Monday, May 03, 2021

5 important Tips on Writing your Grant Proposal

 

This year I was part of a group of grant reviewers for the Humanities Council of Washington, DC (HumanitiesDC) and for the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities.  We were the first stage of reading, commenting, and rating the applicants for funding. An interesting process that allows for an unbiased and fair attempt to make recommendations on worthwhile non-profit organizations’ projects.  There are many grant opportunities for artists and organizations based in Washington, DC through these two organizations.  Each grant has a volunteer review committee that gives recommendations to the next panel for funding.  

 

As each reviewer reads each grant, they add comments and rating to a scorecard.  Previously, we would meet in person, but this year the group of reviewers met via an online meeting to discuss and compare notes.  It is great to hear other’s comments and reactions.  Most often we agreed to our ratings.  The power of group ‘think’ if something was missed and a rating would be changed.  It is wonderful to hear the reasoning from the talented and knowledgeable group assembled for this vital task.  

 

From this experience of reading grants this year and previously, here are some thoughts when you are preparing your grant proposal.

 

1.     Clear, concise, and cohesive writing is essential.  Is your objective and all your writing easily understood? Keep sentences to one thought.  (A thirty-word sentence is often hard to comprehend.)  In each paragraph, state your premise and give supporting information.  Simplify but give details.

 

2.     Provide a comprehensive plan and implementation of project/program(s).  Nice to have a mission statement but as important how that project or program operates.  If you don’t have a history, explain the history of items that you have completed.  This helps to prove that you are capable and deserving of the grant.  

 

3.     Get letters of recommendations, but as important, get testimonials from participants.  Success stories help to prove your project/program works and has a positive effect on the community you serve.  

 

4.     Provide biography of not only of yourself but staff and key personnel involved in your project. It’s helpful to disclose the education and job experience but why each person involve is suited to carry on their job responsibilities for your program 

 

5.     Budget, provide as much detail as possible.  It is even better to have Non-Profit accounting standards for all financial statements.

 

Your purpose is to provide quality information, in order for grant reviewers to fully comprehend and understand your mission. Additionally, you want to provide the confidence that you and your organization are qualified and accountable.

Monday, January 25, 2021

5 Tips for Better Pet Photos

Patches, 6 months, dappled long hair dachshund

1. Look at the light.  Quality light makes better pictures.  The reason why National Geographic photographers make the majority of their pictures during the morning and evening hours is the light has a warm tone and it is a ‘softer’ light.  There are less hard shadows and less contrast.  Window light, shade, or overcast days are also, good times to utilize the soft light.

 2 years old

2.
Composition is key.  Your subject is your main element in the frame, eliminate distractions.  Move in closer or zoom in.  Or if you want to utilize the background making an environmental image, use your depth of field or shoot in portrait mode so that your subject is the main focal point of your shot.  
 
7 years old

3. Focus carefully on your subject.  Sometimes your camera might pick the wrong area in the frame.  Take your time and make certain you focus properly on your main subject.

8 years old

4.
Shoot a lot of frames.  Your subject is unpredictable; thus, you need to try to shoot as much as you can.  The small movement or a change of angle can really make your subject look better.  

9 years old

5. You might think your pet understands you. but to get that winning shot you need
 patience.  Find ways to keep their attention, work quickly and avoid quick movements.  You are looking to capture that moment that exemplifies your subject’s personality!

15 years old, Try some video, shot on an iPhone SE

Enjoy and have fun!

Please send me your comments with your experiences and happy to answer any questions. 

 

Larry Levin

www.LLLevin.com

www.lllevin.blogspot.com

LinkedIn

Instagram

 

Rated #1 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace.com

https://lnkd.in/eNqnPAr

 

Profile in VoyageLA


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Top Tips When Hiring an Event Photographer

Senate Hearing on Alzheimer's 

Bosses, co-workers, members, clients, and constituencies judge images immediately.  Photos must capture attention, inform, and be remembered for their positive impressions.  Superior photography is vital for press releases, social media posts, newsletters, brochures, to market future events, also photos make nice mementos for event attendees. Here are some important aspects in hiring an event photographer. 

 

Choose Wisely 

A seasoned photographer is able to make consistent and technically excellent images in difficult situations.  Find a photographer who is flexible, creative and can positively represent your organization. She/He must be expert in photographic composition, lighting, and postproduction while remaining personable and diplomatic in relationships with your VIPs and attendees.  

 

Make Lists

Envision your needs ahead of time.  The types of images you need include individuals making presentations, group shots, audience reactions, product demonstrations, events, vendor booths, people working, award presentations, meet & greets and red-carpet events.  Think about staging, coordinating schedules so that all the right people are present for the photo, and timing (don’t schedule must need photos at the same time.)

 

Ensuring the final photo’s success requires effective communication of your visual needs and objectives.  Your image professional should assist you in developing “shot lists” and understand your “show flow.”   Timing and knowledge of what is going to happen helps to get every photo you need.  

 

Additionally, do your plans require specific graphical formats for publication? Let the photographer know your art director’s needs.  

 

Experience Counts

Your image pro’s experience can be critical to you in controlling the quality of the final delivered images.  Knowing how to solve last minute problems is a vital skill.

The photographer should approach event subjects journalistically. Images should appear “in the moment” rather than “contrived.”

 

Behind the scenes

Make certain your hired professional can function in chaotic situations while remaining unobtrusive at your event.  

 

The photographer should have the latest professional equipment.  Better files, color and image quality improve with the updated models.  Another aspect to the photographer is their ability to provide post-production of your final images.  

All files out the camera need adjustments to enhance quality.  

 

Details Matter

An experienced event photographer offers advance guidance to all aspects of the event. Helping people in the photos look their best. Working each situation to provide picture options.  Helping to determine if your staging is well lit or provide suggestions for better backgrounds.  High quality source lighting overcomes some challenging conditions, but pre-awareness of potential areas of difficulty ensures the most dependable result. 

 

Staging for a Panel Discussion

Will your event feature panel discussions? Using a backdrop? A clean background with your company branding can be a good investment.  Please when ordering it get a matte finish to minimize reflections. Have table distractions relating to expert panels been minimized?  Are microphones available in non-reflective materials? 

Panel Discussions:
clean backgrounds, non-distracting microphones and quality lighting
  

Summary

Delivering the quality of images, you deserve requires a photographer who understands what goes into planning and execution to provide you with exceptional images from your event.  

 

Your hired pro should respond in a timely manner, solve problems, and overcome challenges. Expect the unexpected and knowing how to deal with those situations is what the best image pros do.  Your choice will have the experience to capitalize on special moments that exceed your expectations and make your event memorable. 

 

Please send me your comments with your experiences and happy to answer any questions. 

 

Larry Levin

www.LLLevin.com

www.lllevin.blogspot.com

LinkedIn

Instagram

 

Rated #1 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace.com

https://lnkd.in/eNqnPAr

 

Profile in VoyageLA

  

On Assignment--BestBuddies Living

BestBuddies Living participants

For more years than I want to admit, I have documented the events and the people for Best Buddies. We have made pictures in all parts of the country showing the abilities and personalities of many of the participants.  

Since 1989, Best Buddies’ mission is to provide opportunities for individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).  Through four mission pillars—one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living--Best Buddies is changing the lives of millions of people.  

Residents work and study together

In 2019, the fourth pillar, BESTBUDDIES Living was established to provide inclusive living for people with and without IDD.  They are forming active homes where participants can learn, grow and thrive independently.


A common area offers opportunities for all types of activities.

My assignment was to document the newest home in Washington, DC.  The goal is to show everyday activities of the participants living in their space; eating, cleaning, studying and playing.  The resulting images will be used to promote the program and attract new residents.

Lifelong relationship are made through
sharing experiences and activities

All images made with Nikon Z6 cameras and Nikkor lenses.  Shot on location at the BestBuddies Living residence at Union Market, Washington, DC 


Copyright 2021 Laurence L. Levin

All Rights Reserved. No publishing or usage granted without permission

www.LLLevin.com

LinkedIn Laurence L. Levin 

Instagram @larrylevin

Facebook larrylevindc

Rated #1 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace

Featured in VoyageLA