Photography…Your Power To Make A Real Difference

This month I’m exercising my creative license.

I generally write once a month about a topic which appropriately falls into the category of “Industry Trends.” Well this post won’t be about hardware trends, post-processing or output. Nope. This is about something which I fervently hope is a growing trend – and I’d like to see it remain that way.

I’m talking about the kindness of strangers, and paying it forward with random acts of kindness! It’s something I hope we all think about and strive for, despite this being the week of the US holiday Thanksgiving.

As you develop and mature in your photographic career, as your circles widen, your skill-sets fine-tuned and your confidence grows, I encourage you to think about ways you can share your creativity and talents to improve the lives of others. There are so many wonderful charities that interconnect to photography, and any one of them would be grateful for your support, participation and compassion.

photography charitiesThe Photo Imaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) has embraced Portraits of Love, free portraits for family members of active military personnel. Now I Lay me Down to Sleep offers remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with the free gift of professional portraiture. PPA supports Operation Smile – can you think of a more heartwarming situation than to be a part of a child experiencing a confident smile?

A more recent philanthropic effort – Help Portrait, founded by Celebrity Photographer Jeremy Cowart, is a community of photographers, coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local community.

I’m sure an extensive and exhaustive search could be done; I quickly found this link at Shutter Mission which is a handy quick-link list of just a few photographic charities. Even a popular hobbyist publication Shutterbug took time to highlight one group “Rehabilitation through Photography” in their online edition.

Either by donating your time, your equipment, or a monetary amount, your involvement is appreciated beyond expression.

And if a formal group thing isn’t quite your style? That’s okay too.

I’ve seen individuals take their own creative twist to “pay it forward,” like a top wedding photographer who has a strong love of dogs and personally believes in and promotes the adoption of rescue animals. She has partnered with a local shelter in her area, and photographs the animals…resulting in a win-win for everyone. She sells prints of the dogs in her online ecommerce, with a portion of the proceeds going directly back to the shelter. The shelter is allowed to use her photos of the animals in their adoption profile. Obviously an attractive pet photo will entice hopeful adoptive families.

You are all artists, you all create. You have the power to make a difference in someone’s life, maybe for only a moment but perhaps for even longer. As you plan for your new business year, I encourage you to integrate a philanthropic arm into your business plan. I think you’ll find it just as rewarding as paid work, perhaps even more.

Guest Post by Georgia McCabe – As an author, speaker, trainer and social media and photography evangelist, her perspectives entitled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Friends…or Enemies” appear in print in the book entitled The Relationship Age, with social media guru Mari Smith. Georgia is a frequent guest blogger for our professional photography lab.

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