The Image Challenge – We Face it Too

It’s no shocker–image is everything. In the days of Instagram, YouTube, and ever-improving camera tech we are inundated with images of people, brands, organizations, companies, you name it. I know that I can’t be alone in feeling the pressure to only put the good photos up on Facebook–the ones with beautiful lighting that show my family and friends looking happy and gorgeous. Working for an organization, especially a non-profit, is no different. On behalf of Zozu Project, there is a desire to post just the well-lit shots of children and their families that are artfully composed. In America, where the environment is relatively safe and clean, it’s easy to produce pictures like this. Most companies, and a lot of charities, have whole teams of people just dedicated to taking good pictures.

I’ve been thinking about this recently, because a lot of photos we receive from the field look like this:

It’s a little wonky. And slightly blurry. But you know what, I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s ok. While beautiful images can shed important light on the realities of Uganda, the reality these children live in is not that well-composed. It’s messy. It’s dark. It’s dirty and rough. These small, sometimes blurry images show that reality in a different way. While we absolutely love and celebrate the most professional looking photos, and want to share those with you, sometimes all we have is shots like these. It’s easy to forget in an age of high-quality DSLRs and high megapixel phone cameras just how precious a simple image like this can be. The very fact that we have them at all is amazing! We want to honor your commitment as a sponsor by sharing pictures with you no matter the quality, and as Director of Com., I felt compelled to write about it.

We are committed to transparency and honesty with you in all that we do as an organization. In our minds, that is more important than our own picture-perfect branding. When we have images of the kids you support, we want to share them with you no matter what! And as much as I would love to say that all of the photos we send will be pretty, you can expect more gritty, real images from Africa coming your way! Thank you for supporting what God is doing in Uganda through all of us, and may he continue to bless the loaves and fishes we offer.

Elsie

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