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Guide for Volunteer Photographers

If you’re an avid photographer and are planning to come on a Jane’s Walk, consider contacting the walk leader and/or City Organizer beforehand and asking if they would like to have your photos. They can often use photos in promotional materials (e.g., next year’s poster), newsletters, on next year’s walk postings or on the Jane’s Walk City Page. As well, the Jane’s Walk Project Office is always looking for new photos from around the world that we can share and use!

At the start of the walk, find out if anyone is taking notes for a written report (e.g., using the Jane’s Walk Journalist guide). Talk to them and coordinate your efforts. It will be great for them to have photos of key things mentioned in their report, and helpful for you to have detailed information about the things in your photos.

What to photograph

One thing to be aware of is that a lot of photos taken on Jane’s Walk come out looking very similar: a group of people standing or walking on a sidewalk. You’ll take a few of these, but try to mix it up and shoot a variety of shots. Here are some ideas:

•  Photos of walk leaders interacting with crowd
•  Walkers listening, participating in discussion
•  Landmarks, locations, points of interest
•  Mix of close up and wide shots
•  Mix of candid and posed shots
 

Try to show how enjoyable Jane’s Walk can be to those who may not be familiar with the event. Photos of people smiling and engaging in conversation with one another go a long way. There are often people with dogs, bikes, strollers, wheelchairs, and simply a wide variety of people who come out to walks; try to include a wide range.

How to get better shots

•   Avoid using flash unless you really need to.

•   Play with angles to make pictures more compelling. For example, stand on something, like a curb, to get a downward-looking view of the walk, or squat down to take upward-looking pictures of the walk leaders and group discussions.

•   Play with using reflections to capture interesting pictures -- for example, photograph the group reflected in a shop window.

•   If you want to take a photo of the walk group on the move, run ahead and take the photo from the front, so you can see people’s faces.

•   Don’t be afraid to take lots and lot of photos (unless you’re shooting film)! Go ahead and photograph odd and random things; take 5 or 6 photos of a person talking, not just one. Pick out the best shots later, and delete the rest.

•   Get into conversations with people, and then ask if you can take their picture. People will look more relaxed if you establish a rapport with them first, and you can include some information about them, or a quote, in the photo caption.

Permissions

•   Getting permission to take photos: Some walkers may be camera shy! Address this at the beginning of walk. Ask the walk leader to inform the group that you will be taking photos for Jane’s Walk. If there are walkers who don’t want to be in the photographs, take note and try to respect their wishes.

•   Giving Jane’s Walk organizers permission to use photos: If you submit photos for use on web sites or in print materials, such as posters or the Jane’s Walk Annual, you may need to sign a waiver granting legal permission to use your work. This is generally less of an issue if your photos are only going to be posted on social media.

Preparing and sending files

•   Choose 10-25 photos per walk (unless the organizer has asked for more or fewer).

•   Choose interesting photos that you think best represent what the walk was like.

•   If you have post-production skills, feel free to make your photos look the best they can, but avoid getting too outrageous!

•   Ask the recipients how they would prefer to receive the photo files. They may ask you to e-mail them, use a file- sharing service such as Dropbox, or (if there are a lot of photos) share the files with them on a hard drive.

•   Important information to include with the photos: Your name, walk location, city, date, and walk leader. If you have a website, Flickr page, etc., send that as well. If possible, send a text document along with your files with captions and file names.

•   Send the photos as high res, so they can be used in print as well as online.

•   Label files in a way that makes sense. A good rule to follow is: photgrapherlastname_city_walk_01 (Example: “anderson_toronto_annex_01.jpg”)

Please also send a selection of your photos to the Jane’s Walk Project Office via stories@janeswalk.org! We love getting reports from walks around the world, and sharing them on our blog, social media feeds, and in the Jane’s Walk Annual, our yearly compilation of global walk stories.

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Contributors: Nicole Hack, Jeremy Kai, Nadia Halim This guide was prepared by the Jane’s Walk Project Office. For more information about Jane’s Walk, or to find a walk near you, visit janeswalk.org. You can contact us at info@janeswalk.org.