My name is Janet Talbott, I am a volunteer art teacher in Portland, OR. I work with students from K-8th grade across the local public school districts. I am sharing my story to hopefully inspire you to donate your old point and shoots or DSLRs to my art program. All donations are gifted to a student in need. Donations will be accepted at The Shutterbug (they will hold them for me).
I normally work with K-3rd grade students, but I decided to do something different last year. I started working with 5th grade students, on a new subject: photography.
Starting last year, I introduced my 5th graders to photography -- no cell phones allowed, no camera cases. I wanted to show my students that the camera should always stay in their hand. To use it as almost an extension of their eyes. The results: We had a BLAST. I have a couple of young students here who are especially talented. One of them is just 10 years old, yet he takes direction and pays attention extremely well. When I tell him to 'go be creative', the results are phenomenal. For our 5th grade graduation celebration, I made a photo book of all the students' works (which were simply incredible). We won 2nd place prize for the categories 'Tech' and 'Beauty'!
Since then, I have also had the opportunity to expand my photography classes to several middle schoolers who I had deemed responsible enough to carry around DSLRs. These DSLRs are a mix of donations and cameras that I have purchased out-of-pocket (The Shutterbug always likes to help me out in that department). I give these cameras to my students as a parting gift by the end of the course. The work that these children produce are magnificent, and I am so proud of them.
Outside of my Portland volunteering, I have two boys in Santa Cruz that I have been working with for years. One of whom got a grant to study at Stanford University for film. He will be processing videos to make movies, and even more exciting opportunities!
On top of all of my younger students, I also am currently working with 1-2 older folks who've decided they want to try to get into photography as it was always a goal of theirs -- to learn how to shoot confidently. I always tell them, "it's never too late to get your art on!"
Painted Hills by Janet T.
As for my personal work, my drive to photograph is based on my desire to share the beauty I see in the moment with others (like you)! I choose to not color or enhance my photos! You can find a few bits of my work featured in a few places, including the 2019 Oregonian historical book, "Mt.Hood Revealed", The Nature Conservancy website, and The High Desert Conservation site. A few times I have been considered for National Geographic, however I didn't quite make it (try, try, try again!).
If you would like to donate, I want preface that I do not take monetary donations. If you'd like to help the arts program, we are looking for are point and shoots as well as older DSLRs. Anything in working working condition that you may have sitting around and no longer find use for that you think might help me and my 'children' (I think of all the kids as my own), please contact The Shutterbug -- they will contact me with any donation drop offs.
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The Shutterbug is a Oregon Family Owned & Operated Camera Store, with four locations in Oregon. We have been in the industry of helping photographers like you since 1971.