Let's pay it forward

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Randy
I have been shooting this way for a long time. I did a church directory for my old church. That was work but it was fun. I have shot newborns for mothers who could not afford pictures as well as engagements pictures and weddings and senior shots too. I love portraits and will usually refer them to people who charge if they can afford it but if they are referred to me by the pastor, who I told my theory, I will shoot them for free or for a very nominal cost. I am told beforehand what I need to charge.... funny but it makes them happier. I have donated time and talent to the local hospital and my new thing is to help cancer patients. I have shot a few now and it is very rewarding. It helps that we have a lot in common to talk about as we shoot.
thanks John
 
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houston tx
Yesterday we had the pumpkin patch at the school. I set up a photo booth, with a back drop and two flashes (one soft box, one umbrella). And we had two "picture frames" that the students could hold up if they liked. My daughter did the selling (she turned out to be quite a sales person), I took the pictures, and my wife printed them on a small mobile printer. We sold 35 pictures (4x6"), at $2 apiece, so we raised $70 for the school. So it was a modest start (it would have been simpler for me to just give $70 to the school), but the kids had a lot of fun, their classmates got some keepsake prints, and I got to practice my photography. One lesson: Bring something to weigh down the light stands! Luckily had gaffer tape, and there were a lot of big pumpkins to tape to the legs.

Here are some samples.

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I tried to get this going with my church's "fall festival" and everybody liked it except for the one person who only scanned the proposal and read about 142 characters. Because her crowd is always sharing cellphone photos etc. she didn't thing anyone would want a) the booth (oh, I DID say people would be free to use their own cameras) or b) a free paper printout (yes, that was something I would donate-- many people do not live in a sea of swirling electrons and text messages and pintergrams twitterheads). She's going to try to find a place for the "booth" but I doubt if it will happen in time for me to buy the 4x6 paper.
grrrr
 

Thorsten

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I tried to get this going with my church's "fall festival" and everybody liked it except for the one person who only scanned the proposal and read about 142 characters. Because her crowd is always sharing cellphone photos etc. she didn't thing anyone would want a) the booth (oh, I DID say people would be free to use their own cameras) or b) a free paper printout (yes, that was something I would donate-- many people do not live in a sea of swirling electrons and text messages and pintergrams twitterheads). She's going to try to find a place for the "booth" but I doubt if it will happen in time for me to buy the 4x6 paper.
grrrr
Well I hope they will get it sorted out! Our church does a "Teddy Bear Fair" in spring, and one of the most popular stations is always the photo booth where kids can get their picture taken with a stuffed animal, and then get a print. Even in today's facebook age, many folks still love to have an old fashioned real print. And for those who prefer to live in hyperspace, I like your idea of allowing them to take their own shots.
 
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Randy,
As a former teacher of the multiply handicapped and the father of a handicapped son I COMMEND you for your effort. You have no idea how much the parents and caregivers of those young men and women appreciate your work. GREAT job.
Dale
thanks Dale, it is very rewarding, way more than money
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
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Valley Falls, NY
I did animal photography for our local SPCA, providing photos for their pet adoption website. After 4 years of doing this almost weekly, I got burned out and disappointed by their indifference to having good photos (as I am sure most Nikon Cafe members could provide) vs. poorly composed, focused and exposed cell phone or point-and-shoot snaps.
I know the feeling. I've offered several times to take photos of events and people for our local Cystic Fibrosis chapter's newsletter, press releases, posters, and other PR material. Every time I've had gotten a non-committal reply and they continue to use snapshot quality images. I really wish CFF-NENY would realize that better marketing and decent pictures of their events will boost awareness of CF and increase donations.

That said, I still take photos of any CF fundraisers we participate in and they're free to use the photos.
 
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Randy
I know the feeling. I've offered several times to take photos of events and people for our local Cystic Fibrosis chapter's newsletter, press releases, posters, and other PR material. Every time I've had gotten a non-committal reply and they continue to use snapshot quality images. I really wish CFF-NENY would realize that better marketing and decent pictures of their events will boost awareness of CF and increase donations.

That said, I still take photos of any CF fundraisers we participate in and they're free to use the photos.
I have had the same experience but be persistent and it will happen and thanks for doing it
 
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Valley Falls, NY
Since this thread is all about shooting non-profits for free, I hope this related question is ok.

When shooting events and I know that the group is going to be using the photos for promotion, is a model release needed? Or are non-profits exempt from this because of that status? What if the shots are only for "internal use" (other events, donor newsletter, etc) does that change anything?

Thanks!
 

Commodorefirst

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Model release usually is always needed, all times, unless image was captured at a public event and used for news publication purposes. Promotion, non profit, free or not, doesn't matter. Their newsletter, or only to document their event on the website as a news item, is probably OK.

Sorry I couldn't be more clear. Each instance is different.
 
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Joined
Feb 4, 2006
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San Antonio, TX
Back in the film days I did a lot of kids (mostly school basketball) pictures. It's just too risky these days with folks suspicious of men, especially an old one like me.
Even carrying a DSLR raises eyebrows with normal folks using their smart phone cameras.

Seems I recall a few years ago Texas was trying to pass a law regulating the photography of kids in parades. Certain zoom shots to be illegal. Don't know if it passed or not.
 
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houston tx
My church (about 2,000 on roll) senior adult "PrimeTimer" group recently had a youth organization from another larger church (rumored 10,000+ on roll) for an evening of Ukulele and Banjo music along with string bass , mandolin, and many fiddles. I take pictures for our PrimeTimer newsletter. Had a chance to use my 150-600 lens indoors and after noise reduction the pictures were pretty OK. Hope to see some of these kids in professional reviews some day.
17-55mm lens:
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Taken from the balcony:
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One of these families (pictures 2 and 3) drives about an hour each way, and the last girl who sings and plays fiddle and banjo drives about an hour and a half in good traffic.
 
Joined
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CHARLOTTE
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Randy
Since this thread is all about shooting non-profits for free, I hope this related question is ok.

When shooting events and I know that the group is going to be using the photos for promotion, is a model release needed? Or are non-profits exempt from this because of that status? What if the shots are only for "internal use" (other events, donor newsletter, etc) does that change anything?

Thanks!
Good question
When I shoot charities I never ask but should
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
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Rural Virginia
I shoot portraits of VBS kids every year - I can't show a photo without permission, but it's one time I enjoy my photography 100%. I've been doing this for several years now.
I do also. The church includes a release as part of VBS registration. One year a parent did not want their child to be photographed. The child was pointed out to me and I made sure to avoid taking her picture.
 
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Puget Sound
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Ken
Nice to see this thread get revived as I had not seen it previously. Like those who have posted above, I too have donated my services and prints to a number of charitable causes over the past 15 years or so. My "day job" pays the bills well enough that I am able to give back through my photography without concerns about the economics of it all. It brings me way more satisfaction to see my work assisting others than does selling my prints or services. I know that I am not alone in feeling this way, as evidenced by this thread, but it is nice to be reminded that is the case, especially since I just finished post-processing a somewhat large shoot for a local agency and my eyes are feeling a bit strained from sitting in front of my monitors and staring at Lightroom for hours.

--Ken
 
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