A picture is worth a thousand words

Georgetown Flag Raising-4

The good news is, ALA National Headquarters receives numerous photo submissions from members across the nation. Hooray for storytelling! The bad news is, many images can’t be used because of poor quality or subject matter that’s incompatible with the ALA’s mission of serving veterans, the military, and their families. An inspiring and compelling photograph will contribute much more than words to raising awareness, an integral part of the ALA’s Centennial Strategic Plan.

Here are a few tips to help you take better photographs and more effectively let the public know who we are, what we do, and why we matter:

  1. Show, don’t tell. Not only is this a great tip for writing, it makes sense for taking photographs too. We receive many pictures of award ceremonies and grip-and-grin moments. And while there is a time and place for these types of images, pictures that show action are even better. Show volunteers in action. Show them putting the mission into action. Let the picture speak for itself.
  2. Be a brand-it bandit! When looking at a photograph, it’s best if an outside audience can identify the affiliation of the picture’s subject. If you know you’ll be taking photos, be proactive and request everyone to wear Auxiliary shirts, pins, hats, or whatever you have. Try to place banners and signs strategically around the photo area so that they’ll be in the background if nothing else.
  3. Make it look good. Here’s a little poem to help you remember some quick tips:

If it’s white,

there’s too much light.

If it’s black,

bring some light back.

There’s no hocus-pocus,

that can fix out-of-focus.

Whenever you can,

represent the brand.

And remember to keep a steady hand.

Even if you’re just going fishin’

Remember: It’s all about the ALA mission.


Want to learn more about how great photos build better brand loyalty? Log in to the Members Only section of www.ALAforVeterans.org to download your free copy of the ALA Branding Guide.

This article was originally published in the May Auxiliary magazine. 

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