I regularly use my skills to support some amazing local causes. Here I explain the ethos behind my charity photography projects with several local groups.
I’ve always considered myself very fortunate to be able to make a living doing something I’m passionate about. The fact that the hobby I’ve loved since I was a child, when I got my first ‘proper’ camera as a gift, is now my career… is Simply wonderful.
Which is why, when I get the chance, I like to help my local community. Over the years I’ve worked in Essex, London and Norfolk, but I’ve lived with my family here in Suffolk for many years, and I love the area. It’s a great place, with so many kind and wonderful people. So, if I see an opportunity to use my camera to help people, then I love to get involved.
Supporting Suffolk with Charity photography
I bring all the skills and considerations I would to any kind of commercial photography project to my work with local charities. Because, at the end of the day, charities have commercial goals, just like any other business. They need commercial imagery that will drive people to take action – which could be making a donation, participating in an event, or checking out a new charity shop. They need to stand out from the competition just as much as any other business does, and using effective commercial photography is often the most powerful way to do that.
For example, when I worked with ZEST, which is a charity shop that raises money for St. Elizabeth Hospice, I needed to capture images that would encourage people to visit the Ipswich shop. I wanted to convey the very simple message ‘we’re here when you need us’ and get across the charity’s positivity in the face of difficult situations. I approached the task with empathy, understanding and creativity, and was lucky to work alongside some incredible people.
I used the same approach when working with Lighthouse Women’s Aid recently, where I provided staff headshots, and provided camera training to empower them to take many of their own images.
Another charity that is close to my heart is Ormiston Families. These guys do a great deal to guide children and their families towards a better life, and I’m proud to have helped them with imagery for their website.
I’ve also been lucky enough to capture community events, like the recent Christies Care community day, where I got to watch adults with learning disabilities and autism enjoy a bespoke show from the Simply fabulous Circus Petite, and enjoy an afternoon of photography in a very supportive and inclusive environment.
Some of this work has been paid, but when it comes to charity photography, I work without charge if I can. It’s the least I can do to help the Suffolk community that has been so kind to me over the years, and I hope to do more in the future.