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Partner With Professional Photographers
Let’s face it. Nonprofit budgets are tight. When deciding be-
tween a professional photographer or your co-worker with the
fancy camera, you’ll want to consider the cost. It’s likely one that
reaches far beyond finances.
Internationally renowned photographer Billy Howard,
owner of Billy Howard Photography, Inc. (Atlanta, GA), shares
Why should a nonprofit consider working with a professional
“Photography and writing should work together to build a nar-
rative for your nonprofit organization. Just as you wouldn’t
think of hiring a non-professional writer to carefully craft your
organization’s message, you shouldn’t rely on non-professionals
to visually represent you.
“We tell our stories more and more through the use of im-
ages. Like the written language, photography has its own rules
and a visual grammar. When used well, it can convey a powerful
message and inform; when used as an afterthought it can dilute
the message, or worse, convey an image of an organization that
isn’t thoughtful and respectful of the reader/viewer.”
What are some specific dos and don’ts when working with a
“Communicating what you expect and clearly explaining your
image needs are critical to having a good photo shoot. I take a
team approach and consider myself a member of the nonprofit
while I work with them. My goal is to get the strongest images I
can to tell their story. In order to do that, I need to understand
their mission and history and have a good relationship with the
people I will be working with. I encourage them to make the
shoot a community-wide event within their organization or
school so that everyone is aware a photographer will be on-site.
If there are any people who want to opt out, we know who they
are in advance.
“It is also important to understand that the really moving
photographs don’t happen without a little patience. If the pho-
tographer isn’t given time in each location to capture the best
image, then you aren’t using them for their best potential.
Sometimes a photographer might just sit in a location for a few
minutes, watching the dynamic and waiting for that honest mo-
ment where the interaction has the desired emotional reso-
nance. That image is worth a hundred images that don’t capture
the human spirit.”
What is the best way to find a qualified photographer who is
“There are several professional organizations that include
photographer portfolios online. You can find a photographer
in your area in their ‘find a photographer’ sections. Here are a
couple of examples: American Society of Media Photogra-
phers (www.asmp.org) and American Photographic Artists
Source: Billy Howard, Owner, Billy Howard Photography, Inc., Atlanta,
GA. Phone (404) 376-4712. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website:
Elevate Your Presentation Skills
Whether you are gearing up for a presentation to your
organization’s board of directors, the media or
potential donors, you’ll want to hone your
presentation skills and avoid a common mistake.
Scott Schwertly, managing partner of Ethos3
(Nashville, TN), a company specializing in
presentation design and training, divides presentations
into three parts: content, design and delivery.
While each plays a crucial role in a presentation,
Schwertly says many people fail to pay enough
attention to content — the message or narrative.
“Many presenters like to focus on the design of
their deck because it is fun and visual,” he explains.
“And if they don’t focus their time in that area, they
like to fine-tune their delivery, which is all about
nonverbal behavior and what you look like onstage.
Now, the unfortunate reality is that the first
component, content, often gets neglected when it is the
most important part of any presentation.”
Schwertly offers three suggestions for ensuring
1. Address no more than three main points.
Anything beyond this will be forgotten.
2. Make sure your information flows well and
doesn’t bounce around. It needs what he calls a
“logical flow and structure.”
3. Conclude with a strong call-to-action. Without
this, your audience will not remember the
information you shared.
Because design and delivery are important as well,
Schwertly offers tips for those areas of a presentation:
• Use large visuals or photos instead of bullet
points as he says visuals boost retention by 42
• Follow the rule of thirds and avoid centering
material on your slides.
• Go beyond PowerPoint templates. Creating your
own slide design encourages creativity.
• Avoid overusing “vocal fry,” that low, creaky voice,
and “uptalk,” the higher-pitched end of speech.
• Learn and utilize techniques to reduce anxiety.
For instance, Schwertly suggests trying the four-
by-four breathing method. Inhale deeply for four
seconds. Exhale deeply for four seconds. Repeat
for one minute or until your nerves calm.
• Infuse more stories into your presentation. Doing
so will boost your audience’s memory.
Source: Scott Schwertly, Managing Partner, Ethos3,
Nashville, TN. Phone (615) 397-8283. E-mail: scott@ethos3.
com. Website: www.ethos3.com