There’s nothing quite like helping others just for the fun of it. With Thanksgiving upon us, and as the Christmas season approaches, we all want to do a little extra to make others feel special. You may not realize it, but your photography skills are very valuable to those who either don’t have the equipment or just don’t know how to get the best images possible. Here are 5 ways to help them out.
Take Photos Of Your Friends And Family
This is the easiest thing you can do, especially when you’re quite good at photography. The next time you’re with your family, do them a favor and snap a few photos they can use. You don’t have to do it all the time, but they will always appreciate it. Sometimes it’s fun to surprise them with pictures you took from an event that happened a long time ago.
The key to the fun is to keep it a surprise. As soon as you’re expected to be the family photographer, it isn’t nearly as fun anymore. Take pictures when you feel like it, and only give them because you want to do it.
Help A Friend Who Is Building A Business
If one of your friends is an entrepreneur, go ahead and do some pro-bono photography work. This will set your friend’s business apart from all of the other business that use stock photography for their website, brochures, and other marketing materials. If your friend sells a product, take a few nice pictures and give them away. When the business takes off, your friend will never forget what you’ve done.
Don’t just limit yourself to business images. Even if a friend of your is simply trying to sell something on Ebay, a nice picture can make all the difference. It only takes a few seconds.
Take Photos When You See Tourists
Whenever you’re near a landmark and you see a family or a couple that could use your help, don’t wait for them to ask you. Go up to them and ask them if they want you to take their picture. It’s a really simple gesture that really goes a long way. If it were your family, you would want everyone in the shot too.
It helps when you don’t have a big head about it. Don’t tell anyone that you’re really into photography. Just snap the picture and let them enjoy it.
Take Photos Of Community Events And Share Them With Others
Maybe your kids play soccer or they’re involved in a church program. The next time there’s a big game or a event, become the photographer and give everyone copies of your pictures. This is not only a great way to share your skills, it can become a nice way to market your photography services. You never know who will see the pictures.
I usually talk to parents as I’m taking the pictures. I have them leave their email addresses with me, and then I create a Flickr group with the images. Facebook is really good for this as well.
Teach Your Friends Your Photography Skills
If you’ve got a friend who’s just getting into photography, take some time to teach him or her the finer points of the art. Oftentimes, this involves having a few casual chats about camera settings while critiquing some work. It’s even more fun when you organize photo walks at sunrise and sunset. They’ll benefit from your knowledge, and you’ll get a new shooting buddy.
I like to help my community with photography workshops (and this blog). Find a popular gathering place (your recreation center, library, or local coffee shop), and post a few messages on the corkboard. It can really fun to get everyone involved. Plus, if you’re starting to build your own photography business, you might just find some new employees within your group. You never know with these things. One act of kindness and friendship can open many doors.
I know there are many more ways to help your community with your photography. That’s why I want to hear your take on it. Have you done something exceptional for your community with your photography skills? Send me an email. I’m excited to hear about it!
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