I love seeing the work of these students. They are very gifted and talented. You can tell they put their heart and soul into each piece. It's the little things they also capture; a moment in time. I say, "well done!"
I love what cameras for kids stands for and everything they do for foster children. What a great organization!
My cousin Esther Stein was asked to teach some young children about photography for your organization. She loves, loves, loves photography and had been doing it for over fifty years. She has been commissioned to shoot any number of weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, pets, still life, etc. And she is brilliant at the art form because she truly enjoys it. She undertook teaching these wonderful kids with that same joy and knowledge, and was genuinely suprised at the depth of understanding that the children had instinctively. Esther was so pleased to be able to show these children and to share her knowledge with them about the art of shooting a subject. The children responded in kind and developed skills that, even if they never take another picture after the classes, will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. Photography isn't just about point and shoot, it is about composition, patience, understanding how to apply the rule of thirds with respect to a shot. It is also about learning to be silent, be still, be courteous, be unobtrusive, and many more skills that they will need in their lifetimes. This class also took them to places that, in their normal lives they would not have access to for many reasons. Esther showed them about museums, buildings and people that they may never have had access to. She opened their eyes to other lifestyles other venues, to art and other areas. For the children and for Esther it was a win-win situation. This course is very worth while for everyone, children and staff because they all learned valuable lessons.
My friend, Esther volunteers to work with the children in Toronto. I see some of the work by the students and they are remarkable. I also realise they are having fun with this class and what they learn will give them a groundwork if they choose to get into this field or just be great at seeing what the camera sees for their own pictures.
I don't think there is any other better learning venue than CFKF. Not everyone is privileged to follow their dreams or hobbies of photography yet CFKF provides exactly that. Not only does this non profit organization help youth by providing the necessary equipment, these youngsters also get a fabulous education, chance of exhibition and perhaps even another chance in life. Photography is a real art and having the chance to learn composition and seeing different perspectives opens up numerous possibilities to youth around the country. Hats down to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of the CFKF.
This organization cultivates and educates in an empowering manner, allowing participants (both teachers and students) to practice creativity, creation, and value art. No calculable value can be placed on what it means to empower others to express themselves. Cameras For Kids does this.
In an age where so many people take cameras for granted with smartphones at their fingertips, it's encouraging to see an organization that supports today's youth to use cameras and the medium of photography consciously, skillfully, artfully, and wisely, in a manner that builds confidence, nurtures intelligence, enhances communication skills, and literally crafts beautiful visions of our world for generations to come. As a supportive follower of CFKF for more than three years now, I am always moved by the students' remarkable photography in exhibits and on social media, as well as by the heartfelt testimonials of those who speak about their transformative experiences at fundraisers each year. It's impressive to see (via the CFKF email list, Facebook, and Instagram) how the foundation is constantly launching new locations across the United States and internationally. At this writing, it's 34 locations, an outstanding accomplishment. Thank you, CFKF, for your unique and significant contribution—I look forward to seeing what great things you accomplish next!
When I first met Betsy I was convinced I was meeting someone special.
Being a photography based business, I have become acutely aware of the treasure that is hidden in photos.
For most, it is easy to unlock that joy and for most, they take that joy for granted.
Betsy and CFKF have developed programs that bring that joy to those that would not ordinarily be pricey to it.
I applaud her daily efforts and would recommend those that are looking for a very rewarding endeavor to join her in those efforts.
i am amazed at the energy and staying power of Betsey, the founder of this non- profit. The passion and drive is carried over to the instructors and the students of photography. The best part is the kids walk away confident with their talent!
Cameras For Kids was founded by a dear friend of mine who wanted to share her passion with photography with at risk kids. Betsey learned herself that photography opened her heart and mind to the possibilities around her; she wanted the at risk children to find this experience themselves. Teaching photography to the kids and helping them grow and develop self esteem was the goal of this organization. The children have blossomed, many have taken their life stories and through photography; have expressed their personal life experiences through this medium and actually had their pictures hanging in a gallery for viewing. Voila!!! Success! They will have this knowledge the rest of their lives! Laurey Hallson MD
The Cameras for Kids Foundation (CFKF) headquarters is located in the same suite of offices where I work in South Florida. Everyday in the hall, framed photographs taken by CFKF teen photographers brighten my day. If the foundation director Betsey Chesler hadn’t told me herself, I never would have known that these photos were not taken by experienced professionals. As attentive, hands-on instructors, Ms. Chesler and her team not only help abandoned children discover their hidden talent, but go above and beyond by framing their images in a professional manner, helping the young artists hold a vision for themselves and recognize their potential. The photo quality is a testament to the organization’s authentic mission. These works of art are a constant reminder of the ripple effect non-profits are all about: how a sincere mission to improve the lives of others always improves our own. Being someone who sees Ms. Chesler regularly at the office, I attest to her dedication to CFKF, as she is constantly meeting with potential collaborators and inventing new ways to expand the organization and its reach. Recently Ms. Chesler even brought CFKF to children in Haiti, which is no easy task—this is just one example of how effectively she leads and how deeply she cares. For all these reasons and more, CFKF deserves all the exposure it can possibly receive!
SOS Children's Village has been honored to work with Betsey and Cameras for Kids for a number of years now. I continue to be amazed by the hidden talent and eye for detail that Betsey is able to coax out of our children and nurture into true talent. The first class was able to auction their photographs and they were stunned (as was I) by the reaction from the public to their art! Cameras for Kids has allowed our kids to look at the world from a different perspective, and has taught them how to translate that to their audience. A whole new world of possibilites (and potential career paths!) has been opened up to them thanks to Betsey and this wonderful organization. We wish her much luck and future success!!