Popular Photography Editor in Chief Miriam Leuchter explains the importance of giving back through photography
Josephine Herrick started her organization in 1941, by photographing young men going to war, and sending the photographs to their loved ones.
The ground-floor gallery at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights was buzzing one night this spring. Black-and-white photographs—portraits and close-up details of objects—lined the walls, along with heartfelt statements from the 20 photographers. The crowd included the artists’ friends and family, a famous photographer or two, scores of well-wishers, and even a service dog. I was one of two featured speakers (the other was Brendon Stanton, the photographer/founder of the popular Humans of New York street portrait site).The show, “Portraits of Courage,” was the culmination of a photography class for veterans taught at Brooklyn’s V.A. hospital. The vets had spent 10 weeks working with pro photographer Camille Tokerud and creative arts therapist Beryl Brenner to move beyond the snapshot and make images with a voice all their own. Partnering with the V.A. to create, teach, and support the program with cameras and printing was the Josephine Herrick Project.I wrote about this organization here about three years ago, before I joined its board of directors. Then it was called Rehabilitation Through Photography, a name that served it well for much of its 72 years. But we recently decided to change the name to honor its founder. Photographer Josephine Herrick started it by marshalling volunteers to take portraits of servicemen at the dawn of the World War II, and later retooled it to teach photography to wounded veterans. While extending instruction and equipment to a variety of other underserved people—including kids and adults with autism, at-risk teens, and the formerly homeless—Herrick and those directors who followed hewed to the same mission. It’s enshrined in our new tagline: “Enhancing lives through photography.”Thanks to incredibly generous donations by Canon, Fujifilm, Pentax, Sony, and other camera makers and members of the Photoimaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA), I no longer have to repeat my request for your old cameras. We have new ones! But I urge you to think about how you might be able to help, whether as a donor or a volunteer. Visit our website at jhproject.org and follow us on social media. Order our books of photos from recent students—including the Brooklyn veterans—and from its fascinating archives on Blurb.com. Keep an eye out this fall for a show at the Leica Gallery in New York City and for the photography auction we’re putting together.
The Josephine Herrick Project, though small on funding, has a very big impact on the lives of those it touches. With your support it will flourish, grow, and keep enhancing lives through photography for decades to come.
The Block Institute, based in Brooklyn, New York, was founded in 1961 by Rabbi Block who decided to work with mentally challenged adults who had been denied the right to attend bar mitzvah classes. Since then, the Institute has established a health clinic as well as several programs for both adults and children. While receiving the care they deserve from the Block Institute, the Josephine Herrick Project (formerly Rehabilitation Through Photography) began a complementary program to help these people tap into their creativity through photography. By providing photo gear and professional photographers to teach classes, the Josephine Herrick Project helped to free the Block Institute attendees from the social stigma of “developmentally challenged” and discover their inner talent. These photography programs became a huge success in more ways than one: not only did the students learn to creatively express themselves, but it gave their therapists and teachers extraordinary insight into how their patients and students view the world around them. This moving short film provides a closer look at what the Josephine Herrick Project has done in conjunction with the Block Institute. We look forward to creating many more successful programs like this one at the Block Institute so we may better understand the world around us through the artistic vision of everyone!
“Our members joint contribution with Fujifilm was the idea and made possible by Georgia McCabe. During our IPI Member Retreat, Georgia provided one-on-one consulting for our members and our members provided a contribution for their time with Georgia,” said Brent Bowyer, executive director at IPI. He continued, “Our members have never had such a positive experience, and I suspect similar programs will become a mainstay of our future Member Retreats.” Read more
I just read a great article by Josh Miller at Shutterbug.com. It explains how photographers can help small organizations by using their photography for a cause. At RTP, we are a small organization that helps a diverse audience “transform their lives through the power of photography.” We are looking for some volunteer photographers in the New York City area to help spend a few hours a week or a month to make a difference in their lives and yours. If you are interested, please click on this link for more information:
By Josh Miller – Posted May 21, 2012 – Shutterbug.com
Since the development of photography in the early 1800s, there has always been a strong tradition of photographers using their work to promote conservation and social justice issues. One need only to look at the development of the National Park System in the United States to see the impact early photographers had on conservation. William Henry Jackson, with his 1871 Yellowstone photographs, helped push through legislation that established Yellowstone as the world’s first National Park. Another well-known example of a conservationist photographer was Ansel Adams, whose tireless efforts both as a photographer and as a 37-year member of the Sierra Club’s Board of Directors led to the establishment of Kings Canyon National Park in 1940.
The International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) was established in 2003 by Cristina Mittermeier in an effort to better connect photographers with each other and with environmental and cultural issues. The iLCP organizes photo shoots around the world that bring together groups of photographers in “Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions” or “RAVEs” to photograph specific locations or cultures under threat. These RAVEs are a way to quickly create bodies of work that can be used by local grassroots and nonprofit organizations to promote immediate, positive changes. While the iLCP helps to organize the RAVEs, their goal is to make the resulting images available to the appropriate organizations in order to bring visual awareness to their cause.