Tommy Penick Photo

Commercial and Outdoor Adventure Photographer


I just got back from yet another photo excursion--this time to Jinotepe, Nicaragua.

Back in the fall my good friend Ashley Auman went with her cousin to this orphanage in Diriamba, Nicaragua to help out with medical stuff. After going down, they realized that while the need for medical attention was pretty severe, more importantly the orphanage and ministry were just plain out of money. As soon as Ashley hit the ground back in the States, I got a call. Being a science person, Ashley doesn't know much about photos or storytelling. So that's where I fit in.

I had a main project that I wanted to accomplish--following a girl, Maria Castillo and her family that have overcome some really hard times and now the girl is in med school. Maria's family couldn't afford the cost but the group I was with funded her first year. The project will hopefully open up opportunities for her, and for other people in her situation. It's so great to see people like Maria strive for every single learning opportunity down there, while kids here in the States just complain about it (not excluding myself).

Link to the photo essay

I also shot a ton around the community and came up with a lot of stuff I enjoy looking at, but don't necessariy fit into the story line of Maria and her family.

While we were down there, we did a lot of work with a school that essentially serves as an orphanage called, La Quinta Esparanza, that is led by two American missionaries. Their ministry is absolutely huge--everywhere you look they have another project going on.

Something about Nica light is just awesome. Golden hour is phenomenal and lasts forever, great sunsets every night, and no interior lights mixed with windows with satin draped across them serve as a softbox in every room. This single is the cook of the orphanage watching the children be fed after Sunday school.

This single was shot at a child protection center called El Aydante in Léon, Nicaragua. The center not only provides a place for the kids that live there to play, but for all of the community members as well. Here are a few interacting and playing.