Photography isn’t just to fulfill a hobby or make a living – it can also be about committing your services to a worthy cause. Here is where these tips will help you make headway in this field of giving back to society. This is particularly important since the year-end holidays are on their way.
Anyone can be the recipient
Forget about trying to find a charitable organization that needs photographers – just volunteer your free service with a simple Facebook status message or a blog post and work should come your way sooner or later. And remember, work of any kind for any person, place or thing, is fine, so long as it’s for a noble cause.
Just putting the word across to other photographers might put you in touch with organizations that desperately need photographers to document everything they are doing. Or it could just be for a newsletter or annual souvenir they are bringing out.
Some organizations you could help…
1. Shutter Mission (www.ShutterMission.org) is a site that lists volunteer opportunities for photographers to give back to society that helped them find their footing.
2. The Tiny Light Foundation (http://www.thetinylight.com) is another non-profit organization that makes photography accessible to children and families faced with life-altering ailments.
3. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (http://www.imagesforacure.com) is yet another organization where you can donate your time and session fees.
4. Pictures of Hope Foundation (http://www.picturesofhopefoundation.org) provides documentary-style, photography services free of charge to families with a child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
5. Operation Love Reunited (http://www.oplove.org) photographers provide free homecoming and deployment portrait sessions to US military families.
6. Help Portrait (http://help-portrait.com) is a not-for-profit organization that brings photographers and low-income families come together for holiday portrait sessions.
7. NILMDS (http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org) helps you with medical photo ops, but more importantly, it is seeking remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with the free gift of professional portraiture. But remember, when it comes to newborn pictures, the babies are kept in dim rooms, and using flash is highly discouraged. Be prepared with wide apertures and high ISO.
8. Photogs for Charity (http://www.photogsforcharity.com) if you are in London.
This is no exhaustive of organizations, but this is a good starting point. Another way to find places in and around where you live or work would be to contact your local hospital or nursing home where you may be able to offer your services. Also your local photography club (including the online ones) may know of any opportunities like this. Or they may take up the challenge and start something. Good luck!
~Zahid H Javali