By Lisa Hanard
Whether you are new to photography or a seasoned veteran, you are probably looking for ways to improve your skill level. If you are new to photography and looking to build your portfolio or resume, volunteer work has additional benefits. Volunteering not only builds your resume but is great for networking and making new friends. Here are some ways that you can use your photographic talents to help enrich the lives of others.
Volunteermatch.org is a searchable internet database. https://www.volunteermatch.org/ Once you build your profile you can search for volunteer opportunities all over the world. You can narrow your search to specific causes that you have interest in helping, such as animals, human rights, or sports. You can also narrow your search to specific skillsets such as photography or graphic design. Photographers are generally needed for photographing fund-raising events for charities such as running races, or fund-raising dinners.
If you are a portrait photographer, Portraits of Love might be a great opportunity. The PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA), and The USO have joined forces to send 10,000 free family portraits to active military families around the globe this holiday season. http://www.pmdaportraitsoflove.com/ .
Reach out to your local organizations and clubs. Churches, Schools, and even dog parks can benefit from what you have to offer. If you love to run, volunteer with your local running club to take free photos at a race. Offer to take photos of school events such as football games or musical performances. Most local animal shelters or pet rescues need talented people to photograph pets that are available for adoption. Your photography can save a furry life.
Photography is a way to bring people together by giving them a common experience. Sharing photos can help create a sense of
community, bring members closer by engaging them, and encourage people to interact with others. I volunteer my time taking photos of dogs playing at my local dog park. By posting them and sharing them on our dog park social media page, our dog park family has grown closer together and many friendships have come from it. Whatever you choose to do, good luck and happy shooting.
Lisa Hanard is a Volunteer Photo Guide with Arizona Highways PhotoScapes