The Non-Profit Camera: Part One – Use what you have.

Old CameraThe desk drawer opens and there it is, peeking out from among the varicolored assortment of thumbtacks, rubber bands, and crinkled old Post-It Notes: a digital camera. The only one in the office. It’s old, but it works…kinda.

This is a three-part series about camera equipment for non-profits. Part one will deal with using what you have. Parts two and three will suggest kits of varying budgets in case you’re planning on purchasing equipment.

If you can’t quite afford to replace that old point-and-shoot, here are some tips to get the most out of what you have:

  • Get close. Most people stand too far back and forget to use the zoom. Use your feet and your zoom to get as close to your subject as possible. This way, when the picture appears the size of a Jolly Rancher on your website or e-newsletter, people will still get the point.
  • Get light. Cameras need light like we need air. If you can take the photo outside, do it. Ask people to come outside for a group shot. If there are large windows, use them. Find the most powerful light source and stand in front of it so that your subject is facing it.
  • Get portable. The primary benefit of having the point-and-shoot is portability. Take it everywhere. You never know when you will stumble upon that perfect moment that tells the story of your non-profit.
  • Get minimal. More photos means more time spent organizing, resizing, downloading, uploading, sorting, deleting, etc. In other words: Don’t over-shoot! Look at each shot as you take it, and when you have the one you want, put the camera down and enjoy the event.
  • Get organized. Create an organization system that works for you. When you’re writing the last-minute annual report, you want to be able to go right to a photo without having to search through thousands. Create a folder system based on months or events. Find a system that works for you and stick to it!

If you have questions about getting the most from your point-and-shoot, post them below or email me!

    One Response to The Non-Profit Camera: Part One – Use what you have.

    1. I’d also add that you should let the camera, no matter how old and klunky, to guide your communications sometimes. If you start with your best images and add text, you’ll often end up with a more compelling package than if you start with words and slap in an image.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *