Give a Shot connects photographers willing to donate their time and photos with non-profits in need of imagery.
Last week, Peak Design launched a brand-new website, Give a Shot, to connect professional photographers with environmental and conservation-focused non-profits. So many incredible organizations don’t have the money to pay for photography, and so they can’t get across their messages about the land they’re trying to protect in as powerful a way. So, Peak Design is mobilizing its passionate photographer community, allowing non-profits affiliated with either The Conservation Alliance or 1% For The Planet to post projects for which they need photography. Annie Nyborg, head of Corporate Responsibility and Community for Peak Design, is going through photographers’ applications to make sure they’re qualified for the projects they volunteer for, and then connecting them to the non-profits in need.
To say thanks, Peak Design is offering photographers gift cards after they’ve completed a project. In just a week, hundreds of photographers volunteered, and Nyborg has connected more than 120 creatives and non-profits so they can get to work. We asked her how she hopes this project will make an impact for the environment.
Why did Peak Design want to coordinate photographer volunteers in this way?
We’re uniquely positioned as a brand in that we operate in both the outdoor industry and photography industry. Through 1% For The Planet, in particular, we’ve connected with nonprofits and seen that some of their websites were subpar, or that their newsletters had mediocre images because they didn’t have the resources to hire photographers. We also went to lots of conferences and events, and heard photographers saying, “I’d really love to donate my work or help out in some way, but I don’t know how to do that.” That’s kind of how this idea formed. We joined 1% For The Planet last year, and I asked whether they saw this [volunteer photographers] as a need. They and The Conservation Alliance both agreed that it was.
What kind of an impact could Give a Shot have? Are non-profits going without images?
My hope is that through better storytelling—visual storytelling—there will be better engagement on the issues, and increased awareness which might push the policy dial. Oftentimes there are issues people don’t know about—like the river in their backyard being polluted by a refinery upstream. Through stronger visual storytelling, grassroots organizations can better raise awareness in communities who, in turn, can put pressure on local government and businesses to clean up their act.
In terms of whether non-profits were going without images, yes—they’re doing it right now. There are tons of amazing non-profits doing great work, but you go to their website and it doesn't accurately convey the power of their work or the beauty of the land they're trying to protect. It shouldn’t matter—you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover in that way—but it does.
Lots of photographers are already working for non-profits, and getting paid for it. Why do you think so many people have jumped to volunteer?
I am sensitive to the fact that there are photographers for whom their living is shooting for non-profits and we certainly don't want to undermine that. I think, given the current political climate in particular, and the recent administration attacks on the environment and on conservation, folks are feeling compelled to act and to do something. A lot of photographers, particularly now, are willing to do anything they can to help preserve these places. That’s one reason it’s been so impactful, because they can use their skills to protect the environment.