Storytelling, storytelling, storytelling! I’ve talked about it before here and bring it up all the time. Storytelling is important. Storytelling is also not fully effective without photos. Fortunately, there are innumerable free (or nearly free!) photography resources that your nonprofit can use to enhance your organization’s story. Here are a few of our favorites for organizations that are just getting started:
1. Photo Apps and Tools
- Instagram is probably the most widely-used photo-sharing apps available. It’s easy to use — you just point and shoot before editing your photo or applying different filters. It’s especially handy because you can link your organization’s Instagram account to your Facebook or Twitter pages.Facebook is especially friendly to Instagram posts. The social media giant owns Instagram and EdgeRank (the algorithm that determines what posts your followers see on their timelines) gives a great deal of weight to Instagram posts.
- Camera Plus is currently only available on Apple devices but is a great way to make the most of your device’s camera. It offers more precise focusing and editing capabilities and is really easy to use.
- Photosynth is a really neat way to take or build panoramas or “synths” that can capture wider areas or dimensions of your surroundings. You can compose your pictures either on your phone or on their website!
2. Existing Photo Resources
Not into taking your own pictures? Don’t worry; there are lots of websites out there with pictures available for purchase or free use. If you want free pictures, look for photos with Creative Commons licensing. The license allows other people to use those photos for their own purposes, but make sure you read the fine print. Photographers who use the license usually include stipulations about how to credit them, link to their photography page, or edit the pictures themselves.
- Wikimedia Commons is a good place to look for pictures with Creative Commons licensing. There are a lot of photos to look through, so make sure you have time to do a little digging.
- Flickr’s Creative Commons section is also a great resource for unique pictures. As a general rule, photos found on Flickr tend to be a little more “artistic” than those found in the Wikimedia Commons. There are a staggering number of photos available. Again, make sure you have time to sort through lots of photos to find the perfect picture.
- iStock Photo is an amazing resource for photos. Their photos are for sale only, but once you buy a picture you can use it as often as you like. They also update their site every week with one free picture — check every week to see what the free photo is!
There are LOTS of ways to take, edit, and post photos — these are just six basic tools! The Internet is full of great photo editing websites, photography tutorials, and more. Telling your story through photos is fun; go have a blast!