Using Photography to Give Back

by Rick Sprain

A couple photographer friends of mine, Larry Mason, Gary Gromer along with Gary’s wife Dagny, had recently been asked by the Prescott Public Library to help with a reading promotion at the library. A few years ago, the library had purchased some great digital backgrounds with “READ” on them with the intention of doing some sort of promotion but didn’t know how to use them.


Flash forward a couple of years, with the software collecting dust, the local Meetup Group, High Country Photographers, was approached by the library supervisor Beth Baden and asked to help set up a photographic event for the library. Once Larry and Gary were given the digital backgrounds, a plan was set into motion.


So on Monday April 13, the four of us set up a full fledged studio in the Prescott Library. Two cameras were set up and tethered to their computers. The intent was to take a quick shot of the person with their favorite book, process the image and downloading it onto a background chosen by the participant. It sounded good and worked great when practiced but it was soon evident that event was overwhelming. The library opened at 9:00 am and we had our first customer at 9:01 am and by noon we had twenty. We tried to grab a quick lunch but the line started to gather again. By the time the library closed at 5:00 pm 78 people had their picture taken. Even with three computers going all out, we still had over 30 pictures left to process and print by the end of the day. The promotion was a wonderful success and the library hopes to continue with a yearly event if not twice a year. Of course the day wouldn’t have been complete if I hadn’t had my picture taken with my favorite magazine, Arizona Highways.

Rick Sprain