We love showing you ways you can help better your world with photography and James Rhodes sent us this one. He's helping out with a project called “National Geographic Photo Camps” – a project where they go in and teach some kids who'd likely never have the opportunity to use a camera about photography and let them document their world. James originally sent us a movie he'd shot on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II of the camps he's helped with, but as you might understand, there were some issues with getting permission to show the kids. But we are able to show you an authorized movie about the camps and it just warms your heart to see the smiles on these kids faces and the pride the have for what they've accomplished with a camera. If you can find it in your heart to help out, check out the Vision Workshops site that James is working with.
My name is James Rhodes, I am a documentary photographer (www.jamesrhodesphotography.com) and twice now I had the rare opportunity to be a part of National Geographic Photo Camps. Vision Workshops ( www.visionworkshops.org ) coordinates National Geographic Photo Camp for 15-20 kids many times a year both domestically and internationally. Their goal in every location is to help kids see the place they live and their surroundings in a new and different way. Its quite amazing to witness the spark of inspiration lighting the creative inferno some of these kids have been waiting to unleash. Some of the images they take are quite honestly on par anyone out there. But whats more is they are learning to tell the story about the place they live with the images they are taking during the camp. The are learning to explore and rediscover their homes in a new way.
It is an incredible youth program that not only serves American communities in places like; Seattle, New York, Miami, and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, but it also serves places like Uganda, India, Jordan, and Rwanda to name a few. Programs like this are becoming more and more reliant on private funding during this economic hardship we find ourselves in. But I have seen first hand the impact it can make in a adolescent's life to give them a creative outlet to express themselves. Sadly being able to enjoy the luxury of creating photographs is something most of us, myself included, take for granted. Each of these camps requires tens of thousands of dollars, to be able to offer this experience to these children. I urge you to take a moment to learn more about Vision Workshops, and find out how you can be a part of helping this program thrive.
What an awesome way to spread the joy of photography – please consider helping them out!
Thanks for sending this in James!
(Photo credit: snap from the Vision Workshops home page)