Beautiful Story of a Photographer Making a Difference

This month I have been studying the book Aspire by Kevin Hall and in it was touched by the paragraph that reads, "The two most important days of our life are the day we were born and the day we discover what we were born to do. That's the day we catch the vision of who we are meant to be." Photographer Rocky Braat wanted more in life and found it on a trip to India. The new film, "Blood Brother" captures his inspiring story about the power of love, service and transformation.

After graduating from the Art Institute in Pittsburgh, photographer Rocky Braat decided to travel around India with a friend. What he didn't realize was how that one trip would change his life after stumbling on an orphanage for children with AIDS. It was there at the orphanage that Rocky found his sense of belonging, his purpose, his vision of who he was meant to be in life. After returning home from the trip, Rocky set out to get back there as soon as he could. He worked for a year saving money, then sold everything and headed back to the orphanage in India with a suitcase full of toys and a new direction in life. Speaking of the kids Rocky said, "I can't take any of them out of the situation, but I can put myself into it."

After having spent a couple years in the country, Rocky's good friend and college roommate Steve Hoover decided to visit and see for himself what Rocky was doing there. Touched by the experience Hoover, a filmmaker for Animal Media Group, put together a team and began documenting the story. Roughly $15,000 for travel expenses for a crew of six was raised through Kickstarter and, once in southeastern India, the filmmakers slept on the cement floor of Rocky's hut in the center of the village for a couple months in 2011.

"The entire project was funded through donations. Up until now, the completion of the project, we have no debt, we have no overhead costs, nobody to pay back. ... From the start, we'd had no interest in a financial gain from this film. In turn, we wanted to put all the money toward charity, toward helping Rocky and helping the kids," producer Danny Yourd said.

"It really struck a chord in us personally, just to see a human being who is a young, very talented, handsome guy who really could do whatever he wanted to do with his life. In our very superficial advertising world that we live in, day after day, to see someone do something so pure," said Kathy Dziubek, a partner in Animal and co-executive producer of the film.

In addition to using the film to document Rocky and the children's story, a book has been created. The book, "I Was Always Beautiful" is the raw, unedited documentation of Rocky's life and what the children have taught him. This was done in hopes that people could experience his journey through personal journal entries and full-page photographs. You can watch the trailer for the book at - All proceeds from the book sales also go directly to Rocky and the kids.

Such an amazing story and I cannot wait to see the film in it's entirety. Thank you to photographer Jordan Brittley for sharing the film trailer with me. It definitely touched my life and I hope it does yours as well.

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Brian Scaglia's picture

In a world/society were most people consume and take for themselves there is something AMAZING when a person gives themselves away to a cause that helps other people. 

Loved the trailer!

Leonardo Leonardo's picture


Brian McCarthy's picture

After the non-stop focus on the misery in Newtown, CT it's a great reminder that we can be a source of light in our world. Thanks for posting, Trevor. 

Caroline George's picture

Awesome and gut wrenching.  Proud of you Rocky.

sumaira ameen's picture

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