Taking a Shot at Photography

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so why not promote your programming with images? Photos of your events can be used to attract new people to your programs by showing them what they’re missing, or to raise funds by showing how important and well-attended programming is in your community. Use them on your website, with social media, in newsletters, and in promotional material.

“But wait!” you may say. “I don’t have a camera!” I’ll admit, that’s a bit of a tough one. If it’s not in your library’s budget to buy one (and these days, it’s likely it may not be), try asking a co-worker or friend if they have a camera they can loan for events. Let’s assume that you can somehow get your hands on one.

“But wait!” you may say. “I don’t know how to use a camera!” There are a number of resources online that can help you in this area. One of my favorites is the aptly named Digital Photography School. You can find a wealth of information on photography, from equipment to techniques to post-production. Try starting at their section on tips for beginners.

“But wait!” you may say. “I don’t know what to shoot!” Checking out what libraries are posting on Flickr for inspiration, as the authors of a recent entry in the ALA TechSource blog did. They found libraries that set up photo booths at its programs, offered a family portrait day, and held photo scavenger hunts that did double duty by also promoting library resources and services.

“But wait!” you may say (hopefully for the last time). “I don’t know what to do with the images once I shoot them!” Luckily, Infopeople is holding a webinar, Digital Photo Management for Libraries, on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, from noon to 1 p.m. PDT, to address just this question. (The event will be recorded and archived for those unable to attend at that time.) According to the webinar description, attendees will find out at least three differences between Flickr and Picasa, become familiar with the photo management capabilities of Photoshop.com and Facebook, and learn how to evaluate at least two online photo editor tools.

Good luck with your photography, and don’t forget to share your images with other programming librarians through the Programming Librarian Flickr group. Find out how.