When I see the images from hurricanes Irma, Maria and Jose I am reminded of the power of photography. The photographs of the aftermath connect us to the devastation and the despair of the communities in Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, Cuba and Puerto Rico. In these photos we see families whose homes have been destroyed, people struggling without food or water or power and families who are not able to let their loved ones know they are safe. We do not need words with the photographs to understand that many people are left with nothing and have no idea what to do next. In so many of the photographs we see grief and fear and helplessness and these photos remind us that anything can happen in an instance and it can happen to any of us.
But while we see grief and fear we also see hope and unity and community in the photography. We see people coming together no matter their race or religion or politics to help one another get to safety, find their families, rescue their pets and start to rebuild. We see people sharing water and food and what is left of their homes. We are reminded that no matter what we are all human beings and that we are stronger together than we are divided.
And with that I propose an idea for the photo community to come together and use the power of photography to provide some relief to the people of these communities.
Here is how the idea works:
1) Choose a print that you are willing to donate. Any size, any photo, any subject. (This is completely self directed. You do not need to have your print approved and you do not need to track your donations)
2) Post a photo of it on all social media accounts with information about the photograph and why it is special to you.
3) Clearly state how many prints of the image you are willing to donate; especially if there is only one available.
4) Ask people to make a donation to the hurricane relief of their choice and then post a screen grab of the receipt for the donation in the comments of your post to prove that the donation was made.
5) And finally, include the hashtag: #GivingPhotography
Some helpful notes:
• Choose a minimum donation amount in exchange for the print.
• Be sure to share the time frame in which you will ship the print.
If you like this idea, please share this post on line and with photographers you know and agents who represent them so that they can get started post a donation. If we make it a priority to spread the word, maybe we can get some critical mass and reach a lot of people who would be willing to help.
Thanks everyone for considering this idea. And thank you At Edge, APhotoEditor, Le Book, The Workbook and everyone else who helps to promote this idea. Please direct any questions here.