Making A Difference With Photography

Most of us who are passionate about photography pursue the craft as either a career or a hobby for the simple enjoyment of creating beautiful or impactful images. Occasionally, however, a photographer picks up her camera with the lofty goal of changing lives or improving the world in which we live. Betsey Chesler is one such person.

A self-taught fine-art photographer and photojournalist, Chesler founded the Cameras For Kids Foundation (CFKF) in 2009—a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the plight of underprivileged teens. Her program is now available in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and in many Florida locations where CFKF is based. The Foundation uses cameras to awaken and develop the artistic expression of participants, while at the same time heightening their social awareness, self-esteem and confidence.

Chesler, who in the past has volunteered at a number of orphanages in South Africa, explains the program involves weekly workshops and assignments. The curriculum not only teaches basic concepts of art and photography, but also helps students develop a strong artistic eye and a new way of perceiving the world around them. In addition to f/stops and shutter speeds, “the sessions address visualization, selective focus, creative composition, and solid basic concepts of art and photography,” Chesler says.

I encourage everyone to visit the CFKF website at where you’ll discover an inspiring gallery of the kids’ work as well as a better appreciation for the power of photography. You may even decide to get involved!