Tips for Volunteering With a Camera

Find the Best Ways to Donate Your Skills as a Photographer to Help Others

volunteering with a camera
Getty Images / Cultura/Frank and Helena

Photography is a great hobby. It gives you the chance to artistically record the best moments of your life, whether they're simple, fleeting, or monumental events. As you learn more about photography and your camera, you can begin helping friends and family begin recording their best moments, placing your artistic spin on each event to make it special. This is another great way to enjoy your hobby further and share your skills.


Another area where you can share your skills with others is through volunteering with a camera. Many different ways exist for you to volunteer your time as a photographer that will allow you to further improve your skills, while providing a service to benefit others.

You obviously will not be charging money for your time during this volunteer effort, but you still can receive some benefit. Just ask the organization that you be given credit for any photos they use, so you have the ability to showcase your photos. Should you ever decide to turn your hobby into a profession, having some photos in use can help you gain the attention of paying customers. 

Continue reading for the best tips for volunteering with a camera!

Event Photography

Perhaps the best way to begin volunteering with a camera is to offer to help with event photography. Many times, a non-profit organization won't have the resources to hire a professional photographer to record an event, such as a fun run or a fund-raiser.

But these organizations certainly can use photos from the event to post on the Web, Facebook, Twitter, or in printed materials to help them with recruitment of other volunteers or in raising funds.

Just contact the organization to volunteer your time as a photographer. Don't just show up at an event and start shooting photos, as the organization may need you to sign some waivers.

Or you may need to learn some rules about the organization's limitations and guidelines for photography.

Telling a Story

Some organizations may have a need for telling the story of the organization through photography. Perhaps you can record the history of the organization from its beginnings, creating a photography timeline the organization can use in printed media. You also may be able to shoot a series of photos that explain what the organization does step by step. 

This type of volunteer photography can give you a chance to show off your creative side. Work with the organization to determine the best way to tell its story, and don't be afraid to introduce some of your own ideas.

Child Photos

For some parents recording the monumental moments in a child's life through photography can be cost prohibitive. Consider working with a local organization that works with low-income families and offer to shoot photos of events that involve children, such as photos of newborns, photos of religious events, photos of sports teams, or high school senior pictures. 

Auctions for Fund Raising

If you want to reveal more of your artistic side with your photography, consider donating large prints to an organization to help with a silent auction fund raiser, such as some amazing nature photos.

You will have some expense involved in creating a large print and placing it in a frame, but this can be a way to show off some of your skills, while helping an organization.