Using your photography to make a difference

December 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

 

Giving back is an important part of life, and being photographers we have a special way in which we can do this. You do not have to be a professional photographer to make a difference! With so many options and places that would be thrilled to utilize your services, where do you start? Find something that you have a passion for and something that touches your heart and start there.

I have always been an animal lover. I know we’ve all seen those heart-wrenching commercials with the Sarah McLachlan asking you to support dogs. While this has impact, so can your photos. I volunteer with a local organization called Picture Them Adopted. This group goes to our local county shelter and takes pictures of the dogs to show their personality. These are then used online to try and get the dogs adopted, instead of the “mug shots” that are usually taken when the dogs arrive that the shelter. There’s no better feeling for me when it comes to photography then finding out a dog that I’ve photographed as been adopted!!

You might think – does this really make a difference?  Look at the following photos. Which dog do you think is more likely to grab someone’s attention online?

In addition to my local volunteer group, I’ve also joined HeARTs Speak, which is an international non-profit organization that works with artists and organizations to help get animals adopted. Being part of HeARTs Speak has been amazing – not only do I meet other amazing photographers that share a similar passion, but I learn so much that helps me be a better photographer and helps me take better photos of the dogs.

You don’t have to photograph dogs, and you don’t have to spend a ton of time volunteering to make a difference! Find something that you are passionate about, and find an organization that you can volunteer with.  There are so many difference charities already in place to help. The best resource I’ve found is Shutter Mission (http://shuttermission.org). This site has a great list of charities as well as resources for photographers. 

I hope this encourages you to find an organization to work with! Have a suggestion for a charity or want to share where you give back with your photography?


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