“It was one hour of shooting and one hour of post work, and it changed someone’s life,” Burk Jackson told us of an experience that truly sparked his desire to move from focusing on for-profit photography work to launching CreativeCares. He was working on a job in New Mexico, and on a free afternoon in the studio they brought in a little girl from Heart Gallery.
The organization features hard to adopt orphans on their site with images captured by professional photographers. Just a couple of hours of Burk’s time helped lead to the young girl’s adoption. The idea for his organization then came to him—he wanted to be able to help creative people find volunteer projects and help non-profit organizations tell stories.
Plus, the experience really hit home for him, as he thought of his own daughter during the shoot. The girl was about six or seven, the same age as his daughter, and it took almost the full hour for her to feel comfortable with them. “She didn’t feel safe or loved. She was scared—it was an issue of social engagements,” Burk told us.
CreativeCares serves to help both the creative community and non-profits. Burk found that many non-profits aren’t able to financially have a creative team, so outlets they could use to tell their stories often fall to the wayside—video, photography, web design and social media. He also discovered that many didn’t realize how valuable having creative assistance could be. He initially reached out to 20 different organizations and only one recognized that they could use the help of a photographer.
“As a freelancer, I could say ‘I can give you a day of my life,’” he said of his own experiences. “People want to give back what they’re good at.”
His point was even proven by bringing his one volunteer, Allie, onto his team. She was looking for a way to utilize her background in the arts with her interest in the non-profit world and stumbled upon CreativeCares.
Since the launch, they’ve seen both sides benefit from their matchings—the creative community is able to give back and see how a small amount of their time can really make a difference, while non-profits benefit tremendously from the time spent.
Photos by Collin Hughes