Building community with photos

by Lara H Posted on December 07, 2010

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It’s well into the school year and I was reflecting on how photo sharing has helped to help build community and connections on teams, in classrooms, and school events my family is a part of. I needed just that realization to keep up the momentum on the photo taking and uploading as weeks go by. If you need some of your own inspiration to tote out the camera again, here are some thoughts:

1. You’re expanding participation: For those that can’t make the field trip or the game, photo sharing is a great way to enjoy the experience even if they couldn’t be there in person.
2. Your photos are appreciated: I’ve heard from many parents who are grateful that someone is documenting the season or school year when they’ve forgotten their camera or just aren’t family photographers.
3. You are setting an example: Your behavior is motivating others to take pictures and share photos for other groups they are a part of based on the seeds that you’ve planted.
4. Your impact is wider than you think: Photo sharing is contagious, expanding beyond the original group to grandparents, co-workers and friends.
5. Your actions will live on: Photos grow in value as time passes. These images and memories will retain and even expand their value as time passes.

So, grab your camera bag and keep taking photos and sharing them on Share sites or on Facebook.

And, if you’ve got others sharing the photo taking responsibilities, take time out to thank them with physical products that will preserve their memories in unique and beautiful ways. I’ve used a photo book made in Simple Path to put together a field trip book recently that I plan on giving the teacher. It was so easy and fast to combine the photos shared to our classroom website and taken on two different cameras because the book is pre-filled using the picture date and time stamp.

Also, our new greeting card path is perfect for thanking others using multiple images that can now be printed both on the front and inside of the cards.

I hope this has helped you to keep up your important and appreciated work of unofficial photographer.

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  1. mommyizzy Says:

    I love this idea! My son started Kindergarten this year. Public school is so much more different than preschools. Parents don’t get to go inside the schools anymore so we hardly know what’s going on. On events, only the parents that volunteer get to be there. Wouldn’t it be great if there is a parent who volunteers to take photos and post them online for those who couldn’t be there!

    I might bring this up to the teacher and see what she says. I’d love to volunteer to take photos when I can!

  2. Joey Says:

    I love the greeting cards where you can put photos on inside. Pure genius. I love the idea of photo sharing with kids projects, school activities etc. Parents are always so appreciative when they receive a photo. I’d love to volunteer, too, taking photos of my nieces and nephews at school with their peers.
    Great article that has me thinking!!

  3. AnnAbbott Says:

    I am that mom always taking photographs of the kids at the school events. Now I have the rep of having a photo from school events with teachers, parents and the PTA and they come right to me if they want an extra snap shot. They also now call me to be sure I am there to take pictures too. And now I am helping put together the schools year book.

more about Lara H

By way of introduction, I’m LaraH. I’m a long-time customer of Shutterfly (beginning in January 2000 with the birth of my first daughter) and now an employee (since mid-2004). I’ve been making photo books since we launched the product in June 2005, but in that time it has evolved from a work responsibility, to a hobby, and dare I say passion. Most of the books I make revolve around my children and our family journeys, so I thought it was a fitting way for you to get to know me better to see “ My First Photo Book.” http://community.shutterfly.com/gallery/post/start.sfly?postId=/gallery/1/post/GMGDBgyYNGLdg5ZgLl7Adq. It’s the story of my daughters’ first few years, told mostly through pictures.

View all articles by Lara H »

  I would recommend this to other readers.