One of the ways Martha and I communicate the impact of World Concern’s work in Haiti is through photography. Actually Martha does all the photography. My work begins when we get back from the field and I try to put into words what we experienced and learned from people. As Martha takes photos, I carry the bags, provide moral support and try to chat up the people we are taking photos of to make them feel more at ease. I suppose you could call me the photographer’s assistant.
Visual communication is becoming more and more important to capture people’s attention in our fast-paced and digitized world. Did you know photo posts on Facebook get 38% more interaction than those without a photo? This trend is true on social media but also in print or elsewhere on the web. Basically people respond positively to photography and other forms of visual expression.
So for an organization like World Concern who has a cause to promote and a story to tell, high-quality and thoughtful visual communication is really important. This is a primary reason why Martha and I are here in Haiti—to use our skills in communication to move people to a place of empathy and then action.
Perhaps you’re wondering what we do with all the photos we (err, Martha) take. They are used in reports to partners, on social media, in marketing materials like a brochure, and sometimes even a calendar!
This summer Martha entered a few photos in a contest run by one of our partners, USAID/OFDA for their 2015 USAID/OFDA Disaster Risk Reduction Calendar [PDF]. I was confident at least one would be chosen (a little bias and overly confident perhaps) but neither of us expected for two of her photos to be chosen! Check out the cover (also above) and the month of March to see how World Concern is involved in Disaster Risk Reduction. These calendars will be distributed to partners, staff and USAID colleagues around the world. This is fantastic exposure for World Concern and our work in Haiti.
Another recent example of what Martha’s photography is used for can be seen in World Concern’s 2014 Global Gift Guide. This booklet is a primary way that World Concern raises money each year. Martha’s photo of a girl named Encise, who we first met in 2012 but most recently visited in July, is being used as the cover photo for this year’s Global Gift Guide! If have contributed to our work in Haiti financially or have given a gift to World Concern before you may find a copy on your doorstep shortly. See if you can spot any other photos from Haiti in it.
Martha and I have the privilege of traveling throughout Haiti to see firsthand these important projects and meet the people World Concern is working alongside. We realize many others do not have that chance, so we’re grateful when our photos or stories or anything else we produce for that matter can be used to educate, encourage and inspire others to action.