In this segment of our “Photographers Giving Back” series, we are so please to feature Captured by Kristin who donates her time and talents to Michael House. To be inspired, be sure to read these other stories about photographers who are using their talents to give back:
When I started my newborn photography business, I knew right away that I wanted to find a way to give back to one of my favourite organizations. Michael House provides shelter and support to pregnant and parenting young women in my local community. I think they provide a wonderful service and I really value what they do. I have been providing free newborn portraits to the moms living at Michael House for the past 18 months. I do not have a formal organization from which I do this, I just do it as a part of what my business does.
Teen parents have always held a special place in the hearts of my family members. Back when young women ‘went to visit their aunt in the country’ for 9 months so that no one would know they were ever pregnant after the adoption process, my great grandmother took in girls and supported them throughout their pregnancy. Here I am 85 years later, trying to support young mothers with the gift of photography. Although giving photos to mothers that could not otherwise afford them is an important part of what I do, it is not the primary reason I do it. My main drive for taking pictures of the babies is marketing for Michael House. The fact of the matter is that non-profit organizations need donations, and they need to market themselves to donors. My images appear on the thank-you calendars that are mailed to monthly donors, they are used online, and they even make magnets featuring my images. Helping people to make that connection between the money they donate and the babies their dollars impact makes a difference.
There are many non-profit organizations that can benefit from professional pictures to use in their marketing, fundraising and donor relations initiatives. Whether you are capturing images of children enjoying an after school program or you are taking formal portraits of new dog owners who have found their new pets at a local shelter, you have the power to help organizations increase the number of donations they receive. As consumers who are constantly bombarded with donation requests, we want to know who are money is going to. We want to know how it is helping. We want to feel a connection to the organization. Great photos can give us those things.
Of course, in giving by donating my services to young mothers, I also receive the satisfaction of making them excited. I gladly work for squeals of excitement. As a byproduct of my giving back though, I do get a lot of local exposure. Everyone who receives the calendar in the mail, every person who attends their fashion show fundraiser, they all see my work. It has not been a huge source of referrals for me thus far, but I believe that doing good things brings good things back to you.
Kristin Hohenadel, owner of Captured by Kristin Newborn Photography, lives in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. She thinks of newborn photography as ‘the yoga of photography’. The slower she works, the calmer she stays, the more effective her work is. She avoids any areas of photography one would liken to cardio-kickboxing. You can check out her website or follow her on Facebook to get your daily dose of baby cuteness.