Giving Back Through Photography
IDEAS to GIVE BACK as a Photographer
Nowadays, more and more people are feeling the need to give back and photographers are no exception. While photography might not be a primary good, it is deeply connected with at least two important aspects of life: memory and identity. As photographers, we are in the unique position to tell people’s unique stories and gift them and their relatives precious memories. An opportunity we should never underestimate.
If last year’s edition of SNAP was devoted to the theme of self-care, SNAP 2019 will be dedicated to giving back. In particular, we will be teaming up with the IDo community created by fellow photographer Emma Case. Watch this space for more info about who they are and what they do.
In the meanwhile, we have asked our community how they actively give back using their photography skills. Here is a list of ideas, including some charities that are in active need of photographers. We hope they will inspire other photographers to do the same.
Volunteer for Animals’ Shelters
Things I do for an animal charity I volunteer for ‘The Mayhew’: I photograph their kittens and puppies helping them to get adopted; I photograph their staff teams and they use the images in their marketing, PR and charity comms.; I scrub in to theatre and photograph their trainee vets at work so that they can continue as a training centre for universities; I do a photo booth for them to raise money at their events; I do red carpet photography at their annual Christmas gala… So lots of different ideas for working with animal charities there! My advice is to work on relationship building and trust. Animal rescues have to be really guarded over who they let get close to their animas. Many of them are damaged and have been abused. A good way to start is to volunteer to photograph their events, they always need those photos for use in the press. Doing this work has massively helped my business. I test all my skills and equipment on these jobs.
- Rowan from Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography
Donate some of your profits to a cause
The gallery that I share with couples is there to raise money for my supported charity. When family order prints the profits go to the charity - this year it’s ‘Dogs For Good’ - Andrew Billington Photography is training an assistance dog!’ So far we’ve raised £2.5K this year - that’s probably £20K in the last ten years!!!!
Volunteer for a charity documenting what they do
I went over to Africa with Soundseekers and documented the work that they were doing.
I did some non-profit work for Coming Out UK at Pride this year.
Organise a charity portrait weekend
I organised a charity portrait weekend back in the Spring, to help set up Invisible Manchester. This is a new social enterprise for people affected by homelessness, which trains them up to become tour guides around the city. I did 24 shoots over the two days, with a whole range of people on the streets of Manchester, and raised £1600 for the scheme. It was the first time I've ever done anything like this, and the response was overwhelming. People are so kind.
Use your network
Not specifically photography related, but using your networks to raise money is good. I raised close to £2000 for Mind when I did my walk and that was through sharing via my networks.
- Laura from Babb Photography
Auction wedding photography off
There is a 12 year old girl, living locally to me who has recently been diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. A family friend set up a FB page to raise funds to help support the family financially to relieve a tiny amount of the strain they would feel. I was so struck by this that I offered a free wedding package for them to auction off. All money raised goes straight to the family. The original target was £1000. Due to the generosity of local business and members of the public, they are currently at £4417.
We just don’t realise how lucky we are until we hear things like this!
Remember my Baby
I am a volunteer for Remember My Baby in Sussex.
I go to hospitals and do remembrance photography for families who lose their babies before during or shortly after birth.
The Butterfly Wishes Network
I also volunteer for The Butterfly Wishes Network. A not-for-profit organisation who offer photography services free of charge to families of children with life-shortening conditions. Here’s a couple of images from shoots I’ve done for them if you need them.
- Phil from The Dignums Photography
Something To Look Forward to
I volunteer my services - family and couple portraits - for Something To Look Forward To. It's run by one family for people affected by cancer to source 'gifts' donated by people and companies.
Gift of a Wedding
Gift of a Wedding is a charity that gifts wedding services and vow renewals to people with terminal or a life-shortening illness.
I photographed the wedding of Stephen and Joanne earlier in the year for 'Gift of a Wedding'. They were such a wonderful couple. Sadly Stephen had terminal cancer so of course the wedding was rife with emotion. I was sure to photograph everyone who was there at some point through out the day and to capture as many moments as possible, especially Stephen with his grandchildren. Stephen got tired easily and didn't want to do a lot so I just captured the day as it was. Sadly, I learned that Stephen died a few weeks ago and I'm really so grateful that I was able to do this for them, it seems like such a small gift to give but one that will last and mean so much to Joanne.
-Lizzie from Shoot It Momma Photography