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Celebrate National Photo Month a Dozen Different Ways



Celebrate National Photo Month A Dozen Different Ways


Photo Marketing Association International's (PMAI) dozen ways to make your life richer through photographs has been released just in time for National Photo Month in May. Congress originally proclaimed National Photo Week in 1984, the holiday has since then become a month-long celebration. The program of consumer awareness and education offers ideas on how photography can make everyone's life richer. Try the following ideas yourself, or design a promotion for your store around one or more of the "photo shoot" ideas.

Create a Party Poster - That features photos taken by the people attending. Pass a camera around to the attendees, or take the pictures yourself, building a montage of the highlights. Then make enlargements of the composite and send copies to all the guests.

Create a Pet Portrait - People have special pictures of themselves. Why not feature pets in a similar way? This is a wonderful exercise for children, who have a natural fascination of, and love for, their animals.

Picture the Problem, Imagine the Solution - Local situations, like environmental disasters and rundown schools, are (sadly) never in short supply. Combine photos of such conditions with the challenge to write about what the pictures are showing and what the kids think could be done to solve the problem. A project of this type encourages sensitivity, logical thinking and writing skills.

Create a Comic Commercial - A multiple-picture storyboard that is the same as those done for TV commercials. This project combines imagination in conceiving the ideas with creative picture-taking to get the message across. It's a stimulating and challenging project for children. Have them write copy to make the "commercial" last 30 seconds. Four or five pictures will generally be adequate to show the visual action involved.

Send Family Photo Letters - Ask everyone to do multiple prints (i.e., double or triple prints) of all their pictures-easy and cheap when initial processing is done. Collect your family's pictures for the year, then tape them to sheets of paper. Put four prints on an 8-1/2" x 11" standard sheet of paper, then have photocopies made of each sheet. Put captions beneath the photos or create a separate caption sheet. Send copies to everyone.
Also, this can be a great project for any budding digital imaging enthusiasts you might have in the family-like one of the "computer-generation" kids.

Get Picture Protection - Could you remember all the furniture and proud possessions in your home if everything went up in smoke? Maybe. But most of us would overlook many things in trying to plumb our post-disaster memories, particularly when staring at the claim form from our insurance company.

PMAI recommends you take 4-5 rolls of film and literally shoot everything in sight: couches, chairs, dishes, silverware, bikes - the works. And of course, do include your jewelry and other valuables, which are always targets of the quick-hit thief!

Then, when you process the film, order double or triple prints (very cheap at initial developing) and keep at least one set of the prints in a location outside the home. Photography won't prevent fires or burglaries, so don't expect any reduction in insurance premiums. But, the photos will be proof you owned the items, which along with enhancing your recollection will make working with your insurance agent a lot easier. Total cost of project: around $50-$60, depending on how many rolls of film you shoot and process.

Bridge the Generation Gap - Go on a hunt for the best photos of your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Then combine them with photos of you and your children. Put them all in a photo album, or into a multiple-image matte. If you want to get really snazzy, scan the photos and compose the subjects into a single image.

Discover the Artist Inside - In which you, or each member of the family, consciously set out to capture the most "artistic" pictures possible. The main idea is to let your imaginations run wild, with no boundaries on thinking to stifle expression.

Don't Let Colleagues Come & Go - We all have pictures of our family, right? But what about those good friends we make at work? Take your camera to the office, or other gathering with co-workers. These associates are some of the most interesting, endearing people you'll ever meet; yet they're one group of friends we hardly ever photograph.

Create a Home Photo Wall - Where you place a large number of pictures of each family member's memorable moments on display. Don't worry about how pretty the arrangement is in terms of decor; the fascinating content will make it a huge hit. Change the pictures from time to time or just let the "Photo Wall" grow and grow.

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