The Importance of Thinking Big

strips of vintage black/white photos

When a newspaper or magazine requests a photograph to accompany an article showcasing your organization, you won’t send them a wallet-size photo-booth snap, will you?

That happens at The Chronicle every week. Charities unwittingly send me dozens of photographs so small they would look terrible if published, so we cannot use them. Most photos start out large, but unless they have been saved in the original, raw size (or as large as possible), there’s a good chance they’re far too small to ap…


How Every Worker Can Show Off a Charity’s Mission

Conservation International's business cards splayed

What if your organization is lucky (or prescient) enough to have thousands of great photos depicting your mission? What creative ways could you use them to advance your charity’s voice and connect with people in a real way?

Last September, as it was adopting a new look to reinforce the organization’s identity, Conservation International’s creative-services team brainstormed an innovative approach. Because the group did not have much money to spend to publicize its new look, it needed a simp…


A Twist on the Usual Hard-Hat Picture

Dancers from the Houston Ballet on their construction site

Liao Xiang and Michael McGonegal dance atop the Houston Ballet's new facility (Photographs by Jim Caldwell.)

When the Houston Ballet conducted an endowment campaign for its new Center for Dance, which opened in April, its public-relations team turned the traditional topping-off ceremony into an exciting event with a simple idea:

Put dancers at the construction site! Put hard hats on their heads!

Houston ballet dancers at their construction site

“Buildings are built every day,” notes Shauna Tysor, the ballet’s public-relations manager. I…


How Great Photos Can Tell a Charity’s Story

Indian schoolboys enjoying running water

(Photograph courtesy of

Made you smile, right?’s photo of Indian schoolchildren celebrating fresh drinking water truly grabs the viewer. It’s spontaneous. It’s exuberant. And it’s a newspaper art director’s dream photo.

As the person who has overseen how The Chronicle looks for more than 20 years, I should know.

All nonprofits yearn for more and better media coverage. Your charity may have the most innovative or successful or tear-jerking story, but without photos, many news…