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Why Volunteering Is Good for the Soul?

Jumping for joy. Jumping for joy.

One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is volunteering.  Like most photographers here in San Diego, this is not my full-time job and volunteering gives me the opportunity to give my time to people in need as well as go out and photograph. Because the majority of charities utilize social media such as: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to increase awareness, pictures are vital part of that.

Walking in the rain. Walking in the rain.

My first charity was the Multiple Sclerosis Society. One of the reasons, I chose the MS Society was that I had someone close to me contracted multiple sclerosis and she never recovered.  Since then, I have signed up for two additional charities that are near and dear to my heart; the Doors of Change, which helps homeless kids get off the streets and the American Lung Association, which fights lung cancer. One of my favorite shoots is the MS Walk Event.

Hanging at the beach.

Seniority sometimes does have its benefits. Because I have been a regular icon at most of these events, I have the opportunity to pick my coverage of the event. I prefer being out with the participants and capturing him or her on their journey. I try to make my own mini rest stop. They get the opportunity to take a breather and take a team pictures against a beautiful background at the same time. These pictures will be downloaded at the end of the day and put into a PowerPoint slide presentation that everyone will get to view at the charity dinner that evening. I am told that this is the highlight of the event and everyone is very excited to see his or her team pictures, on the big screen and in front of their fellow walkers.

Beautiful rest stops. Beautiful rest stops.

While walking the final mile at the MS Walk last year, off to the left was a sign with a team picture, that I had taken the previous year. This may seem a bit corny, but it was nice to see my work, being used to help others. I have also seen some of my pictures on their literature and web-site. It gives you a good feeling to see that they appreciate you and your work. This is one of the reasons that keeps me coming back every year. So, remember, when “you only get one shot” think RKS Photography.

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