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10 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

The holiday season gives many of us a lot to be thankful for. And in the spirit of gratitude, we asked some of our ShootDotEdit customers to share how they give back around the holidays and throughout the year. The responses were not only heartwarming, but they also highlighted the idea that generosity comes in many forms. We loved reading about what our customers do to help those in need and we’re honored to share it with you.

1. Giving to Charity

Dana Dorn with Lovers of Love Photography gives to an organization called Compassion International.

 “Our business supports two children who live in Haiti and during the holidays we gift more money to provide them with a Christmas gift.  We also regularly give to an organization called Outside The Bowl — a kitchen that feeds families in Mexico.”

Dana Dorn with Lovers of Love Photography

2. Giving Your Time

While Dana’s business supports charitable causes financially, other photographers—like Tracy Autem of Tracy Autem Photography—give their time to help those in need.

“During the holiday season we donate our services for some charitable organizations, this year we are partnering with the local Make A Wish and photographing their 2 large gala and private fundraising events.  This organization has had a personal impact on one of our family members this year who passed away from cancer – so it’s dear to our heart. In the past, we have also held PJ holiday mini sessions to raise money for charities offering aid to disaster relief in the Virgin Islands.”

Tracy Autem with Tracy Autem Photography

3. Donating Photography Services

Along with Tracy, Joseph McFetridge with Love by Joe Mac also enjoys volunteering his time.

“Giving back is such an important part of owning a business. Each year, especially during the winter months I donate my time to photograph animals in shelters to help them get adopted.  I also do photos or donate portrait sessions for charity auctions for organizations like Qunify, I’m From Driftwood and Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus. As a member of the LGBT community, I want to give back to help others in my community grow and succeed.”

Joseph McFetridge with Love by Joe Mac

4. Giving Back to the Community

Even though our customers are incredibly talented Photographers, not all of the giving back revolves around photos. 

Brent Looyenga with Looyenga Photography and Aaron Morris with Beyond the Frame Photography in the UK both volunteer in their communities in unique and non-photo-based ways.

“I volunteer my time as a local youth pastor, which is a huge passion of mine, and help by coaching a high school basketball team. Basketball is perfect because it’s during my slower season.”

Brent Looyenga with Looyenga Photography

“I volunteer as a Special Constable for my local constabulary usually donating 100 hours a month to police my local community.”

Aaron Morris with Beyond the Frame Photography

Along with their outside-the-box way of donating time, Brent and Aaron are among the majority of photographers who offer services to charity auctions. Raffling off discounts, gift cards and free sessions is not only a great way to give back to your local community, Brent adds that it’s also good for business. “Every year I donate 2 or 3 photoshoots to silent auctions,” says Brent. “This helps the charities they are for, but also gives me a chance to make contact with more people in the community, and create (hopefully) more glowing referrals.”

5. Giving Back to Local Schools

Katie Van Buren with Van Buren Photography agrees with donating to charity auctions.

“We always give to local schools for their silent auctions.  It has been a great way to give back to our community, share our brand and meet more local families.”


Katie Van Buren with Van Buren Photography

6. Give Back to Kids in Need

Photographers can have a wide-reaching impact in their cities as small business owners and community leaders. Diane Clifford with Diane Nicole Photography uses her platform to encourage others to donate.

“I’m asking people to bring a small gift that is suited for children. It could be wrapped or unwrapped and I am bringing them to our local boys and girls club. For those who bring a gift, they will be put into a drawing to win a $250 gift card to my business towards a session or if they wanted to give it to someone else as a gift.”

Diane Clifford with Diane Nicole Photography

7. Help with Local Fundraising

Catherine Taylor of Woodland Fields Photography agrees donating time to the community is important, including school fundraising efforts.

“At the moment the only place I really have time to donate my time & efforts is at the school my children attend. It is a non-profit charter & right now I’m in the middle of a big fundraising project for them.”

Catherine Taylor with Woodland Fields Photography

8. Giving Back to Medical Research Programs

Pediatric cancer research is severely underfunded in this country.  So Amy Bennett with Amy Bennett Photography prefers to give back to organizations that are making strides child healthcare.

“I have worked in the past with the fabulous organization, Flashes of Hope.”

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Amy Bennett with Amy Bennett Photography

9. Giving Back Can Come in Small Packages

Something as simple as a gift card can be a huge help to fundraising efforts, says Robb McCormick of Robb McCormick Photography, who annually donates gift cards to local charities and silent auctions.

10. Give Back Before the Holidays

Giving back doesn’t have to come around Christmas.  Tamara Gibson prefers to give back throughout the year.

“I love giving back. Every Halloween I set up at Trunk or Treat with a photo booth and take pictures of families. They can later download their images for free from a gallery. I do the same for Mother’s day every year. I also partner with Maestro Cares.”

Tamara Gibson

With so many ways to give back, we hope our entire photography community can get in the spirit of giving by donating time, talent or treasure this Holiday Season. Happy Holidays from everyone here at ShootDotEdit!


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