Are you doing well in photography? Do you have a cause you believe in? Your skills and pictures can help the world more than you might have thought.
We live in an increasingly visually driven world. In a landscape inundated with information, a good picture can be the marker that draws someone’s attention. Causes and charities are often in need of such images and could use the assistance of someone with solid photographic skills and the willingness to donate their time and services. Before I go further, let me emphasize the distinction here. I’m not talking about giving away your services to companies or events that can afford them for free “exposure.” That’s an entirely different discussion. Listed below are five charities or ways you can give back using your photographic prowess.
1.) Pets up for Adoption
One Picture Saves a Life is one of my favorite causes. Animal shelters are notoriously overpopulated and underfunded. Sadly, this often translates to not being able to afford the services of a professional photographer. One Picture Saves a Life believes that through both training animal shelter staff in grooming practices and photographic technique, as well as providing volunteer photographers to shelters, the viability of pet adoption is increased. The results are nothing short of incredible.
2.) Operation: Love Reunited
Operation: Love Reunited is a charity that coordinates professional photographers with families of deployed military personnel and offers pre and mid-deployment shoots (with prints shipped directly overseas), homecoming sessions, and in the tragic event of the loss of a loved one, services that include canvases for display (if they were a previous OpLove client) or homecoming/funeral services. You can read more on the charity's website.
3.) Shoots for a Cure, Flashes of Hope, and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Shoots for a Cure and Flashes of Hope provide professional portrait sessions for cancer patients (Flashes of Hope works exclusively with children). As Flashes of Hope states: “Volunteer stylists make every child feel special before they step in front of the camera with family, friends and often, a favorite nurse. A routine day quickly turns into a celebration of the love that surrounds them.” Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep provides remembrance portraiture for parents suffering the unthinkable tragedy of the loss of a newborn. All three organizations are strongly oriented toward providing remembrance and documentation of strength for families.
Do you have a cause you believe in that doesn’t have enough exposure? Remember that people can’t care about things they’re unaware of. Get out there and document it (please do it legally and safely). Interested in environmental conservation? Find your local nature preserve and showcase its beauty. You also don’t have to seek out the action. Are you a big advocate of feminism? Feature it in a shoot. The first step to begetting change is awareness.
5.) Seek Out
Do you have a local charity or cause in mind? Call them. You would be surprised how thankful and welcoming they might be to you for offering your services.
Do you have any favorite charities, causes, or ways to give back? Share them in the comments!
Images used with permission.