In a perfect world, there would be no such thing as budgets. But unfortunately there are, especially in these tough economic times. And more often than not, there is rarely any money set aside for photography. When working with a small photography budget, it’s hard not find myself limited to using stock photography, which is often overused and generic. But this sometimes drives us to think outside the box when necessary.
This past year, I worked with Volunteers of America—a national, faith-based nonprofit that provides local human service programs, such as housing and healthcare, to over 2 million Americans—on their annual report. And budget limitations are a definite reality for nonprofit and charitable organizations. But by really digging around and discovering what resources the client had to pull from, we managed to get a hold of some donated photography. I was ecstatic to discover that these were captivating close in portraits of VOA beneficiaries. And I was even more ecstatic to incorporate them into our designs which in turn help tell VOA’s story in a much more engaging and effective manner. We always intended to show real VOA people and stories in order to build the credibility of the organization especially in an economy where people are apprehensive about donating their money.
Fortunately we were really lucky to have been donated theses images and I know for a fact that I would of not got the same effect by purchasing stock images on-line. But sometimes people forget that working with a photographer can give you the opportunity to negotiate the pricing if needed especially if it’s for a good cause. And many times, you can end up getting longer usage rights. Ultimately each project has different needs, but when necessary, I find it is important to always try and convey to clients how investing in quality photography or even illustration can be a crucial part of their storytelling and identity. It not only elevates the visual caliber of their brand but it helps their company really stand out from the rest of them.
Photography is a worthy investment: once you get a good photo, it’s worth its weight in gold.