Interview with Tib George Ciocirlie from Photofoundation

Hot Air photo from Photofoundation

What is Photofoundation?

  • An online image bank that allows charities access to free, high-quality stock images
  • Founded in 2011
  • Winner of Charity Times Award in for Best Use of Technology, 2011
  • Winner of Innovation in Giving Fund, 2012
Raindrops photo from Photofoundation

How can Photofoundation help?

  • Allows your organisation to get great visual impact on campaigns for absolutely free
  • Photofoundation allows organisation to request certain types of images – allowing you to tailor your style through the newly launch PhotoAppeal service
  • Over 80 charities are currently being supported through the organisation
Deer photo from Photofoundation

What can I learn?

  • The importance that visual imagery can have in making your charity cut through the noise
  • Tips on how to best represent your needs to people who want to help charities
  • How you can get involved with your own photography and help other charitable organisations

For the benefit of anyone who doesn’t know about Photofoundation, can you describe what it is you do and a little bit of history around the organisation?

photofoundation.org is an online image bank that focuses entirely on good causes, providing charities with free stock-quality imagery for their campaigns.

We receive image uploads from all over the world, Tower Poppies photo from Photofoundationpeople knowing that their images are used for good causes, while they can also support charities through image purchases.

photofoundation was founded in 2011 by Javier Garcia and promoted through Orange’s mobile volunteering initiative, the ‘Do Some Good’ app. It also won the Charity Times Award 2011 for Best Use of Technology and the Innovation in Giving Fund 2012 managed by Nesta, and funded by the Cabinet Office.

And what is it that inspired you to start the Photofoundation?

photofoundation is above all a platform for everyone who loves photography. We have created this innovative tool to give people the opportunity to do good through something they enjoy, photofoundation becoming ‘the new way of giving.’

Visual support has great impact in both sending and receiving a message and a properly illustrated campaign will definitely receive more attention.

What successes have you had with Photofoundation so far?

We are supporting over 80 charities and we always welcome more. Last month charities requested images worth £2100, excluding the PhotoAppeal requests. It’s great that we can help them save money on imagery and still provide high-quality images for their campaigns.

Could you tell us a little about the PhotoAppeal that you’ve recently launched? How does that work?

PhotoAppeal is a new service that allows charities to publicly request images for their advertising campaigns, marketing collateral and PhotoAppeal logowebsites, and receive contributions directly from photographers, who might just have the perfect image amongst their collection.

Our aim is to encourage collaborations between photographers and charities, giving photographers the opportunity to use their images for good causes and helping charities find the best image without spending on stock images.

More information about PhotoAppeal can be found in our blog post [at] http://www.photofoundation.org/blog/introducing-photoappeal

It’s great that we can help them save money on imagery and still provide high-quality images for their campaigns.

Obviously you feel that imagery can be incredibly important for charity appeals – how much difference do you think having great images can make in fundraising?

Visual support has great impact in both sending and receiving a message and a properly illustrated campaign will definitely receive more attention. Plus, a suitable image can dramatically influence perception. Browsing through our image collection or simply posting an image request on PhotoAppeal, charities are one step closer to finding the perfect image for their purpose.

What tips would you give to a charity trying to find the perfect image for their appeal?

Eyes photo from PhotofoundationWe would suggest describing the image in as much detail as possible because it will help photographers understand what the image should represent, and how it must look.
We also recommend planning ahead, giving enough time for contributions and sharing the request within their network. Charities have their own communities, and members might find the right photograph in their image library.

In terms of charities taking their own images – is there any advice you can give to people involved with appeals for taking the perfect image?

The first step would be to understand the request and make sure they interpret it correctly while considering all the details. Secondly, we have some good tips in our ‘How To’ blog section where they can find useful information: http://www.photofoundation.org/blog-categories/how

How can photographers get involved with what you’re doing?

We are always looking for new contributors and made it very easy for photographers to get involved, all they have to do is register on photofoundation.org. Registered users can contribute with images, participate in PhotoAppeals or purchase images from our image library.

What are the plans for Photofoundation in the future? Is there anything you’ve got coming up that we should be aware of?

We are working on several projects and are considering a partnership with a stock image bank, that would help us with the image sale while we focus on providing a free service for charities.

Further developments include expanding our service to an international scale, as well as providing a free service to nonprofit organisations.

Our aim is to encourage collaborations between photographers and charities