Once or twice per year we do pro bono work for a non-profit organization that sits close to our hearts. For this last shoot we selected an organization out of Brooklyn called Enlight10, whose mission is to ensure equitable college-planning opportunities for inner-city youth. They wanted corporate portraits and group shots for their website and/or any additional collateral they may create to promote their mission and organization.
After securing a make-up artist and setting up our studio space inside and out, we invited the team up for a 9 a.m. photo shoot. We expected the shoot to be at least a half day, but as is often the case, it lasted almost the entire day. It was, however, a great day filled with laughter, good conversation, and food. Now we are going through the process of reviewing and selecting from 600+ photographs.
Pro bono work can be very rewarding but it can also be very draining so you need to be selective on what organizations you choose to help and exactly what services and deliverables you will provide. We found a helpful blog post from Crystaline Randazzo on setting limits for your pro bono work.
One last word of advice — when doing pro bono work, treat this assignment like you would any other paid assignment. Outline the scope of effort, make a list of the deliverables, and make sure that everyone is on the same page. The unexpected will happen so good preparation and planning will always help ensure a smooth shoot.