How to use photography to support your submission

Find hints, tips and advice on how to make your community cause stand out all year round

Photographs give us glimpses of life and help us show people our fondest memories. Taking photos of your cause can help tell your story and show voters what it means to you and your community. 

With social media, your photographs can be seen by thousands of potential supporters. If you capture an incredible moment that people love, your photos could be shared – extending your reach.

We asked professional photographer Danny Burrows, who’s worked with the Aviva Community Fund to take some great shots of causes that have been granted funding, for his top tips on capturing the perfect photo.

10 top photography tips:

  1. Don’t worry about your equipment. Even if you only have your smartphone camera, it’s important to capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments. The more you shoot, the better your photography will become
  2. Learn the tricks of the trade. If you’re using a more high-tech camera, you’ll notice the technical tools it has built in to help you to make each picture unique. Play around with them to take a variety of photographs to best reflect your cause
  3. Composition is king. To help you create balanced, visually pleasing images that your audience will engage with and share over social media, consider the rule of thirds and the ‘Golden Ratio’ grid. The idea is that by aligning your subjects along the gridlines and intersection points, you can help lead a viewer’s eye around your picture and create harmony
  4. Find your light. Move around and see how the light creates a different mood in your photographs. It can help draw focus and can be used to express the story of your cause
  5. Have some fun. If you’re shooting a portrait, engage with your subject. Get up close and communicate with them. It’ll help you create a picture which better conveys their mood, emotion and personality
  6. Capture the action. What the most iconic images have in common is a decisive moment of action, like the moment you plant a seed in the ground or when a foot makes contact with a ball. The most successful photographers distil everyday life and emotion into a single frozen image. Be patient, observe and you can too
  7. Print it out. One of the best ways to appreciate a photograph is to see it printed. It allows you to see the detail in your photographs which will help you learn to take better pictures in the future. Plus, you get some nice personal art for you and your friends
  8. Copyright. Posting your images on some social media platforms signs away your copyright. If you want to keep others from using them, you can always create a personal watermark to overlay on your images
  9. Getting a taste for it? If you’re enjoying yourself and want to test your skills even further, why not try a fully manual film camera? The limited amount of shots per roll mean you’ll have to focus your mind and think more about what you’re photographing
  10. The important thing is to have fun and take some photos that reflect your cause and how it makes you feel. Play with lighting. Create unusual compositions. Shoot from a different angle. Photography is art at its core, so you don’t really need to follow any rules.

Meet the winners

Check out the previous Aviva Community Fund winners to see if a local project close to your heart received funding.

Promoting your project

Find hints, tips and advice on how to make your community cause stand out all year round

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