Photographer's Delight | Giving Back... Photog-Style.

Giving takes so many shapes and forms, and I'm so grateful that we are all different and that we have different gifts, talents, and skills.

Recently, there was a Showiteer who just needed some encouragement and good news. People rallied together and, without her prompting or asking, gave to her what seemed to be such a small thing, but in reality, being a HUGE blessing to this person.

It got me thinking.

What are ways that we can give back? If we are unable to give money, what are the ways that can be blessings to others in our industry? To help build it up? I truly believe we are blessed in different ways so we can ALWAYS give back. In my life, I have some awesome friends whose gift-giving language have run the gamut... from financial, time, skills, to connections.

With those four in mind, I brainstormed some ways that no matter where you're gifted, you can always give back. Giving is not a four-cornered box. It's a multi-dimensional cube that houses many, many different ways to show you care.

If your gift is financial...
- Donate an amount to a personal cause. If you hear something in your local photog groups, investigate if there is a need.
- Purchase a set of business cards. (See "Gift is skill-related" below!)
- Send a little camera-related treat. Like a Shutter Buddy for family photogs.
- Gift a photography industry magazine yearly subscription. Get some quality materials into a person's hands and you've set them afire for aspiration.

If your gift is time...
- Leave some blog love. Just show you took a few minutes to read what they wrote.
- Meet up to have coffee with a new photographer. Get rid of the idea of competition and embrace someone who might need some advice or a listening ear.
- Offer some marketing advice. You don't have to give away all your tricks, but you can give some sound and tried-and-true words.
- Skype it up with someone who's struggling with their website. Okay, so I don't use Skype, but I know a lot of people who are, and what an amazing tool for this!! I've seen a few people offer up help this way.

If your gift is skill-related...
- Design a small logo to get someone started. Don't let them use WordArt! You have Photoshop, and I bet Photoshop feels all warm and fuzzy when you use it for good. :)
- Customize a business card. You might already have a buddy whose gift is financial... partner up and go in on a collaborative gift.
- Hatch out a simple 5-year business plan. You've got the biz smarts, now you can help guide someone into getting more long-term with their passion.
- Show your organizational techniques. We may not all be near a Container Store or love Real Simple, and it's so difficult to be on top of everything without some help! A little guidance can be such a HUGE blessing to someone whose not naturally organized.

If your gift is connection-related...
- Introduce someone to a favorite vendor of yours. Create a NEW connection.
- Refer your "didn't work out" client to someone. If you're unavailable one day, refer them to someone you trust or believe in.
- Recommend a great photog-vendor service. No need to be all secretive about who you use with photographers. Be open about your favorite print or canvas lab. It's all good. :)
- Organize a get-together of your local photographer friends. No cliques here! Welcome any newcomer because you never know who will be your strongest ally or cheerleader. And besides, it's just better to be nice! :)

I will be honest. The easiest for me was time since that's been a gift of mine since I was younger and barely had any money. So I got creative to show my love and how I care... some come easier than others. Find what speaks to you and DO it. Actions always speak louder than words. Yes, the cliche lives on!

So, fellow photographers, leave a comment to add to this list of ideas! I'd love to hear them! And please share. We can only build an industry when we're putting forth the effort to strengthen the foundations and not weaken them.

... and I LOOOOoooOOOooove what I'm seeing. Seriously, to quote Snoopy, it "warms the cookies of my heart" to hear and see some amazing things that are happening. (I will admit that most of them are concentrated or related to Showit. What IS that group all about? You just need to join. Those are some movers-and-shakers right there. ;) )

Chelsea :)


  1. Love all of these ideas, Chelsea! Way to show that just a little tiny bit of your time can mean a lifetime to a friend in need!

  2. Love this Chelsea! The amount of money that was collected was amazing, but what is more amazing than that is the giving, loving, and supportive efforts of the Showiteers. I am in awe! And your blog post right here shares in that spirit! Thank you for being so wonderful!

  3. It was really awesome what happened in the group today. Just goes to show what a great bunch of people we have as showiteers. Thank you so much for all the ideas. XOXO

  4. This is good stuff Chelsea...

  5. Letting you know I read what you've written (and that I've loved every word I've read.)
    I'm glad to have found you in the photog-blogosphere!