Why you should always use a Professional photographer for your charity.

I doubt if many of us would question the importance of strong photography when communicating a charities messages or stories. Visual imagery on Social media is ubiquitous; you can't escape it. People connect better with images of other people. And for many non-profits where the privacy of beneficiaries is paramount, adequate and appropriate photography has to be appropriated to impact effectively and to communicate with your audience.

All too often non-profits seem to rule out hiring photographers because of budgetary restrictions, but I think you should stop and think again, and consider whether it’s a false economy to do so. Photography is a hugely valuable skill, particularly in regards to photographing people – it’s not at all easy to get individuals to relax and look natural when confronted with a professional camera. Building a healthy relationship with a good photographer will enable your client base to develop a deeper understanding of your brand and messaging, it also helps enormously by creating a bank of photos that your organisation can use for all your on and offline promotions and marketing.

Photography is a skill that is consistently undervalued and overlooked. Everyone now thinks (wrongly) that photography can be done themselves with iPhones and by adding a series of filters to the pictures to top them off, some individuals can achieve perfectly good images this way, but a good photographer will take more pleasing and exciting photos that represent your work in a much better capacity. They can capture an emotional gaze, recognise a subtle movement, understand poses that work for different situations and create images that will echo your charities ethos. Then there's the edit, and the retouching process, which is always and time-consuming but necessary procedure. You may possibly need particular files resized for different publications, web usage, model release forms etc. Captions in the metadata fields if sending to media or news organisations is also an essential consideration too. Paying for a professional photographer should be an essential element when deciding on a new project, campaign or event for your organisation, and good use of any charities annual budget.    

I understand that's it's not always appropriate to use professional photographers for every visual project; you can naturally search online for stock images. But remember the best stock imagery are usually subject to strict restrictions or how they can be used and may have a time limit attached to their usage. You need to check the copyright agreement properly as mistakes could prove very costly later down the line. But many reputable stock agencies should be able to help in this respect. Stock imagery can be useful for specific requirements, but you should also keep in mind that the best stock images are more than likely being used on other platforms too, but with time and patience you should be able to find something close to what you're looking for to complement your message. 

But, as I've mentioned earlier, these days we can all capture reasonable good images on our mobile phones, if you know what you're doing, sometimes it's not as easy as it seems. I also understand that every time you have a great story that needs publicising, you won't have the skills of a professional photographer like myself at hand. So I've put together a FREE short guide that I hope you'll find interesting; it focuses on how you can create attention-grabbing images with your iPhone, that will bring you more likes, shares, comments and interaction; this is the key to success for any online marketing campaign. If you would like a free copy on my top ten tips for better IPhone photography which I'm sure you'll find useful, then leave you're email in the box provided on my home page, and you'll receive a link to my top ten tips for better iPhone photography.  So, don’t just think how much the cost of hiring a professional photographer would be, but instead how best you can put your photographer's images to good use. From social media posts to campaigns, projects, posters, brochures and more, building a relationship with a good and competent photographer is one of the best partnerships your organisation could do for future initiatives and publicity.   

Get in touch here at jfergie@btinternet.com for your free 15-minute phone consultation; we'll discuss how I can help your organisation or charity with contemporary and engaging new photography for your business.