Telling Stories With Photos
Back in the dark ages (well, at least until later in the 20th century), if you wanted to take a photo you bought film, loaded it into your camera, snapped a picture or two, took the film in (or mailed it in) for developing, and then (eventually) got the photos back. It used to take days, then hours and finally just one hour.
But one thing remained consistent: You got your photo, and that was when you found out if you had captured a good picture or not.
Today it's much easier. We can snap a photo — or 100 photos — and almost immediately see the results. Yet one thing hasn't changed: Too many nonprofits are still trying to tell their stories with average (at best) photos.
While everyone can't afford to hire a professional photographer and may not choose to use stock photos, we all need to look critically at our images and make sure they are telling the stories we want told.
Way back at the end of 2011, I suggested two resolutions nonprofits should make for 2012. One was to make story time a priority, which included taking more photos to illustrate the good work you are doing. How are you coming on that? In case you're off to a slow start, here are some tips to help you get the photos that tell the stories — and help raise funds.
Keep a camera handy
I realize most phones have a camera built in, but keeping a camera with a charged battery in your backpack, briefcase, purse or car can help ensure that you are always ready to snap a photo when the opportunity arises (even if you are talking on your phone at the time). Relying simply on your mobile phone may limit you, especially if the resolution is below 10 megapixels. A digital camera with 14 megapixels costs less than $100 and can be a great investment — as long as you use it.
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.