Sunday, 22 November 2009

Highlighting your cause with Photography

We all have a cause. It’s usually something near and dear to us, something that rouses an emotion, holds relevance to our own particular cultural, spiritual or just ‘that’s my opinion’ belief.

That’s in fact, exactly how that phrase most of us know off by heart, “Take only photographs, leave only footprints” came about being. Derived to save our wildness, slices of our environment across the globe where now unfortunately there are few places completely devoid of any sign of man. For many photographers it has become a slogan.

Photography is a powerful medium. Through it we inspire others and I could debate heavily on the topic of ‘does it do it more than words can’, or other mediums for that matter, but that’s not for today.

Today is for looking at how we can use our photography for the cause of conservation, an issue very near and dear to me.

1. Be a show off! Show everyone your images. They may just be family and friends but they are someone and by showing someone your highlight it is telling them you care.

2. Offer images to local conservation groups. They may wish to use them on their website or be happy to hang prints on their office walls (of course with a commission for the sale). Always make sure your images have all the necessary copyright info embedded and have an agreement in writing. Committees change and things can be ‘handed on’ often with ignorance the only blame. It needs to be written clearly and simply.

3. Use your cause to give. Design up calendars, gift cards, a DVD to music and give as a gift.

4. Get into print. Contact a magazine to gauge if the topic is of interest. There’s outdoor, wildlife, holiday, driving – let’s be honest they all use images so there’s a chance you can find a niche. Remember, most magazines require editorial to go with images. You have to at least supply captions (relevant to the style of the magazine) and most these days require the full copy for an article. Writing skills are important.

5. Enter competitions. Join the local camera group, send them in to magazines, however you do it remember each time you enter a competition your image could be displayed to an audience you may never meet.

This image by Danielle Lancaster ©
of a lava flow at Dalrymple National Park, Queensland featured on the cover of Go Camping Australia and highlighted this amazing landscape.

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