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Volunteer work.


TPF Noob!
Dec 3, 2008
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After reading a few popular photo blogs that talked about volunteering services to charities, I decided to make a few calls to some small local organizations. I don't have aspirations of becoming a pro, but I'd like to have a decent portfolio and I thought this would be a good way of doing it without giving work away in the general marketplace and devaluing the services of hardworking pros. Has anyone done anything like this? Does anyone have any words of wisdom as far as ISO and aperture?(joking.:lol:) Any advice as to how to go about this in a professional manner, things to avoid ect. would be appreciated. Thanks for looking!
Try a women's shelter. Often there will be women there with children who would like to send photo's along to grandparents and the like. It's also a good boost for self esteem if you can fine someone to do make-up and hair.
That's a very good idea Jason. I started volunteering at my local animal shelter about a year ago. I had to take several months off due to a shoulder surgery, but have been active again since the first of the year. I may get one jewel of a shot once a month, but then I don't really do this for a portfolio, just for the sake of the animals. Go for it, it will make you feel good to give back.

Here's a few from this month...






If nothing else, it does keep me shooting.​

Please spay / neuter your pets. If you're looking for a pet, please visit your local shelter.​
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Be profesional-
Let them know up front what your terms and abilities are. Be prepared. Be ontime. Do what you say you will. Dress and groom apropriately.

Produce Good Quality Results-
Alot of volunteer organizations are staffed by profesionals of various fields and they expect profesional results from others around them. Word of mouth from these people can greatly increase you earning potential, or ruin any chances.

Don't Over Extend Yourself-
Be completely honest with whatever organization you approach. If they want something done a specific way or style that you are not capable of doing, tell them right then you can't do that. Nothing worse than exagerating your skills to get a gig, then not being able to uphold thier expectations. Even when working for free this is bad for your photography future.

That's the main things I can advise you on. If I were to add one more thing it would be to have fun and enjoy doing a good thing.
I get volunteered at a local high school for a number of services including photography. I shoot a number of events and just give the school all the images which they use on their web site and which the teachers/staff makes available to the students.

My high school stuff is here:
Gary Ayala's photos- powered by SmugMug

Also- Hook up with a local/small theatre group ... that stuff is easy to shoot with super results.

Senior Day

The Local American Legion (here anyway) sponsors senior day . They socialize ,play cards ,get a free meal , ect.

Offer free portraiture to them.
Thanks for the good advice. Great photos, BTW.

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