A fond tradition during the holiday season is to make a lasting memory with a family photo! And Mott Community College students, faculty and staff want to help make the holidays picture perfect for the community. MCC photography students will provide free, professional-quality photo portraits during the Sixth Annual HELP Portrait Event at the campus this Saturday from 12-4 pm in the Event Center, Mott’s Flint campus at 1401 E. Court St. Individuals, families, and friend groups are all welcome. The program is free and open to the public. Appointments are not necessary.
HELP Portrait is a global movement of photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists using their time, tools and expertise to give people who otherwise couldn’t afford a professional portrait the chance to capture a moment, a memory. The MCC HELP Portrait event started out as a small campus project and has evolved into a campus-wide collaboration that includes the Photography Program students, graduates and faculty, Cosmetology Program students and faculty, students from the Early Childhood Development and Music programs, the Mott Honors Program Campus Clowns, and MCC’s Criminal Justice Program.
“The event is all about giving back to the community,” says Bob Rentschler, MCC Photography Instructor and Photography Program Coordinator. He adds, “our goal is to make every person who walks through the door feel special from start to finish. We believe in the power of a picture, and this is our way to share our passion for photography with the world.”
Last year, the MCC Help Portrait Event volunteers shot almost 200 photo sessions and gave out more than 300 8X10 prints, according to Rentschler.
Attendees will be welcomed by a greeter, and will be given the option to get touch-ups on hair and make-up for their portrait by the Cosmetology Program students. Live music will be provided by MCC Music Department students and faculty, and the Honors Program Clown Troupe will provide entertainment. Activities for young children will be available under the supervision of MCC’s Early Childhood Education students, and the MCC Criminal Justice Program’s Student Organization, the Law Enforcement Resource Network will distribute child identification kits to families.
Clients will have their choice of four photo studios and backdrops, with at least one Christmas-themed backdrop available. Photography students will use computers and color printers to print out one 8×10 photo from each photo session. In addition, participants will receive all of the photos taken of them on a CD, along with a copyright release so that they can have the photos printed at commercial photo processing centers, in local stores or online. The entire process can take up to an hour, according to Rentschler. That includes make-up and hair, the photo shoot and photo printing.
MCC will also host its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony immediately following the HELP Portrait event.