A picture says a thousand words… and on December 7, the pictures said “Mott Community College gives back.” It was the third annual Help Portrait day.
Help Portrait is a nationwide program started by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart, when photographers around the world grab their cameras, find people in need of photos and donate their services. Bob Rentschler, MCC Photography Program Coordinator, helped set up the event so that less fortunate families or individuals in the Flint community are able to get a special picture taken during the holiday season.
Bob explained that Help Portrait allows people who might not otherwise be able to afford it the opportunity to preserve special memories. “There are so many stories,” he said. One of the coolest photographs taken last year, according to Bob, was of a woman who brought in a portrait of her mother and asked for help replicating the photo with herself as the subject. So, the stylists did her hair exactly as her mother was wearing it in the 50s and a portrait was taken of the woman in the same pose. Mott’s Cosmetology Program Coordinator, Carol Nielson, reported that about 14-15 of her students volunteered their services this year to style hair and do makeup. “This is such a good experience for the students!” she exclaimed. An activity center was set up by the Childhood Development students to keep kids busy while they waited, explained Becky Garske, program coordinator. “This is very exciting for my students,” she said. “It’s a really nice, feel-good day!”
Britney Medina was very excited as she stood in line waiting to have her photo taken with Olivia, her seven-month-old daughter. “This is our very first picture together!” she exclaimed. More than 100 families stood in line at the MCC Event Center awaiting hair and makeup, after which their pictures were taken by student photographers. Bob said that many individual head shots were also provided. The photos were printed and given to the subjects on the spot. “This is a wonderful way to share a cherished memory,” Bob said. “We enjoy this opportunity to give back to the community.” From the photographers to the makeup artists, photo editors, printers and hospitality workers, all who participated in Help Portrait were volunteers. “They’re tired at the end of the day,” laughed Carol, “but it’s a great experience.”
PHOTOS BY AUTUMN D. RUMMEL
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