In the summer of 2017, I got an invitation from my CEO at Barclays India, Uma Krishnan, who was interested to collect some of my award-winning photography work. In order to avoid giving my photographs for free, I asked her to contribute some amount towards her favourite social cause and the idea for Create4Cause was envisioned.
I bought a DSLR camera with my first salary and soon photography bug bit me like anything. Soon I cut off from TV and other sources of entertainment to learn photography on YouTube and google. Bloomberg got replaced by Phlearn and The Economist subscription by NatGeo Magazine. The Art of Photography by Ted Forbes became my daily go-to YouTube channel while I slowly started getting familiar with some master photographers like Steve McCurry, Jimmy Nelson, Martin Schoeller and Ami Vitale. I have literally learned composition by their breathtaking work, being glued to their Instagram and some brilliant street photography tutorials of Eric Kim. Also, read why I am not a self-taught photographer!
Soon my photography work started getting recognised by the likes of NatGeo and Lonely Planet. I also started getting international awards which kept me in the game of photography. Though I used to spend time behind my camera as a side hustle, my thoughts used to hanker on taking it up professionally. And, as an artist, I did not want to draw boundaries or limit myself and definitely, did not want to take that jump for the sake of just chasing more money. Honestly, I was a happy banker for my love for numbers and enjoyed my stay at Barclays. I think I was just looking for a bigger purpose in life to make that switch. I started looking for internal options to take a break from my routine nine-to-five and listen to my calling.
In August 2017, I took a year-long sabbatical from my banking career at Barclays and went onto a journey of my life to travel the world with this innovative social experimental project Create4Cause.
The idea was simply to get involved in a photography project if the brand/collaborator is willing to donate my fees towards their favourite social cause.
Throughout this year, I curated photography workshops to support girls’ education in a remote Himalayan village, have collected plastic bottles from a dump-yard to create a life-size art installation as an environmental awareness project against plastic, and have worked to protect human rights of elderly widows partnered with a local NGO in Vrindavan. To date, I have collaborated with multiple organisations to raise more than Rs. 7lacs (EUR 8,800) and to document unique communities across India and Europe.
The out-of-office experience was so fulfilling that I decided to leave my banking career behind and officially resigned from Barclays in August 2018 to work as a full-time photographer and to found Create4Cause community for likeminded individuals and brands who are interested in projects which are more than just making money with a strong emphasis on meaningful and satisfying work.
So, how does Create4Cause work now…
- Social Creator: Any creative professional who is ready to contribute his project fee towards a social cause. Eg. A professional photographer who would work on a product shoot for a brand and is happy to donate his project fee towards a cause s/he wants to support.
- Social Collaborator:Brand or individual seeking creative work and is ready to match the fund. Eg. A big brand looking for a creative ad or a bride looking for a wedding photographer. You can choose anyone from a list of our social creators who will deliver your project professionally as you agree to match our professional fees towards the social cause.
- Social Cause: Creator and Brand mutually discuss the social cause for full transparency. Eg. It could be supporting the education of your housemaid’s daughter, feeding the poor or funding a business idea of an underprivileged person(s).
Today, we’re a happy tribe of 13 social creators who have professional expertise in handling global creative projects.
If you’re a brand looking to collaborate for this worthy program then write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and become a social collaborator today!
About the Author
Saurabh Narang is a multi-award-winning photographer and a creative consultant. Over the years, he has worked with fortune 500 companies, filmmakers, and renowned NGOs in different parts of the world. He has also been published and exhibited globally. find his work at his website and Instagram. This article was also published here and shared with permission.