Photo Contest Insider Blog


How You Can Use Your Photography to Raise Awareness for Important Issues

October 17, 2017

Many of us have the ability to use our talents to raise awareness for important and relevant issues in society and photography is no exception.

In fact, photographers are in a wonderful position to use their craft to support the causes they’re passionate about, particularly because people react so strongly to imagery. A picture tells a thousand words, as they say!

Today we’re going to be exploring the various ways that you can use your photography to raise awareness for important issues, in the hopes of inspiring you to make even more of a difference. Let’s get started!

Offering Your Services to Not-for-Profit Publications or Websites

Do you know of any websites or publications (such as magazines or newspapers) who dedicate their time to a certain charity or cause, whilst working as a not-for-profit or volunteer-led organization? Perhaps they raise funds for homelessness or focus on environmental preservation? The list really is endless.

As a photographer, you can benefit these not-for-profit and volunteer-led publications or websites by offering your services to them free-of-charge. You might volunteer to take photos at their next event, capture staff portraits, or even photograph images to accompany the stories they run. You can pretty much be assured that these companies or organizations will always need photos for something, so don’t be afraid to get in touch via email, introduce yourself, and offer your photo services!

Volunteering with Animal Shelters

You might be wondering why a photographer specifically should volunteer with animal shelters, but again, this time we’re purely talking about utilizing your camera skills. In the digital age, even animal shelters are turning to social media to raise awareness (and adoption rates) for the animals in their care….and thankfully, it’s working!

Understandably, a charity organization such as an animal shelter doesn’t have additional money to spend on hiring a photographer, so they’ll certainly appreciate professionals coming forth and offering their services out of the kindness of their own heart. You can either capture images for their marketing campaigns or promotional material (such as for posters or even to submit to local newspapers to run stories), or even for their social media accounts to present their animals in the best light possible!

Exploring Conservation Photography

Just in case you’re wondering what conservation photography is, it’s a genre that “furthers environmental or cultural conservation through ethical photography.” In other words, conservation photography itself uses imagery to raise awareness for important issues. Often, these issues surround environmental damage, animal extinction, poverty, and more.

Just some of the world’s most successful conservation photographers are Paul Nicklen, Brian Skerry, Cristina Mittermeier, and Joel Sartore. For more information about this genre of photography, as well as inspiration and news about upcoming events, you can visit the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Using Photography Sales for Charity

Have you ever dreamed of auctioning off some of your own photography prints to raise money for a cause close to your heart? This is a popular and fun way to increase awareness for an important charity or issue, so why wait? If your work already has quite the fan base, you can promote your event through your own social media in the hopes that hordes of cash-wielding bidders will come along. Alternatively, you could pair up with a few other photographer friends to make the auction as large as possible.

Whichever method you choose, one thing is for sure. You can certainly give yourself a pat on the back for choosing to donate your photography sales money to charity. It’s not an easy feat running such an auction, but you will have made a huge difference.

Collaborating with Other Photographers for an Awareness-Raising Exhibition

Similar to the group auction scenario we mentioned above, you can also team up with other photographers to organize a photo exhibition, with proceeds going towards a charity or important organization of your choosing. Not only can you charge guests a gold coin donation to view the exhibition, but you can also have other things being sold within, such as baked goods or drinks to make the experience more enjoyable.

You and your fellow photographers can also sell the work you exhibit, helping to raise further funds for your chosen cause. Add-in live music acts volunteering their time and plenty of social media promotion in the lead-up to the event, and you’ll certainly have one successful exhibition on your hands!

There you have it, just some of the awesome ways you can use your photography to raise awareness for important causes and make a much-needed difference. Will you be pursuing any of these ideas? Best of luck if you are!


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