nicole. She loves to drive and she has great taste in music and she loves to eat snacks.

Who/what inspires your style?

James bond. I’ve always liked his style. When I needed photographs for my first version of we decided to shoot it like James Bond style with me holding a camera in each hand while I wore a black suit and a black tie.

Who do you think most deserves the spotlight?

Hal Samples. He is a photographer from Dallas and he cares and tirelessly works to help raise the issue about homelessness in Dallas, Texas. I wish there were more people like him. Everyone should visit his website believe me, you will be inspired. (

Leah Grout