Recently, I’ve come across a couple photography websites that have made me realize the simple power of two photographs to tell a story.
Dear Photograph. It’s a powerfully nostalgic concept that captures a picture within a picture, relying on crowdsourced submissions.
Back To The Future. This is a personal project by photographer Irina Werning. Instead of a picture within a picture, Werning has gone to the trouble of recreating the exact same scenario as the one in the original photograph, juxtaposing the two images side by side.
Both of these projects point to incredible potential for environmental organizations looking to highlight the environmental changes that are happening, whether because of climate change, mining, fracking, oil drilling, etc.
To some extent, that’s what The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and Treehugger have done with the following photographs.
The bottom line: regardless of your nonprofit’s social cause, try to capture those before and after moments that can really highlight the meaningful change your organization is trying to create. That means planning ahead. Bring your camera with you at the beginning of a project and snap as many pictures as you can, from a variety of angles. Then, when your project is complete, try to capture another dozen pictures from the same basic angle as the originals. From there, you can show the effectiveness of your nonprofit’s work in newsletters, Facebook posts, Pinterest boards and anything else you can insert a photo into.
My only question now is, “Does anyone know if there is a book or website out there dedicated to environmental before and after pictures?” If not, why not? Sounds like a great project for Yann Arthus Bertrand, the French photographer famous for his work on Earth from Above.