Ryan Bowen takes a family portrait during Help Portrait

CU students and staff give the gift of photography

by Hannah Fair, Public Relations Writer


Cedarville University photographer Scott Huck and 10 volunteers made sure that families, regardless their financial resources, have a portrait this Christmas season.

Help Portrait is an event held on the first Saturday in December. Thousands of photographers and volunteers in more than 70 countries and every U.S. state gather to give free portraits. Huck has volunteered with the ministry the last eight years in Dayton and Springfield.

“It is so fun to give back and present the opportunity for students and staff interested in photography to use their interests to serve the community. Help Portrait is a very big deal to both those in the portrait and behind the scenes,” said Huck. “There was a newly married couple who were never able to get a portrait of themselves together. It was so rewarding to give that to them.”

Award-winning photographer, artist, entrepreneur Jeremy Cowart founded the now-worldwide event in 2009.

Huck and his volunteers photographed 102 clients and printed 41 portraits.

The staff and student volunteers from Cedarville included Huck, Brian Tanedo, Karen Schanely, Rachel Tanedo, Jessi Dyson and Ryan Bowen, all of Cedarville, Ohio; Sarah Harris of West Chester, Ohio; Lydia Wolterman of Westport, Indiana; Jessica St. Onge of Marlton, New Jersey; Grace McCoy of Winter Park, Florida; and Lane Yoder of West Liberty, Ohio.

“Help portrait is not just about snapping photos and printing them,” said Harris, a sophomore at Cedarville. “While taking the photos, you get to interact with families and make people laugh and smile. Then, after the photos are printed, we get to hand the photos to the families, which is my favorite part because then you get to hear all the stories about how many generations are captured in that photo, or about how a couple met all those years ago in school. So many of us have the ability to take countless photos on our phones or with cameras, it is so easy to forget, or not even realize, that not everyone has that opportunity.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.