Give Your Gift

I firmly believe that each of us are talented in our own special ways.  It may be the gift of an artists touch or the ability to carry a tune or an eye for composition. I also believe that each of us should share our talents in ways that help out others.  Recently, I had the privilege of sharing my photographic talents with a special group of young ladies in the Annapolis area.

In the spirit of the project created last year called Help Portrait, myself and two good (and talented) friends Guy Stephens and Matt Rath connected with a group called the Eastport Girls Club.  First, a bit about the Girls Club – they’re a grassroots mentoring program for girls in grades 5-12 who are living in public housing communities in Annapolis, MD.  Their mission statement reads:

To provide young women facing challenging issues within our community with enriching experiences and mentoring relationships that promote self-awareness, the attainment of individual goals, respect towards self and others, and a willingness to explore and serve the world around them.

Our goal with the project was simple – to shoot portraits of each of the girls, get them printed, framed and have them ready to present to their Mothers / Grandmothers / Guardians for Mother’s Day.  More than that, it was to make each girl feel as special and beautiful as they really are for a day.  This video that Matt produced from the shoot explains the effort much better than I can in words:

So, in February we scheduled the shoot and showed up with a heaping pile of lighting equipment, a bit of a simple plan and a lot of hope for a fun time. I must admit that I went into the shoot with some trepidation, not knowing how a group of 5th to 9th graders would react to getting their photos taken by a couple of strangers. Any fears I had were quickly erased by the smiles and laughs of each of these special young ladies. Before long, we had them mugging for the camera like a bunch of seasoned models.

In early April, I had the young ladies pick the photos they liked and had them printed and framed.  Shortly after at a Mother’s Day dinner, each girl presented their framed photo to their loved one. 

Smiles equal success in my book. Find your special talent and share it with others. It benefits everyone involved.

24-May-2010 | Photo News & IssuesPhoto Shoots