Giving Back

As photographers we have lots of opportunities to help others in our communities.   Tonight’s blog will showcase a few of those places where you can donate two of the most valuable gifts you have—your time and talent. There are places to volunteer to shoot portraits of military families to send to their loved ones deployed overseas.

Each year thousands of animals are dumped off at shelters and, if no homes are found, are euthanized.  Many animal shelters have been hit hard by the economy and are struggling to get by.  The photos they post of their guests are grainy and unlikely to draw in a new owner.  There are now shelters getting photographers to donate their time and produce studio portraits of the animals allowing them to be adopted more quickly.

My own personal project has been Operation Photo Rescue.

This non-profit group goes in where disasters have struck to try and salvage the damaged pictures.  Few of these images are great photographs, but each of them is a precious memory.  I really enjoy restoring old pictures.  It is time consuming and challenging trying to undo the ravages of water, mold, scratches, etc.  As a volunteer, you download scanned images and do your best.  The restored photos are then uploaded back to the website, printed, and returned to their owners.

Last year I didn’t get to help much, but this year I will do better. Get out and give back.