Erudite Expressions (Prints)

Photographers: Help with the Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts

By now, you are no doubt aware that a devastating Earthquake hit the island nation of Haiti. The situation is dire: 100,000 people are estimated dead. Almost every building in the capital city of Port-au-Prince sustained damage, and most people no longer have a home. You can see some pictures of what has transpired in Haiti in this moving Big Picture gallery from Boston.com. Tracy Kidder (whose book Mountains Beyond Mountains, about doctors working in Haiti, has touched me greatly) writes in the New York Times:

The earthquake struck mainly the capital and its environs, the most densely populated part of the country, where organizations like the Red Cross and the United Nations have their headquarters. A lot of the places that could have been used for disaster relief — including the central hospital, such as it was — are now themselves disaster areas.

As you can imagine, Haiti needs a lot of help.

Today, I read about how the The Mac and iPhone development community is going to help out with the IndieRelief project. Here’s how it will work:

On January 20, 2010, all the participating companies are pledging to donate their sales for the day to a charity of their choice that benefits the Haitian relief effort. Doctors Without Borders and The Red Cross are two of the most common charities, but the developers can choose any organization they want.

Indie Relief is going to aggregate these efforts, listing the participating companies and what products they are offering (some are going to donate the sales from all their products, some might just do it for select titles) and their charities. The companies themselves will make the donation.

I applaud this effort. And I think a similar social effort can also be undertaken by photographers. I have two ideas.

  1. Hold a Print Sale. Many photographers sell their prints, and I think this would make for a solid campaign. Mention that a certain percentage of proceeds (say 50% to 100%) of the sale will go to a charity of either your choice or (preferably) the customer’s choice. Some notable charities include Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, OxFam, and Partners in Health.
  2. Donate Bookings Proceeds. If you don’t sell prints but are more of a lifestyle/portraits/wedding photographer, then instead consider donating a certain proportion of your upcoming bookings to help Haiti. Perhaps this is a more difficult campaign to organize because urgent help is required, but it’s one idea with which you can work.

I myself am still thinking about the details of holding a print sale (I’ll update this post throughout the day). I think together we photographers can make an impact in helping with the relief effort currently ongoing in Haiti. If you have any suggestions on other ways photographers can undertake to help (of course, we can always give directly to charities mentioned above) with the relief efforts in Haiti, please leave a comment.

One last thing: if you think these are good ideas, spread the word. Write about your efforts on your blog telling your readers what you’re doing to help. Together, we can make a difference.

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January 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Free 8″x10″ Print Giveaway (Engagement/Interaction Question)

I’ve been thinking about what to do for my latest prints giveaway for a few months now, and I’ve settled on doing a question/answer contest, curated by me.

I’ve mentioned about the contest on my photoblog in a couple of posts (see here and here), and below are the basics behind this latest giveaway. The FAQs follow the summary of the contest.

I am giving away between two and four 8″x10″ prints which were unsold in my ongoing prints sale (as of this writing: all thirty-five prints). To enter this contest, first think about your presence on the web, as well as the presence of brands, companies, celebrities, photographers, musicians, artists, and/or other entitites you know. What I am curious about is how you interact and engage with the audience. Is there something that this entity (subject) does that invariably leads you to come back to see more and more of their work, their new product line, their blog posts, etc.? If so, can you distill what they’re doing right in a paragraph or two?

To enter this contest, leave a comment on this blog post incorporating some of the points/questions raised below:

  • If you’re a devout follower of a certain brand/website/celebrity, can you explain what they’re doing that is grabbing your attention? Is it their presence on twitter? Their excellent facebook page? The way they are responding to your comments?
  • To answer the question above, it may help if you leave a comment about your personal experience with one (or more, if you choose) subject (be it a person, a product, a celebrity, a website) which made you think: wow, I want to continue interacting (by interacting I mean: following/replying on Twitter, commenting on blog posts, subscribing to the RSS feed, buying products, using word-of-mouth to tell others about your experience, etc.) with this subject, because they’re totally getting me. It may have been just one experience that totally swooned you, and you became a total fan. Or it might be the continued reciprocity that you’re receiving, which leaves you coming back for more.

The reason for the open-ended question is that I’m trying to get a better idea of how people connect. I need to become better at interaction and engagement, so I think it’s a good question to ponder. The details of the free print giveaway are below in the FAQs.
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December 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments