Today, photography is easy, point the camera and press a button.
Since the emergence of digital photography cameras are everywhere in the affluent, and just as likely to be found in less fortunate, countries. It is estimated (2020) that over 1.4 trillion photographs are intentionally taken each year.
Most of these billions of photographers are very happy with their pictures. They have wonderful memories of their family, friends, events, holidays and celebrations. These images are personal and treasured.
There is also a growing group of us who take their images to a new level. We learn, compare and strive to understand what makes an image just that bit more special. Is it composition, colour, contrast, subject, action, art, abstract, story? This is where camera clubs, like the Bedford Camera Club, exist to encourage our improvements.
As we progress many of us would also like to know how we can use our photographic skills to help others, especially in genres that capture our interest, be this nature, people, landscapes, the universe etc.
Many organisations are very pleased to receive images that further their cause, be that historical records, current events etc. Normally this is a voluntary activity, very few will pay for the images. You need to be the photographer, own the copyright and be happy to offer publication rights to the organisation. Always be aware of the laws (examples: Police, British Life, IOP, UK Gov) of the country; in the UK I find these laws are just what you would expect when using your common sense.
If you, the photographer, have a skill and are looking for a project to give something to help others, listed below are a few organisations in the UK to consider.
You might think, surely they already have photographs of this or that, but often they welcome more, both more recent images as well as older images that may be from your family archives. All would like some text to accompany each photograph, e.g. where and when taken, details and the photographer’s name. The larger organisations tend to have an online form for adding the text where the image is uploaded.
Sometimes the same image can be offered to several organisations, for instance, in some circumstances, Historic England, War Memorials, County Archives and the local museum might all profit from a copy of your one image.
I would suggest you don’t send an organisation multiple copies of near-identical shots, but edit carefully and select only the shot that forms a clear record of the subject.
If you know of any others please do let me know and I can add them to this list
Thank you, Ian Whiting