Inspiring Kids Through Photography

Think back to that time when you were just a lad (or lass) in elementary school…when that fireman, policeman, astronaut, or some other cool grown-up came to teach you about their job. Remember how inspired you felt?

Well, a couple of Saturdays ago, our long-standing client Pictage partnered with Canon USA to give a group of kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was just a couple days before the official start of the 30th WPPI expo and conference and I had the honor to film the event and create a recap video.

Some of the top photographers in the country were on hand to teach kids ranging in age from about 8 to 16, how to take photos. The all star team included (in no particular order): Justin & Mary Marantz, Zach & Jody Gray, Mike Colón, Ray Santana, Kenny Kim, Will Jacks, René Tate, Shawn Reeder, Mike Larson, Chelsea Nicole, and Matt & Stevi Savage. Behind the scenes documentary photos taken by Joe Buissink and Monty Jessop.

The day started with Pictage CEO Jim Collins addressing the crowd of about 80 kids. Then it was pizza time and mingling with the photographers. Next was about a 30-40 minute classroom session where the photographers gave primers on composition, lighting, and use of the equipment. Then all the groups headed over to a preserve for a photo scavenger hunt. The festivities ended with all the kids getting certificates.

The video I shot that Saturday was finished by Sunday and showed at the WPPI awards ceremony Wednesday night, March 10. About 40 of the kids from the event were on hand to watch themselves on the big screens, then get a standing ovation from the crowd of photographers. As the kids marched out of the ballroom to go back home (it was a school night after all), they were greeted by high-fives and congratulations. How cool an experience must that have been for these kids, many of whom are underprivileged.

This was an amazing and fulfilling project to be a part of. As my company Dare Dreamer Media turns its primary focus to highlighting worthy causes, this is just the kind of work that is right up my alley.

How can you inspire a child today?

Lens & Learn – Inspiring Kids Through Photography from Ron Dawson on Vimeo.

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