Two photography students from Hayes High School gave back to the community Friday when they collaborated with Andrews House to take portrait photos for six families.
This is the third year for the collaboration between Hayes and Andrews House, according to Carolyn Sloane, the chair of Andrews House’s Christmas Cupboard fundraiser. Sloane said three years ago, she contacted Hayes photography teacher John Scott, who thought the photo shoot would be a good learning experience for some of his advanced students and agreed to the project.
“I said, ‘Absolutely,’ because of the wonderful practical experience,” Scott said. “Giving back to the community and working with customers in public is a huge thing we don’t normally get to do. The students get wonderful practical experience taking portraits, (learning about) poses and lighting, and looking at how things work and the technical aspects.”
Scott added it’s also great for students to get experience working for a customer and working with people. He said the students work for free on Black Friday.
“The kids volunteer their time, and I’ve never had an issue finding at least two that would do it,” Scott said
At the photo shoot, students and Scott posed families in front of a Christmas tree, fireplace, and staircase at Andrews House. They took a variety of photos that will be given to the family on a flash drive. The families also receive an 8-by-10 photo and two sheets of wallet-sized photos.
Sloane said the students have always done “a wonderful job,” and the families enjoy the event every year.
“They truly enjoy and are very thankful for this gift to them,” he said. “This is a true-life experience for the students, myself, Andrews staff, and the Christmas Cupboard Committee.”
Jacob Rathkopf, a sophomore, is the youngest student to participate in the program. He agreed to do it when asked by Scott, because he felt it would be a good learning experience.
“I thought it’d be fun,” Rathkopf said. “I know the families are so excited. I think it’s probably something they look forward to. (I’m excited to do it because) I don’t really do portraits.”
Macie Stevens, a junior, volunteered because it “sounded like a nice thing to be doing.”
Prior to taking the photos Friday, Stevens said, “I’m looking forward to making these people happy. It’s something that doesn’t seem like a big deal to most people, but it’s exciting for these families, because they don’t get to do it. I’m hoping to get some good photos out of it and making the families happy. I hope they enjoy the experience of it.”