It’s terribly cliché to say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but it’s true: A picture really is worth a thousand words. In a world where people are increasingly consuming mountains of information based on visual media, good photography can stop someone in their tracks, and make them eager to learn more about what they have just seen.
Nonprofits are no exception to this rule. Photography can be a powerful communications tool, and posting it on social media and website can garner attention to your cause. Good photos can create a visceral emotional connection that mere words might not. Your website should be full of good photos, and your social media accounts should as well.
Of course, you probably don’t have a professional photographer on staff. But you can hire one to shoot certain individuals or events. And given how advanced smartphone cameras have become, someone on your staff with a good eye can document other things on a daily basis.
What are some subjects you can shoot? Glad you asked:
Events. This one goes without saying. You should always have someone assigned to taking photos of your big events.
People you’ve helped. It’s very compelling for potential and current donors to see the faces of the people their money has or could help. Caption these photos, or build blog posts, with information about the person, their condition, and what you’ve done for them. In other words, tell their story. And if possible, get photos of these people smiling! 🙂
People who are helping. Give some love to your volunteers by sharing photos of them doing good work. If possible, tag their social profiles to encourage them to share your photo(s).
Your staff. In order to humanize your nonprofit, it’s helpful to show your audience who is working behind the scenes to make everything go. Post a photo of one of your staffers occasionally; you can fill out the caption with information about that person and their role, along with any personal or professional information that he or she would like to share.
There are many other subjects you can photograph; it’s up to your imagination. If something happens that you feel should be commemorated and shared, always have the camera ready. Good photos can create visceral, human connections that mere words can’t.