Mar 2, 2012

7 Ways to Pay it Forward

Photography is an accessible, universal tool that can have great impact. There are so many opportunities to help people using the power of photography. These are just some of the ways that you can pay it forward.

1.  F.I.L.M. Project:
Family Images for Lasting Memories - F.I.L.M Project provides free professional family portraits to cancer patients and their families during their most fragile time.

This project launched January 1st 2011 in a small town in Indiana. It has grown from a handful of photographers to hundreds.

For more information on how to join the F.I.L.M. Project, click here.

2.  Hearts Apart was created to keep families connected while our military men and women are serving abroad. Photographers provide soon to be deployed servicement and women with family portraits. The portraits are printed on waterproof, durable cards which fit securely in their uniform pocket. The goal of is simple. As long as servicemen and women are in harm's way and separated from their families, we will be taking pictures. There is no end to the project - just a commitment to continue to serve our Armed Forces while they continue to serve us.
Lana D'Apriele

Lana D'Apriele

 For more information about joining Hearts Apart, click here.


3.  Help Portrait

Help Portrait is a national movement started by celebrity photographer, Jeremy Coward. It consists of photographers, make-up artists & hair stylists to help people in need. The event this year will be held on Dec 8, 2012. The idea is simple. Find someone in need. Take their portrait. Print and deliver their portrait. For the past several years, Las Vegas has taken portraits for the homeless youth at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center.

To get involved, go to, click on "find my location" and join the group in your area. Las Vegas Help Portrait Group

4.  Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep 

NILMDTS offers the free gift of professional portraiture to parents suffering the loss of a baby. Often, the parents will go to the hospital expecting to have and bring home a baby and leave with nothing. Through the gift of portraits from a professional photographer, parents can have tangible proof that their baby was here, that he existed and was loved. This is a difficult experience for photographers, and not all photographers may be suited to this type of volunteer work. However, from experience, I can tell you that the experiences I've had with NILMDTS are very special, even sacred.

Click here for more information on joining Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

5. Operation Love ReUnited:

Op Love provides a free session to deploying military families. An album of photos is sent to the soldier overseas, providing a much needed morale boost. A second session is given as well, capturing the soldier's homecoming.

Inspired Images by Tammy

Inspired Images by Tammy

For more information about joining Op Love, click here.

6. PhotoPhilanthropy

PhotoPhilanthropy is a place that connects photographers with non-profits. They strive to promote and reward connections between photographers and non-profit organizations around the world to tell the
stories that drive action for social change.

7.  Create your own way to give back

There are many non-profits, churches, hospitals, and other charities that would love help from a professional photographer. Keep an eye out for opportunities to serve. Kendra Dyson, a local photographer, worked with Club Christ or CCM, a locally born non-profit that serves urban youth through mentoring, educational and literacy programs. She states, "We set up small (50-100 students) center's in the middle of low-income housing and provide free programs to students' grades 1st-12th.
The photos were taken to commemorate the closing of our Henderson campus. The complex that houses it is being demolished and all of the resident are being relocated. The center will also relocate. The photos were taken and compiled to share with CCM's supporters and volunteers." Check out the full set of photos here.

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