Photo collections and libraries are an important asset to any organisation and can range up to 100s of thousands of £s. For some charities, they can seem out of reach, but with the right planning, permissions and creative strategy they can be achieved very cost-effectively.

Stock photos have their place but it’s a great asset to have a collection of photos unique to your charity or organisation. With your own photo library, you can create this with real supporters, a consistent environment with your own unique message. This can achieve a set of authentic images you can use from everything across your communications suite, from awareness posters, information booklets, annual reviews and reports, exhibition stands and social media.

The photoshoot setting was in a house to make the staff and volunteers feel at home

Charity Photoshoot Case Study

Back in 2014 we organised a photo shoot with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. Together with a fantastic group of staff, volunteers and supporters of the charity as well as some of our own members of the team we met up at a location for a fun-filled day. We arrived bright and early, with props, smiles and refreshments in hand. We had a detailed plan of the day and of the shots, we wanted to capture so we were focused on what we needed to achieve. We had mocked up clear ideas, concepts and direction well in advance utilising inside and outside space. Of course, everyone feels a little self-conscious at the start but if you have the right photographer and creative team as well as representatives for the organisation that people are familiar with, the ice is soon broken and everyone relaxes. It was a long day but so worth it. Everyone had a great time and felt like an honest friendly reflection and endorsement of such a great charity and cause.

charity photoshoot - supporters image

We worked with our trusted photographer James Pike who we’ve worked together with on many occasions for other projects. It’s important to work with a photographer that is experienced in people photography and who fits with your team to put everyone at ease and someone you want to spend the day with, know well and who can add to the creative process.

From the photo shoot day we created a selection of over 400 images that helped us create the following:

  • Charity information posters
  • Charity materials folder
  • Charity exhibition banner stands
  • Empty belly event posters and flyers
  • Images for inclusion in the charity annual review
  • Images to support a social media-driven charity awareness campaign #smearforsmear
  • A bank of images of community and togetherness for social media

The photo library created in 2014 is still going strong in 2020 and because it was planned well in advance and a strategy developed to make the most of the day we created a very cost effective library of images saving the charity thousands of pounds.

The photoshoot across the day took place inside and out

Planning and Permissions For Your Charity Photo Library

If you’re able to plan ahead for as many usages as possible this extends the lifespan of your library. Think about core images that would be useful ongoing to support your values and main organisational messages as well as having some campaigns in mind. Plan this together with your creative agency who is used to working with charity awareness campaigns.

Make sure you get a model release signed by everyone who has their photos taken. This gives you the right to use the images. Be clear about what you might use these for – print, online. Most volunteers are happy to give their permission but it’s best to be as clear as possible about how and where to plan to use them. Keep them in the loop too, send them a copy of what they’re appearing in. They support you for a reason and it’s important to thank them and let them know how valued they are.

If you’re interested in creating your own cost-effective library, get in contact with us to see how we can help you achieve that.