Would You Help Young Photographers?


Hey photo nerds!

I'm writing to ask for your help.  Actually, it's not me who needs your help but thousands of young photographers who are learning photography in schools across the world.

I recently spoke to a young teenage girl who is learning photography in school.  The school does not have any cameras capable of shooting in manual, yet she is spending an entire semester learning how cameras work–without any camera.  With cutbacks to education around the world, art programs are first to go.

I think we can do better for young photographers, and the good news is I'm not asking you to spend a penny.  In fact, it just might earn you some money.

Improve Photography is accepting donations of camera gear that you've upgraded or outgrown.  Our primary needs are for cameras, lenses, and tripods; however, most photography items would be cherished and put to good use by these students.

Would you please take a second and look through your gear closet for gear that you don't really need anymore?  If you've outgrown your kit lens, or upgraded your camera to a newer body, or have an older tripod, I can find a home for it.

As we begin the Christmas season just next month, it's time to look around and see how we can show our love for others in any way we can–and this one is easy!



How This Works

I have been at work for the last few weeks identifying a few schools especially in need of photography items for their programs.

When we receive your donations of photography items, we'll identify a school with particular needs for that item and put it all together in a package.  Improve Photography will also be donating thousands of dollars of training materials to these schools so they don't have to work out of antiquated text books any longer.

Once we have enough gear to outfit a school, we'll put it all together and present it to the school.  You'll be helping young kids learn photography for years to come.

How You Can Donate Your Gear

Simply box up what you'd like to donate, and send it to the address below.  If you would like a letter from us and the school showing that the donation was made to a non-profit, we'll email it to you if you include a note with your email address in the package.

Improve Photography LLC
16357 Copperridge Way
Caldwell, Idaho 83607

What Kind of Gear Do We Accept?

We'll take whatever you're kind enough to give, and find a good home for it.  While digital cameras (DSLRs as well as point-and-shoots), lenses, and tripods are the most needed items in schools, we'd be glad to find a home for anything you think could be helpful.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to give the gift of photography to others.  If you have any questions, I'll hang around the comments to help.



13 thoughts on “Would You Help Young Photographers?”

  1. Hey Jim,
    this is such a nice start. I cannot contribute any camera or gear because I only have 1 camera with some extra stuff. But I really want to help the young oned that’s why I started [link removed as violation of comment policy] – it’s the only way I know how to help the future generation.

    Hope your efforts bear lots of fruits.


  2. Jim,

    An idea to help save some money on software cost is to use freely available software. RawTherapee is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux OSes and (my choice) Darktable are freely available for Mac and Linux. If you’re not familiar, the Linux OS and namely (and again, my preference) Ubuntu is free. And of course, there’s GIMP. While not as glamorous as a shiney new iMac with a retina display and Photoshop and Lightroom, you really cannot beat the price and it can help accomplish the goal of teaching kids how to develop their digital photographs and editing.

    I’ll look through my camera bag and see if I have anything that is worth donating.

    1. As much as i support Linux i think this would not be the smartest idea.
      I think this because:
      #1. Teachers (and students) need to learn the new software.
      Maybe some teachers are used to use Camera RAW and Photoshop from Adobe (which does not run natively on Linux. You can use it with Wine but that is still buggy as nothing )
      #2. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!
      Once again, the costs of converting and learning are way to high and can be better spend at learning the kids enjoying photography
      #3. Fixes fixes fixes..
      Just admid it.. we Linux users sometimes spend way to much time tweaking and fixing things as we would like to admid.

      I hope that i was clear enough.
      (As for donating stuff.. I don’t think you could use a old compact camera, so sorry..)

  3. Jim,
    Great idea. I sold my DX cameras to buy a full frame but I still have several instructional dvds and manuals (Magic Lantern, Digital Field guides, etc.) How about filters? Happy to send them along if you think they would find a good home.


  4. Judi van der Kaay

    Have a Nikon D700 that I can send. Have a 7000 and a 610 so have plenty to play with. Will see what I have in the point and shoot to also include as well as some books. Don’t have extra lenses though.

  5. Tried to set this up a photography club at my son’s local school. They did not have the budget to buy any gear. So I suggested they advertise in the newsletter (I was willing to loan a backup DSLR for in club use only), but the school thought it was too much of an imposition on parents to ask if anyone had old cameras they were willing to donate. Stupid really, even P&S 3Mp camera is a great tool for learning.

  6. Some schools still work in analog in their Photo I and II classes; my local HS does. Sending them some old slr’s may be quite welcome, too.

    I would also encourage moral support to the programs out there. Someone mentioned a photo club…perhaps organizing a photo walk or two with the school’s teacher would also be helpful.

    As I’ve already donated the mentioned gear to my local HS I can only offer my 2 cents.

  7. JIm – I know it is very late in the season, but I am way behind on my podcasts. I just heard about this program and would love to help. Is it too late?

  8. Are you still accepting used digital cameras and lenses? I was left 3-4 cameras and a multitude of lenses when a family member passed away. I would like them to get some use and am looking for a good place to donate them.

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