As the season of giving is upon us, let’s take some time out from all that financial management – all that project billing, and equipment buying, and estimate building – and take a brief look at some folks in the photography community are in the the giving frame of mind:
Photojournalist Yunghi Kim has perhaps produced the most satisfying example of giving, because she literally turns an injustice into a positive. A fierce guardian of her own material, Kim has successfully leveraged payouts from unauthorized use of her work to the tune of $10,000… and intends to make the finds available as a grant to ten other photo-journalists, at $1,000 a pop. The final selection of the lucky winners will be made by Kim and Jeffrey Smith (Contact Press Images Director).From the Photoshelter Blog:
“In this season of Thanksgiving, I have decided to gift $10,000 to members of this PJ group in recognition of the values and principles all of us hold as essential to our creative and productive well being… I am doing this to emphasize the importance of copyright registration of your work and as a way for me to give back to the profession of photojournalism, an industry that I love and I am proud to be a member of for more than 32 years.”
The fantastic message behind this initiative is one of collegial support, but it also contains a valid message: copyright that works!
Photographer Bob Lee does his own good works in another way: documenting those who channel giving and kindness all year round. Lee is a constant presence at many fundraising and charity projects. He retired 16 years ago, and now, at the age of 73, dedicates himself to capturing the spirit of individuals and groups who want to put back, in the town of Barrington, Illinois.
Lee takes time out from behind the camera to actively fundraise himself; and volunteer awards from the Les Turner ALS Foundation, the National Hospice Foundation and the American Cancer Society are testament to the energies of a man who would put younger men to shame.
So what’s the secret to his longevity, his mixture of self-tonic and compassionate outreach? Speaking to The Daily Herald, he says that:
“I’ve found that you can lead a healthier and longer life if you can give back. If we put other people in front of ourselves that’s a medicine that we don’t need a doctor for. If you do that you’re going to find a greater joy.”
There are ways to give back even if you’re not a professional photographer: witness the “Donate a Photo” scheme in Times Square; wherein visitors at an interactive giving experience can do something positive in a “snap” (get it?); by redirecting our selfies and portraits of interesting urban phenomena into something shared for a new reason: raising funds for charities.
Anyone can participate by downloading the Donate a Photo app from the Apple App Store or through Google Play. From there, it’s as simple as picking a cause to support, uploading a photo and sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the handle @DonateaPhoto and #JNJ, #DonateaPhoto, #365DaysofCare or #DonateEveryday.
For every photo shared through the app, Johnson & Johnson donates $1 to one of its trusted non-profit partners, chosen by the user from a rotating list of causes. The scheme has already been kicked off in an event attended by actors Zachary Levi and Katherine McNamara, and celeb photographer Nigel Barker.
For more details go to:
Any other stories about our community giving back? Drop me a line – would love to hear about them!