When to Donate

Another request today for an image that an organization would like to use without paying. Although in the majority of cases I respond with a standard request for usage information so that I can create a quote, this time was a bit different.

My concern over the evolution of photography has been well documented here. Even recently I wrote about the devaluation of images due to the availability of distribution platforms as well as the proliferation of digital cameras among the every day consumer. In other words, higher volume, easy sharing/distribution and general a disregard for quality or value has contributed to the belief that most images can be acquired for free. Well, that’s not the case for me, although I always weigh the request. Today’s request was just a bit different.

The Independence Fund, a non profit that helps disabled veterans acquire equipment, especially the iBot wheelchair that retails for $25, 000-$30,000, as well as raise funds used by the vets in leisure and athletic activities, requested the image below.

Participants in the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic in San Diego, California

The request was to use the image in the header of a soon-to-be redesigned website in hopes of making it more attractive to potential contributors. After some basic research on The Independence Fund, I decided this was one of those times where it would be pathetic for me to charge anything. It’s a relatively small organization built around volunteer efforts to aid disabled veterans. In other words, it was time to donate.

There are countless ways to provide help to others, and everyone has a cause that is dear to them, but it’s essential that we all try to contribute in some form or fashion. This was just one of those opportunities and I’m glad for it. I know many of my friends and colleagues do the same (with a favorite among photographers being Do 1 Thing.)

To make a donation to the Independence Fund, click here.

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