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Photography Question 
Eli C
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2005
 

Volunteer Photography for Community Service


I'm an 18-year-old high school student looking to volunteer in the Boston area one day a week for a minimum of 6 hours (it's a school project) doing some sort of photography. The photographic work has to be some sort of community service so it can't be news photography or anything like that. I have a Nikon D50 with the 18-55 and 55-200 kit lenses and a bit of experience. I'm willing to do anything, basically. Send me an email if you know anything or need me! Thanks! Eli


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12/17/2005 2:37:49 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  I've heard of people going down to the local animal shelter and photographing the animals for the shelter's Web site, I doubt that would take 6 hours a week, though.


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12/17/2005 4:20:35 PM

 
Eli C
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2005
  Funny you should mention that. My backup plan was just to work at the local shelter where I volunteered over the summer. I can certainly combine the two but I was looking for something more photography-oriented. Thanks, though!


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12/17/2005 4:27:54 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  I just searched the forum and came up with a thread that might help:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17274


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12/17/2005 4:40:21 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
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Kerby's Gallery
  Eli,
Check around for community Christmas parties for children. Or local club like Lions, Eagles, Shriners, and offer your services if they have children's Christmas parties. You call the organizers and I bet they love to have you.


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12/17/2005 4:56:11 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
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  Another thought is to check with hospitals that have Christmas parties for the children. What a special gift for the child's family.


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12/17/2005 4:58:29 PM

 
Janet Kinney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2003
  Eli, we just did a tea at a retirement home and I was fortunate to get each person's picture. I brought a small 4x6 photo printer, and the home provided lovely frames for each picture. Most of the people enjoyed having their pictures taken. A very rewarding experience for photo lovers such as ourselves.


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12/20/2005 7:11:56 AM

 
Barbara Sherman   Eli,
My daughter did something similar. One place she took pics was at a local elementary school for their bulletin board. She had to get permission from the principal, and the pictures could only be used at the school. She mostly took photos of special events like awards assemblies or parties but also lunch time and recess. They loved it. She also contributed a disc of all the pictures at the end of the semester to the school.


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12/20/2005 7:56:57 AM

 
eric brown   Check with the local Masonic Lodge (the Masons). They do a lot of work with under-privileged kids, and they are usually a good bunch of guys (my dad's a Mason).


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12/20/2005 11:36:37 AM

 
Glenn Donaghy   Eli,
I am just getting a photo business started, and I have done work for the Heart Gallery, which is a program to photograph children in the adoption systems around the country to try and help find parents. They are great kids, and it is a great program. Go to www.adoptuskids.org to find a project near you.


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12/20/2005 3:15:57 PM

 
Eli C
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2005
  Glenn,
That's exactly what I was looking for! I am sending emails and getting in touch with a few adoption organizations at the moment. Hope everything works out. Thanks to all of you for your answers!


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12/20/2005 3:55:02 PM

 
Anthony Gedris
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/29/2005
  Eli,
My wife, who does a lot of portrait photography, suggests looking for women's shelters, planned parenthood places, and support groups for pregnant teens, and offer to shoot portraits of kids and families. They probably would never be able to afford to pay for portraits, and they may be the only pictures they get of their children.


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12/20/2005 8:02:43 PM

 
Kit Tolman   Try going to the United Way and ask them what agencies they work with would like pictures for brochures and web pages.

When you are starting out it is good to photograph in situations that you can go back to and improve or get more pictures.

If you photograph for the YWCA, for examle, for programs they have, you can go repeatedly over time to fill out the gaps or redo pictures. There will be less pressure on you if you are not in a do or die situation.

There are always community groups that need pictures of their activites as well as their staff.

The United Way might send you to various agencies to get pictures for their own files.

Just be sure to get releases to both you as a photographer and for the agencies you photograph. You may well get a few wonderful pictures that you would like to use in you portfolio over the next few years.

Most agencies will want you to photograph children for whom the already have releases. Be sure to bring up the question of releases where ever you shoot.

At this point you are learning, but you will get some good pictures, and you want to be able to use those pictures in exchange for your donating your time.

I'd ask the agencies what pictures they have had taken in the past that they really liked and study those to be sure you know what they need. You can give them what they need and then experiment to try new things.

It can be very satisfying to work with one agency over time, to get to know the staff and have them really value you and respect you. That is a great feeling when you are starting out.


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12/28/2005 3:54:31 AM

 
Nanette B. Stephens
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/8/2005
Contact Nanette
Nanette's Gallery
  You could also offer to take portraits at retirement and/or nursing homes for the family or offer to do publicity photos for these homes. Check out your local village to see if they have any beauty contests, father/daughter, or mother/son dances and offer to take pictures there. If you can, take a portable printer with you to offer the pictures right there. Good luck.


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1/4/2006 7:23:36 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  THE BUSY HOLIDAYS ARE OVER AND WE ARE LOOKING AT VALENTINES DAY, MOTHERS DAY AND FATHERS DAY COMING UP AND TO THOSE WHO SERVE WITH THIER LIVES BE IT FIREMEN, POLICE AND MILITARY ECT. THERE IS NOTHING MORE SPEICAL THEN THAT LOVED ONE THEY SHARE THERE LIFE WITH -SO, SWEET HEART PORTRAITS AS A GIFT TO THEM WOULD BE A IDEA.


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1/4/2006 7:32:05 AM

 
Glenn Donaghy   as a paramedic/Rescue Diver myself, I ask that you please, please remember EMTs, and paramedics. Since 9/11, we seem to be overlooked in so many ways. We are not a part of the fire department, we are just as busy/dedicated to saving lives and we are often left out of the public attention. Sorry, my own soapbox.


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1/4/2006 7:48:10 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  sorry Glenn, just named three off the top of my head(probubly because these were also events that I do regularly: the local fire department, toys for tots drive ect. but I do do the hospital fundraiser turnaments too)
I belive we all think of you guys with etreame regard-I do know I do, if it wasn't for a volentere EMT with station #8 in Riverside ,CA-I myself would not have most of my face-DOG ATTACK.
SO BIG THANK YOU-YOUR NOT FORGOT!!


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1/4/2006 8:16:15 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Hi Eli -

If you are in the Boston area and want something that is "photography" orientated and not just making images for an agency/group etc. You might be interested in volunteering with the Dorchester Youth Collaborative outreach arts program for kids. They offer (well, they used to offer and I think they may still have the program) a photography program for inner city youth. The program seeks ways of helping youth express their world through images. Or, Boston Floating Hospital for Children is always looking for volunteers to work with kids and the arts including photography. Just a few ideas, if nothing pans out, let us know and perhaps we can come up with more ideas.


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1/4/2006 8:48:32 AM

 
Mary E. Heinz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/23/2005
  Like Nanette, I suggest the nursing
home...alot of times though you have
to get permission from the resident
or their power of attorney/their guardian for that...some places ...no
problem...
I just opened FamilyTies Photography
and will be "shooting" a Mother's Day
Portrait" shoot...for an assisted living
in exchange for free ad in their newsletter....good old fashioned bartering may be old fashioned but it's
still good ! We have done it in our
former cleaning business....Good Luck..


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1/25/2006 1:53:24 AM

 
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