by Skip Cohen
Over the last few years I've had several guest posts and written a few of my own about involvement in charitable events. As recently as last week, we launched a new video in "Giving Back" tying in PPA Charities' cause, Operation Smile.
Obviously some non-profit events have been much bigger than others, but the point is, somebody went ahead and did something, instead of just talking about it. We need more photographers to be involved in their communities, in charitable events and to help make a difference.
By my calculations, (and trust me, these numbers will rarely match what you hear quoted from PPA or PMA) there are over a half million professional photographers in the United States, when you combine both part time and full time involvement. While that's not a very big industry, imagine the impact we could have if EVERYBODY made it a point to give something back. Now add in all the manufacturers, associations and conferences. The impact would be huge!
As professional photographers, each of you has the power to help change a small part of the world, to make it a better place, simply with your skill set in imaging. There's an opportunity at conferences you attend as well. For example, at IUSA every year you'll see Bert Behnke in the PPA Charities booth, which he founded, along with a little help from a few friends many years ago.
I've heard so many great stories of other photographers doing things in their communities from teaching photography to doing free portraits in a local nursing home. (I'm looking for guest posts on charitable events and projects you're involved in. Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm happy to help you edit the information. Trye to keep it at 200-400 words; give me a link to the event or charity and 1-2 images.)
Here's the point today: You can sit on the sidelines and watch the world go by or you can be directly involved. As a photographer you're looking for your community to be good to you. Well, you need to be good to your community!
Whatever you give will come back to you ten times over down the line...but nothing happens until you take that first step to be involved.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Muhammad Ali
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.