28 November 2013

Creating For A Cause

Follow Chris Oaten

My love for photography started with a cause. It started with animal photography while volunteering at an animal sanctuary. I had volunteered to write the newsletter for the sanctuary and was given photos of various animals for inclusion. But the thing I noticed is the pictures were often of animals no longer at the sanctuary. My purpose then for picking up the camera was to show off photos of the animals currently living at the sanctuary.

I had a point and shoot, pretty basic. It zoomed. That's what mattered to me at the time. I was fortunate that I had an understanding of composition, without knowing what composition really was. Because there were so many animals living in various units around the sanctuary, I dubbed myself the Queen of the close-up.

About three years in, I upgraded to a DSLR and never looked back. During my time there, I photographed everything from cats and dogs to cows and emus and pigs and peacocks and the list goes on. I photographed events and provided holiday shots of the staff.

It was my time at the sanctuary that helped me develop my love for nature photography and fine art photography. I owe this place my photography career.

Since then, I've taken on other causes to assist with photography for their promotion. Mainly event photography. It's something I love doing and donate my time. I don't do it to pick up business. I do it because I love the interaction of the people at these events. Most are so dedicated to the cause and listening to their stories and taking their photographs is simply a joy.

I recently shot the Walk to End Alzheimer's. This was my second year and I ran into people who I met the previous year. People who were suffering from their own losses and people who just want to find a cure. It's so worth the time to see the passion.

While I don't advocate giving your work away for free (too many people take advantage of the situation), I highly encourage you to share your creative passion to help others. Sometimes it can be a long, involved process. Other times it might only be a few hours of your time. But those who devote their lives to their cause will appreciate that time.

I bring all of this up because, especially for you creatives that are just starting your venture or jumping back into the game, helping a cause helps you too.

This is a wonderful way to learn your talent. Causes are grateful for volunteers and will appreciate whatever you can do for them.

It keeps you in the real world. Many creatives are introverts and loners. We just prefer to be with ourselves and our art. But stepping out is important to avoid isolation. Besides, you never know who you might meet.

And speaking of meeting, you will meet some wonderful people. One thing I've learned is that people who are passionate about a cause have a different reality than the rest of the world.

You'll know you're making the world a better place.

But there are certain rules to follow:

Be polite.

Show appreciation for the opportunity

Respect the people and property involved.

Follow the working rules of the cause.

Creating for a cause can be rewarding for both you and the cause. Share your talents and spread a bit of love in around the world.

Peace on your journey - Kerri

Top image from Imgembed.

This is a cross-post from Ezine Articles.

Kerri Williams is a creativity coach, a fine art nature photographer and a writer on a lifelong creative journey. You can learn more about her photography and view her work at http://www.magpistudios.com.