Yesterday, we gave away £44,000 to good causes.
Here’s where the money went…
|Age UK York||£1,000|
|Alzheimer’s Research UK||£300|
|Bat Conservation Trust||£500|
|Bobath Children’s Centre||£400|
|Brick by Brick||£500|
|British Lung Foundation||£500|
|Campaign Against Arms Trade||£250|
|Child Bereavement UK||£691|
|Damilola Taylor Trust||£500|
|Felixstowe Trinity Day Care Centre||£500|
|Freedom from Torture||£300|
|Friends of the Lake District||£500|
|Girl Guiding UK||£200|
|Hand in Hand for Syria||£450|
|Homerton Hospital Neo-Natal Unit||£1,000|
|Lakelands Hospice Corby||£500|
|Lighthouse Soup Kitchen||£150|
|Macmillan Cancer Support||£350|
|Medical Aid for Palestinians||£250|
|Ministry of Stories||£409|
|Motor Neurone Disease Association||£300|
|Pancreatic Cancer Action||£500|
|Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund||£500|
|Pancreatic Cancer UK||£2,450|
|Refugee Support Network||£250|
|Rethink Mental Illness||£150|
|Rights of Women||£250|
|Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability||£250|
|Save the Children||£350|
|St Gemma’s Hospice||£500|
|St John’s Winchester Charity||£500|
|St Oswald’s Hospice||£205|
|Tax Justice Network||£250|
|The Duchenne Children’s Trust||£1,000|
|The Honey Pot||£1,000|
|Woking & Sam Beare Hospice||£800|
|World Land Trust||£100|
On behalf of everyone at Open, I’d like to thank Tim and James for giving each of us the opportunity to contribute to causes close to our hearts.
Six years ago, James wrote a post on this blog about how we got our name, and the kind of agency he wanted us to be. There were lots of good creative reasons for us to be called Open, but in the end it came down to this: Open is how we want to do business.
At the end of that first financial year, Open employees were each given £1,000 to give to charities of their choice. It totalled £10,000.
Today, I’m proud to be part of an agency that has stayed true to its name. An agency that puts its money where its mouth is. An agency that will, this afternoon, give away £44,000.
We will be live tweeting as we each open our hearts and share the personal, often emotional, stories behind our donations. So please, join us as we gather for our annual ‘sharefest’ and spend an afternoon, Open, as always.
In the studio at Open, we spend hours and hours, followed by a well-needed tea and biscuit break, and then more hours, searching for the perfect image. Searching for the one that communicates the exact feeling we’re looking for, and which tells the story quickly and clearly. The specific qualities that set these images apart differ wildly, but they tend to fall into two distinct types.
The first, taken by professional photographers, are eye-wateringly beautiful. They can include powerful portraits – capturing facial expressions that instantly reveal the depths of human experience in a way that words cannot.
Or they might be steeped in pathos, depicting poignant moments in time. Technically, they’re always brilliant – and exactly what’s needed in outdoor and press, where we only have a moment to grab the attention of a potential donor.
At first glance, the second kind of image can appear underwhelming. Taken by everyday people, they’re simple shots of real lives and surroundings. Although not conventionally beautiful, they can be equally powerful. By knowing who’s behind the camera, you are immediately drawn into their world.
You experience the raw emotion, unfiltered by someone else’s lens. In the right setting, and with time to appreciate the context, these images can hit every bit as hard as those taken by the professionals.
So, which one do you think is the better image? I’d say both are just as memorable and thought provoking – and equally worth searching for.