When Pablove Shutterbugs goes beyond photography

August 27, 2014

Raul at Summer Camp.
As the days left in August dwindle, I can’t help but reflect on my first summer as a member of the Pablove Shutterbugs team.

I’ve been working at The Pablove Foundation¬†since I graduated from UC Davis a few years ago (go Aggies!), but I made the switch to our program department when the LIVESTRONG Foundation chose Pablove Shutterbugs as a Community Impact Project. We’re expanding the program to 12 new cities this fall with LIVESTRONG‘s support, which meant I had a lot to learn during our five-day Pablove Shutterbugs Summer Camp last month.

It’s hard for me to pinpoint a favorite moment from camp. From the first day in our beautiful new classroom at the Annenberg Space for Photography, to our documentary field trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art photo archives, and all the way through graduation, there was pure joy on our students’ faces.

LACMA Field Trip
Seeing their smiles made all the prepping, Google docs, and late nights in the office totally worth it.

After all our diplomas were handed out, there was one lesson that really stuck with me: the best moments are the ones you can’t plan for.

Here’s an example of what I mean. After talking, two of our students’ moms discovered they were dealing with nearly identical situations…their children had the same diagnosis, at the same time, and were in the same stage of their treatment.

The only difference? They were seeking treatment at different hospitals, and wouldn’t have crossed paths without Pablove Shutterbugs.

While our new Pablove Shutterbugs were developing creative expression in the classroom, these moms were building a life-long support system next door. It was like they were destined to meet. 

Moments like that make me feel even more excited about expanding Pablove Shutterbugs this fall. We are recruiting students and volunteers now in 14 cities nationwide! Students should apply at pablove.org/shutterbugs, and volunteers can sign up at pablove.org/volunteer.

– Raul Lorenzana, Pablove Shutterbugs Program Manager

Summer Camp graduation

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