MCC student photographers make the holidays picture perfect

Mott Community College is hosting the Sixth annual Help Portrait Event from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3.

Mott Community College is hosting the Sixth annual Help Portrait Event from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3.

FLINT – Mott Community College students, faculty and staff want to help make the holidays picture perfect for the community.

Once again the Photography students will provide free, professional-quality photo portraits to the community during the Sixth Annual Help Portrait Event from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Event Center on MCC›s Flint campus, 1401 E. Court Street.

Individuals, families, and friend groups are all welcome. The program is free and open to the public. Appointments are not necessary.

What started as a small campus project involving Photography students, faculty and a few campus volunteers, 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 Help Portrait event is all about giving back to the community,” said Bob Rentschler, MCC photography instructor and Photography Program coordinator. “Our goal is to make every person who walks through the door feels 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 8-inch by 10-inch prints, according to Rentschler.

Attendees will be welcomed by a greeter, who will give them the option to get touch-ups on hair and make-up for their portrait. Services will be provided by the Cosmetology Program students.

Live music will be provided by MCC Music Department students and faculty, and the Honors Program clown troupe will entertain and help coax smiles from everyone. 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 (L.E.R.N.), 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. MCC Photography students will use computers and color printers to print out one 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. Participants should plan accordingly. All pets should be on a leash and be comfortable in crowds.

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 initiative, founded by photographers Jeremy Cowart, Annie Downs and Kyle Chowning, is held annually on the first Saturday of December. Since its launch in 2008, volunteers worldwide have provided over 325,000 portraits to people in 67 countries. — L.R.

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