10 Ideas for Photographers taking part in “Portraits for Pixels”

“Portraits for Pixels” has been designed as an unusually flexible and collaborative fundraiser because it puts our key fundraisers – professional photographers all over the world – in the driver’s seat.

We designed such a flexible framework for three reasons:

First and foremost, we have an enduring respect for photographers, the art of photography and the power of of pictures. Indeed, world-class portrait photography is at the heart of our flagship campaign, the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign, for which “Portraits for Pixels” is a supporting fundraiser.

Secondly, we have spent the last two years working closely with our principal photographer, Jillian Edelstein, on the Pixel Reveal campaign and have learned that photographers really do work best when you just give them a clear brief and then let them get creative with it!

Thirdly, we know and appreciate that independent photographers are busy and in demand and that pro bono/charity work has to fit in between hectic schedules and obligations to paying clients.

So when photographers ask us: “So is there a special format for “Portraits for Pixels” sessions that we have to follow (aside from donating a minimum of US$10 per portrait session)?”

We say: “No – it’s up to you how you want to hold your “Portraits for Pixels” sessions during the campaign period! You can make it low-key and convenient for you as possible or you can go all out and get a special offer or special day organised.”

Having said that, here are 10 ideas for photographers signing up (or considering signing up) to  “Portraits for Pixels”:

Portrait Session Idea 1: The Low-Key Approach! Just donate part of the proceeds of each portrait session you have scheduled for the campaign period and let your clients know about the good they are doing just by having their portrait taken by you!

Portrait Session Idea 2: Package It! Do what one of our participating photographers, Greta Jacobs, does – she put together and advertised special “Purple” packages with a pre-set percentage of the proceeds going to the campaign. This way, she has an extra selling point to persuade her clients to take a package deal.

Portrait Session Idea 3: The One Day/Weekend Offer. Pick a day or a weekend during the campaign period and designate it “Portraits for Pixels Day/Weekend”. All portrait sessions booked during that day/weekend get a special price for a basic 1-hour session.

Portrait Session Idea 4: The Photography Marathon. Rise up to the challenge of a photography marathon. Announce to your community that for one day and one day only, you will charge a special low flat rate to do a snap portrait of them with the goal of fundraising while taking as many people’s portraits as possible.

Portrait Session Idea 5: By the Numbers. Set aside a set number of photo sessions during which you offer portrait sessions for a special price. This would work on a first-come, first-served basis. For example: “The first 25 customers who come in to take a portrait at the studio will get the special price”.

Portrait Session Idea 6: Target Your Audience. Think about your client base and then focus on the strongest demographic. Is it families? Then offer a special family package during the campaign period. Is it artists coming in to do their headshots? Then design a package just for them. Then get them to spread word-of-mouth to their peers.

Portrait Session Idea 7: Piggyback It! Does your community have any public gatherings such as fetes, fairs, a high school/college dance or a festival coming up? Offer to provide portrait-taking services at a competitive rate in exchange for a mention on the promotional materials, a stand or space at the event and having a captive audience of potential clients in place!

Portrait Session Idea 8: Do It Together. Get a group of your fellow photographers together to hold a special “Portraits for Pixels” photo session together one weekend during the campaign periods. It’s a great way to bond, to network and to get the happy, charitable and positive spirit going!

Portrait Session Idea 9: Partner, partner! Do you live in a university town? Perhaps you belong to your local chamber of commerce. If so, reach out to the people who run these organisations to offer a special “Portraits for Pixels” package to their members. It’s win-win – you get a captive audience, their members get well-priced good value portraits.

Portrait Session Idea 10: Get Sponsorship. In keeping with our work to end violence against women, you might get local businesses to pay for the portrait sessions for the survivors getting help at your local women’s shelter or rape crisis centre. This way – the businesses get to do affordable sponsorship, the survivors get a service that will make them feel good and you get to cover your expenses and raise funds for “Portraits for Pixels”

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