Thank you for your interest in becoming an affiliated photographer for FOL. Due to the nature, sensitivity, and complexity of this work, many factors exist in which most photographers wouldn’t consider necessary to fill this role. Our work seeks to help families soften their pain, and help create photographic memories of their baby/child that they can be proud to share with other family members and future generations.
Please view this application in the same manner you would for a professional photographer position. Submit your best portrait work showing your ability to use auxiliary lighting and natural lighting. Due to the nature of our mission, we need to see your abilities in portrait work. Wildlife, flowers, buildings, etc., do not show the skills needed for this work.
Note: All volunteers must be 21 years of age or older at the time of application.
Criteria to Applying as a Volunteer Photographer
- Please fill out your application in full.
- Focus – Just like any portrait, the eyes have to be sharp. If any two images in the submission or on the applicant’s website have questionable focus issues, the applicant will be declined. Please do not submit out-of-focus images.
- Posing – All the standard posing guidelines apply. Even though in our environment we are often limited in how we can position our subjects, the applicant should demonstrate knowledge of what makes flattering position. A preponderance of square-to-the-camera poses would be grounds to decline the applicant. Has the applicant made any effort to pose subjects in a flattering way? Are diagonals used? Does your eye move around within the image? Does the photographer utilize composition rules, like the rule of thirds?
- Attention to Detail – This is an overall evaluation of the submission. We review to see if the the submitted images missed out on noticing details such as: drool on a baby’s chin, sloppy hair, centered necklaces, poles growing from heads, appropriate backgrounds, overall retouching skills, etc.
- Lighting - For those of you who do not have studio lights or do not normally shoot using your flash attachment (speedlight) please do the following:
- Take a cooperative human, doll, or stuffed animal into a low light room and shoot off a series of images using your flash attachment, bouncing the light off the ceiling and walls, using various focal lengths (shoot tight like you would a baby session), angles and poses.
- We do not need the images to be retouched. We will be looking for your ability to shoot in very low light situations similar to what we encounter in hospital rooms during FOL sessions.
*Applicants who are turned down are always more than welcome to re-apply at a later date.
Samples of Your Work
To evaluate your application, we need to view your images in a variety of environments. The two major categories are Auxiliary Light and Natural Light.
Requirements of Submitted Images
Multiple images of the same person will not pass.
- Images taken at a workshop are not permitted, as we need to evaluate your work with the equipment you own.
- The natural light images may include the use of reflectors. The use of flash as fill light is acceptable, but not as the main light.
- The Auxiliary Light images should be those in which the main light is either studio strobes or speedlights, or other off camera flash.
- A minimum of three images must be in an environment in which 100% of the illumination is from the flash or strobe lighting. This is critical since many of our sessions take place is very dim or dark hospital rooms.
If you have any other questions before you start the application process, please contact us. Thank you again for your interest in becoming a volunteer Photographer of FOL.
Please contact us for an application & submit images to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.