Saturday, January 16, 2010

Visual presentations for NGOs

Stanley Teaching
photo by Dennis Fahringer

If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words then a slide show is an entire book.
We’ve all endured dull evenings sitting in the dark looking at someone’s mind-numbing pictures of something they thought we would enjoy.

A slide show audience is usually a captive one; there is no escape. We owe it to those watching to present an interesting, educating even entertaining presentation.

Planning prior to the trip will change a deadly dose of the dulls into a motivating experience for the viewers.

We want know exactly what we will encounter when we arrive at the shoot, but there are some time-honored questions we’ll need to answer in order to tell the NGO’s story.

Listed below are a few guidelines that can help make a visual presentation people will appreciate and with a message they will understand.

Remember the purpose of the presentation: The presentation is to help the non-government organization. In any group, likely to see he presentation, there are possibilities for support for the NGO.

What is the GOAL?

It is to motivate people to action — be it prayer, giving or by becoming involved.

What is the REAL SUBJECT?

It’s people. Not buildings, wells, machinery nor the land. It is okay to photograph these things without people, but this shouldn’t be the focus. Present the NGO in human terms.

Who is the AUDIENCE?

Is it business people, civic clubs, the NGO’s support base, faith groups, agencies that give out grants? Make a list before the trip and look for tie-ins to these groups.

What’s the BUDGET?

What are the travel and post-production expenses? List other cost such as website.

Stay Specific:

Everything can’t be told. Pick the powerful images and subjects.

Perhaps show how the NGO has impacted a person or family. This approach helps the audience connect with those the NGO helps.

Use a storyline to arrange your coverage.
  1. Give an Overview of the Country
    1. Show the town
    2. Show the market place (show faces, how the people dress, their jobs)
  2. Highlight the work of the NGO
    1. Show a family
      1. Group photograph (dinner table)
      2. Individuals
    2. Show the NEEDS
      1. Why do they need the services of the NGO?
      2. What is being provided that meets a need: water, food and shelter?
    3. Show how the audience can support the NGO
      1. How they can volunteer
      2. Financial
        1. Equipment
        2. A Project
        3. Ongoing support of a person or family
  3. Specific Guidelines:
    1. Hold a visual on the screen for no more than ten seconds.
    2. Two to three seconds a shot is long enough for today’s TV and Internet savvy audience.
    3. A two to three minute presentation is ideal for the web. When presenting to a group give short presentations mixing these with a personal story or two. Allow time for questions.
    4. Write for the ear. Use short sentences.
    5. Record an interview and use sections of it in the presentation. People telling their story adds authenticity.
  1. DON'T
    1. Use too many pictures
    2. Show photos with exposure problems, with heads cut off or that need explaining. A picture should tell it's own story.
  2. DO!!
    1. EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. Show the only the best.
    2. Use recorded script.
    3. KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!!!
  3. NOTES:
    1. Visual presentations are easy to update.
    2. Presentations should be tailored to fit the audience.
    3. Visual presentations can be used to get support for an NGO; also the NGO can use the presentation itself.
    4. Leave people wanting more. 

Friday, January 01, 2010

Tips When Hiring a Photographer

Want to know how to get the most for your money out of a photographer? Bring him in early in your planning.

Little girl chases down parachuting cows at the Chick-fil-A Bowl
Use photographers before they shoot

Clients benefit in several ways when they include the photographer as part of their creative team. Not only will the shoot go smother and faster, but more importantly, the photos will be just as you want them to be and your budget will go further.

The sooner the photographer is involved in the planning and preparation for the shoot the better.

After the concept and approach are determined in a planning session the client and I usually scout the locations together, if possible. While on location we determine the best time of day for the shoot based on the lighting. Scouting with the client makes it is easier for us to maximize the time at each location during the shoot.

During the planning session we discuss the feelings the photos need to invoke in the viewer. By working together from the beginning we are both better able to achieve our objective. Preplanning allows everyone to concentrate on the fine details when it truly counts - on the day of shoot.

During the actual shoot priorities can change. Certain shots emerge, as “must have” pictures, while others may become less essential than initially thought. Going for the best shots and dropping or limiting the others can stretch the budget yet still produce outstanding images.

Here is an example of stretching a photo budget. When working with universities and schools it is more expedient, since most general classrooms look alike, to set-up in only one classroom. The faculty and students rotate through the classroom where all the lights have been placed and the exposure and white balance determined. There is no need to move from building to building. This saves time and money.

Tennesse players celebrate
Tennessee cornerback Janzen Jackson (15)and teammate cornerback Eric Berry (14) celebrate defensive play against Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on December 31, 2009 in Atlanta, Ga.
As you consider your photo needs consider adding me to you creative team, that decision will save time and money and ensure a more productive and creative photo shoot.

I’m here to help, just give me a call.