Getting Truly Involved with the Local Community

SocialCommunity

Photographers, as well as every other creative, should engage in donating their talents and skills to society, specially on behalf of their own local community, when it is the time to help others in distress or bad conditions.

In the case of us, fashion and advertising photographers, who one way or another, enjoy some quite nice perks and benefits as a result of our work, we need to give back even more!

It is for this very reason that over the years, I have committed time, resources, energy and my visual skills to help different organizations who work tirelessly to provide help and counseling to the under-appreciated, the neglected and the survivors!

I have worked, and keep working, to provide assistance for kids waiting for adoption, little fellows in the foster care system, wishing and hoping for a better life, and thanks to the work of organizations like the Children’s Trust, the Miami and Broward Heart Galleries and Fotomission, we can do some portraits of these kids, and at least offer them a better chance to find a family that will take care of them.

On the other end of the spectrum, the “Flashes of Hope” Non Profit organization has committed to provide some partial relief to parents with kids with terminal cancer, and we volunteer to do portraits of these beautiful creatures and their parents. before their time is over.

I have also contributed with images to the Life Alliance program of the University of Miami Organ Donor Program, and have photographed several people of all ages, from kids to grandparents, who have nicely survived organ transplant surgery. I am also a member of the Volunteer Match Program, to provide visual assistance when requested.

Amazingly, through fashion photography, I have been able to donate my skills to Breast Cancer initiatives, both in South Florida and Latin America.

Finally, I am always volunteering time and resources to our local Creative Mornings Miami Group,  a fantastic worldwide initiative for monthly breakfasts for the creative community, putting together all those talented people who believe Miami is THE PLACE to be and work and want to make this city grow into one of the finest creative destinations.

I always encourage Advertising and Boutique Agencies to contact me with their creative projects for Non-Profit Agencies.

 Use my Contact Page to start talking!!

Cheers!!

Back to Jorge Parra’s Website

Success Strategies for Photographers in Linkedin

c8b66-combolinkedinlogo   I had previously posted a whole set of tips and suggestions on how to successfully use Linkedin as a professional networking channel, taking advantage of the fact, that, contrary to FaceBook and other channels, Linkedin gathers a huge percentage of professionals from all areas and fields of human performance. This characteristic makes Linkedin a potentially useful platform to build up new business relationships and strategic alliances, which can help on the profitability of your own business.

Thing is, Success is, from my point of view, more of a process than a goal. It can be easily proven that, once a goal is achieved, in any aspect of our lives, the mind already has yet another new goal to achieve, and on and on, indefinitely,  so it makes sense to focus more on the process to achieve success than in the goals themselves. Improving the process will facilitate achieving new goals.

The well known formula: [Garbage In = Garbage Out] applies wonderfully to Linkedin and every other platform and channel you intend to use for marketing and promotional purposes.

Basically, if you do not commit to provide useful, appealing content, a well groomed profile and stay active on the process of updating all your info on Linkedin, and participate in Groups, you can not expect better results than the ones you have today. Too many Photographers believe that they just need to create a profile, as brief as possible, and sit and wait for a torrential rain of new clients and projects to pour on them. Then the complaints about Linkedin not being useful as an instant cash cow pop out in every forum.

I can not emphasize enough how critical it is to prepare a very effective Profile about yourself in Linkedin. Almost everything is relevant!! From your education to the causes and organizations you donate time and resources to, to the historical career path which has led you to who and how and where you are today, everything counts, if posted properly.

Just recently, the Linkedin Blog published the 10 words people OVERUSE the most in Linkedin in their Profiles, and therefore, have been rendered technically useless for self-promotion, specially if you want to differentiate yourself properly, so your Linkedin Profile should avoid the following:

Ten most overused Profile buzzwords:

• Motivated
• Passionate
• Creative
• Driven
• Extensive experience
• Responsible
• Strategic
• Track record
• Organizational
• Expert

Sounds familiar?? How many of these are right now in your Profile?

To make this brief, consider this: if  by any chance you actually are NOT motivated passionate, creative, responsible, etc,etc, then you are not  a good profesional anyways, and again, if you are all of the above, a cool Pro, make no mistake:  every other Pro who is your actual competition, claims to be exactly the same cool Pro!

So, use your motivation, passion, creativity and experience to build up a better profile, avoiding most of the words above!!!

The matter of connecting with potential clients stays the same: One of the most useful decisions is joining Linkedin Groups, BUT, do not join a dozen of photographer’s groups, since basically none of them will need your services!! Of course, it makes sense to be in touch with the photographer’s community, so being in a couple of those groups is healthy to stay in touch with changes in the industry, etc, so, do not discard all of those, but know in advance those do not offer lots of marketing opportunities. For the same reason, Retouchers, Educators, Assistants, Coaches and Consultants  need to be in photographer’s groups, since they  can become their clients.

Think exactly in the same way, to decide what groups you should consider joining. You have to be in places where your potential clients  also roam. If you are interested in architectural clients, join architect’s groups, same for Corporate, same for Fashion, same for Advertising  etc,etc.

Participation in those groups will streamline the process of connecting with people who might become your future clients or strategic allies. It is also important to note that potential clients, prospects, may not necessarily react instantly to your profile and activity.They may bookmark your profile and will check it out for changes/updates in time, and might consider you for a project later on, when their need for your type of work arises. Months may pass by before this happens. Be patient!!

This is solid proof that success in Linkedin is a process, as you can not measure your success by what you have already achieved, but for what is coming ahead.

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About the Author: Jorge Parra shoots Fashion, Beauty and Portrait Photography for Advertising. 

You can check on Jorge’s Linkedin Profile right here.

Also, you can check some of his visual work on his recently updated website

Fashion Tails: When fashion meets Social Awareness

Jorge Parra was among the photographers selected- by invitation only- to participate in an interesting project, blending fashion and social awareness, called Fashion Tails.

Under the general production  and coordination of Miami Fashion Designer Eva Danielle Wittel, photographers were encouraged to create their own concept for a fashion shooting involving couture models and animals, homeless dogs and cats, which are currently waiting for caring people to adopt them and take them home, away from temporary rescue houses. As long-term hosting is not financially viable, these animals are risking the loss of their lives, if no swift action is taken to adopt them. 

This is when photography kicked in!

Dogs and cats were brought out to locations or studio facilities, using local government transportation, under the supervision and coaching of non-profit agencies like Paws4You  which are temporarily hosting them. Fashion models were styled and dressed, and every shooter made his/her contribution to this noble cause.
Jorge Parra says about the project: “I enjoyed very much the feeling of satisfaction derived from knowing my work might help salvaging these cute animals from potential annihilation. The people who lead the non-profits are doing tremendous efforts, and their commitment is an example of dedication and true love for dogs and cats.

 Being surrounded by all these animals  made me understand the importance of their goals instantly. I had a very happy day, in spite of all the production challenges imposed by this type of shooting, involving untrained animals, which stay too long in cages, become quite difficult to handle”.

Selected images from this shootings will be showcased in the  Charest-Weinberg Gallery, and the opening is on Saturday, September the 22nd.
The entire bulk of images will be published in a book that is currently being edited. The proceedings and print and book sales will be entirely donated to the non-profits.

Details of the show opening below. 

See you at the opening!!

Launch of “The Change 10 Project” during the Eco-mmunities Exhibit.

©Jorge Parra

Dear all

Last Gallery walk in Winwood Art District was the ideal set up to launch the official disclosure of The Change 10 Project by fashion and fine art photographer Jorge Parra, a series of posters to create awareness on environmental issues and suggestions for simple solutions that every person can actually do, to effect change in an effort to restore balance to nature.

The Eco-mmunities, a fantastic Contemporary Art installation of mannequins and photography brought out the talent of artists Luis Valenzuela and Alexis Rodriguez, of Green Art USA, who made fascinating couture dresses with trash and recyclable materials, often considered plain junk, dressing mannequins that were already thrown away to the trash by large retail stores, and the stylish look of the installation easily reminded us of european couture ateliers.

The “Change 10 Project” is based on a simple premise:

Did you know that by using just 10 points less or doing a mere 10 points more you can do your part in making this a better planet for you, your children and the generations to follow?

The “Change 10 Project” is an awareness creative process and a call to action.

You can make a difference to our global warming issues, deforestation, food and water shortages, promote renewable energy, and assist humanitarian charities through simple , yet effective small changes in habits and daily routines, however, our basic line of comfort is not compromised by these simple changes in attitudes and actions.

Spread the word, take action. It’s in our hands

The bottomline concept is to turn this into a viral campaign, so other photographers, copywriters and artists engage into preparing more and varied set of posters with more messages with the same, simple style, so the message gets accross and is distributed massively.

Cheers!

©Jorge Parra
©Jorge Parra
©Jorge Parra
©Jorge Parra