Powerful photographs, selected to draw attention to worthy causes, are at the root of the Picture for Change competition, the finalists of which were announced this week.
A CSI initiative by Ramsay Media and BoE Private Clients, the competition was designed to ensure images stayed on the minds of South Africans, highlighting the various NGOs and causes that need to be top of mind in order to be sustainable.
“Iconic images stay in a nation’s psyche and have the power to shape events – think ‘Hector Peterson’ and it instantly conjures up the photo that came to represent the 1976 student unrest, for example,” saus RamsayMedia managing director, Stuart Lowe. “We wanted to use that emotive impact to benefit deserving causes. Picture the Change has allowed us to do that, with entries of the highest calibre.”
Photos range from depicting the ravages of drug abuse to those of happy learners with storybooks; a caged leopard with lifeless eyes throws into stark relief wild horses enjoying their freedom on the beach at daybreak.
The competition attracted almost 700 entries, with nominated beneficiaries ranging from environmental agencies to literacy and child protection NGOs, feeding schemes and upliftment programmes.
Lowe believes the photographs have achieved the aim of helping to change people’s perceptions: one hard-hitting photo of a rhino being dehorned has had thousands of hits on Facebook and elicited hundreds of comments from around the world, focusing global attention on an issue of great concern to South Africans.
Twenty finalists have been selected in two categories – general public and the media (including the marketing and advertising industries). The winner in each will be announced at an awards party on 15 August, earning R300 000 in media space for their chosen cause and a SANParks holiday and Canon photographic equipment for themselves.
A lucky draw on the night will see a further winner chosen from among ad agency representatives attending the function, giving another charity the benefit of R300 000 in media exposure, while the winner of an internal RamsayMedia competition will see R100 000 in exposure go to one of the company’s own corporate social responsibility-sponsored beneficiaries, bringing the total financial commitment to the competition to R1-million.