Meet Whitney and Nick Runyon.
Since 2009, Whitney and Nick Runyon were your average newly married couple, each holding steady and growing careers; Whitney as a professional photographer and Nick and a professional airline pilot!
In March of 2011, Whitney reached out to an old acquaintance to ask if she could photograph her 2 year old daughter. One thing led to another and as the photoshoot was ending Whitney asked the natural question, “Are you guys going to have more kids?”. The mom, Lisa Eicher, slowly mentioned that they were actually in the adoption process. “And that’s when it happened, that’s when I knew. It was as if the clouds parted and I heard, ‘you’re supposed to go to Bulgaria and photograph their adoption’.” Recalls Runyon.
4 months later, in August of 2011, affordable with Nick’s airline benefits, Whitney and Nick were on a flight with the adoptive father to Sofia, Bulgaria to document the adoption. After the quick trip was over and photos were edited, Whitney put them on her personal social media because she thought “they were too powerful to keep to myself.” A few weeks later Runyon received an email from a woman she didn’t know sharing that, “because of your photos my husband and I are now adopting a chronically ill 5 year old from Ukraine.”
When the Runyons saw the power of media they hired a lawyer and became an official orphan care advocacy, 501c-3 nonprofit in early 2012. Over the next few years the 2 spent all of their extra time traveling around the world documenting adoptions and organizations who are caring for orphans.
After Whitney and Nick led their first Media Mission to Uganda (trips for artists T.A.P created to invite others to use their talents to serve orphans), the two began working towards quitting their day jobs and taking The Archibald Project full time. In November of 2014 they both took the leap of faith and walked away from weddings and flying. In December 2014 the two moved to Uganda for 5 months to work with several orphan care organizations that you can read about here and here.
During their time in Uganda the Runyons were educated on many different ways to care for orphans and saw the power and need for working with ethical organizations and families.
While the two aren’t working on The Archibald Project you can find them at home in Texas, enjoying time with their yellow labrador retriever and house church community.