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Photo to Movie Blog

Challenge Yourself Using Photo to Movie

Posted January 20th, 2010 by Chris

Who hasn’t been touched by the outpouring of aid going to Haiti? We help because it’s the right thing to do–and because we hope that others would come to our help, if we ever needed it. And that’s a good thing, not just for those in need, but for us. Volunteer activity allows us to connect with where we live, to forge the bonds of friendship and mutual respect that transform a collection of houses into a neighborhood, and a collection of people into a community.

Photo to Movie provides a unique opportunity to make volunteering part of your life on a regular basis, and the rewards can be spectacular. You can find a group you support, a cause you admire, or even find a way to improve your own life. Have fun, and remember: even small good deeds accumulate, and living a healthy, happy life allows you to help others around you that much more.

NOTE: If you’re serious about making a documentary using Photo to Movie, check out this link for an opportunity to get $5000 towards that purpose:

Here are some more ideas:

Use Photo to Movie to get involved in your community.

  • Your child’s school, your club, your church, the neighborhood watch. Everybody is on the internet these days, for communication and publicity. It can be hard for small groups, especially ones with small budgets, to stand out amidst professionally crafted sites. Tools like Photo to Movie allow ordinary people to use and arrange photos at a professional level with relative ease and speed.
  • Local sports teams. Many local sports teams, especially the ones for kids that aren’t affiliated with a school, require lots of fund-raising. Any sort of publicity can help with this– taking pictures of the team and making slide shows to post on the web is a great way to get the word out, and show the beneficial effects of giving all at once. If you or your children raise money via pledges, use Photo to Movie and make photo slide shows to show your donors that their money is going to a good cause.
  • Local politics. This doesn’t necessarily mean partisan politics, or campaigning. Any sort of government activity that affects where you live is local politics, and the tools of documentation and publicity are powerful ones in the hands of the public. And, of course, volunteering in elections and campaigns is a great way to get involved and discharge your civic obligations. Publicity photos are a huge part of modern politics, as is the internet.
  • Celebrate a historic neighborhood or building or local park. In these days of shrinking city and county budgets, it is often up to the citizens to preserve their neighborhoods and local heritage. Get involved in raising money or other volunteer work and use Photo to Movie to document your work. Spread the word among current and former residents that opportunities to volunteer and donate–opportunities to help the neighborhoods and preserve their best-loved parks, landmarks, and historic buildings–abound.

Use Photo to Movie to improve an area of your life

  • Chart weight loss or work-out goals. There’s nothing like solid, visual proof of progress to inspire yourself. Every time you see improvement, it reinforces your commitment, as well as demonstrating that its possible to meet your goals. Plus it can help inspire others to a healthier, more active lifestyle.
  • Chart yourself as you quit smoking. Although the images may not be as dramatic as with weight loss, diet, and exercise, you can still use Photo to Movie as a tool to help yourself quit smoking. Use it to both set, and track, the goals you set for yourself. Once again, visual reinforcement is a powerful tool.
  • Make a record of yourself doing volunteer work, and of the work itself. Not only for yourself, but for anyone else you want to inspire to get involved. Volunteer work is not just good for your community, its also good for you: getting involved and doing good deeds for other people has a host of psychological benefits, and has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety. Plus, recording these experiences for posterity will someday be valuable to yourself, and your family, for sentimental and possibly historic reasons as well.
  • Learn a new skill. Use Photo to Movie to help you record your journey: whether it’s playing guitar, learning a new language, teaching yourself how to cook, or taking up painting, a series of slide shows tracking your journey can be of great benefit. Also, you can make slide shows as teaching aids to help you learn.

Use Photo to Movie to make the world a slightly better place

  • Volunteer opportunities. We mentioned volunteer work already, both generally, and specifically. But it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself, and your community. Scores of opportunities exist in every town, and hundreds in every city. A visual record of your experiences has a number of potential uses, and can add another charitable dimension to your work–any group you might volunteer for constantly seeks good publicity and newsworthy stories. Below are a few more general suggestions about how you can use Photo to Movie in your community to make it a better place. We’ll end with a specific scenario tying it all together.
  • Publicizing good works. People donate more if they see where the money is going … and the good it does. This is partly because we’re very visual, which means that a beautiful slide show with a stirring soundtrack is an excellent way to draw the interest of new donors and new volunteers.
  • Shine a light on a problem. Not every problem has a group dedicated to helping solve it. If you’re aware of a problem in your community that is unaddressed, or a worthy, needy group that is under served, becoming a documentarian is a good way to start bringing assistance in. And thanks to Photo to Movie and our computers and digital gadgets, almost anyone can become a beacon, shining a light and bringing aid.
  • Use Photo to Movie as a marketing tool for volunteer projects. Or maybe the problem is known, and the volunteer group exists … but they simply can’t get the word out? Once again, images are one of the most powerful tools in our modern, Internet-connected age. Use Photo to Movie and the slide shows you create to get local news channels and newspapers interested to leverage your publicity even further. Bring in interest, and the volunteers and donations will follow.
  • Use Photo to Movie in fund-raising. Fund-raising starts with basic publicity, but doesn’t end there. To raise money effectively, you need to do more than let people know the problem exists–you need to touch their hearts, and let them know how it’s up to them, and people like them, to make a difference. A series of slide shows showing the problem, and outlining the efforts taken to help that problem, give potential donor something specific and tangible to look at. And it’s a great way to engage their compassion, by putting a face on the issue.
  • Your local soup-kitchen/homeless shelter. We’ve seen the general ways to use Photo to Movie to help in your neighborhood. But let’s take the local homeless shelter and soup kitchen as a specific example. Sadly, these days such organizations are busier than ever … and donations simply don’t come in as quickly as they used to. But you can help. Head down with your camera for a day of volunteering. Take a digital microphone. After you’ve put in some volunteer hours, take pictures of the people you’ve helped, and of the other volunteers. Record them talking about what this place means to them, the positive impact it has on their lives, and maybe let them take a few pictures themselves. Take photos letting people know why assistance is needed, and what that assistance does for the people who depend on it.

Use Photo to Movie to put together a slide show, post it on YouTube, and link to it from every community-interest website you can find. Put it on local forums, email the link to people you know, local or not, encouraging them to give time or some of their hard-earned money. Send the link to local media, especially if you have a good angle for a feature. When other people start to get involved, record their activities, or what their donations purchase, and post another slide show online documenting this all. You may be surprised how quickly the word spreads, and how much you’ve inspired other people to get involved.

Everybody can be a reporter, an advocate, and a documentarian these days, and it is one of the most powerful resources people have at their disposal for solving problems. Using this resource, the efforts of one person–always valuable–can be leveraged ten- or a hundred-fold, by getting ten or a hundred other individuals involved. Never underestimate how much good you, one person, can do with a camera, a computer, and internet access. And a copy of Photo to Movie, of course.

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