Vol­un­teer shut­ter­bugs snap new­com­ers

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - SCOTT GARD­NER sgard­ner@thes­pec.com 905-526-3385 | @Scot­tatthes­pec

Flashes were pop­ping and faces smil­ing as the Hamil­ton Ur­ban Core Com­mu­nity Health Cen­tre hosted a free fam­ily por­trait ses­sion Satur­day.

Med­i­cal stu­dents at the MacHealth DNA stu­dent clinic came up with the idea of the fam­ily day, which is held the third Satur­day of each month.

The ma­jor­ity of fam­i­lies who use the health cen­tre are from marginal­ized com­mu­ni­ties, who wouldn’t oth­er­wise have the op­por­tu­nity for por­traits, said Chris­tine MacCauley, one of the co-direc­tors of the stu­dent clinic.

“When their pri­or­ity is ‘where is my next meal com­ing from?’ — they don’t re­ally think about lux­u­ries like a fam­ily por­trait,” MacCauley added.

Many of the fam­i­lies who booked a por­trait ses­sion were new­com­ers, in­clud­ing sev­eral Syr­ian fam­i­lies who have been in Canada for less than a week.

“We were so happy to be able to of­fer them that gift and that op­por­tu­nity to wel­come them to the Hamil­ton com­mu­nity,” MacCauley said.

While wait­ing for their pho­tos, the fam­i­lies were able to at­tend work­shops on oral hy­giene, check their blood pres­sure and grab a meal.

Each par­tic­i­pant also re­ceived a gift bag of oral hy­giene prod­ucts, in­clud­ing den­tal floss and tooth­paste do­nated by lo­cal den­tists.

The event was vol­un­teer run and or­ga­nized.

MacCauley and nine other med­i­cal stu­dent vol­un­teers kept the por­trait ses­sions and ac­tiv­i­ties run­ning smoothly, while lo­cal pho­tog­ra­phers Bert Pierre and Kamila Kuzmicka do­nated their time to take the fam­ily snaps.

The team man­aged to pho­to­graph and print 17 por­traits Satur­day.

MacCauley said the pro­duc­tion would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the help of the Hamil­ton branch of MD Fi­nan­cial Man­age­ment, a com­pany that spe­cial­izes in pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial plan­ning for physi­cians, which do­nated the funds to pur­chase the pho­to­graphic pa­per, ink car­tridges and frames for the por­traits.


A fam­ily with their chil­dren in tra­di­tional Al­ba­nian dress pose for Kamila Kuzmicka at the Ur­ban Core Com­mu­nity Health Cen­tre Satur­day. See more por­traits and video of the fam­ily photo ses­sion at thes­pec.com

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