CMC photo students offering free portraits on Wednesday |

CMC photo students offering free portraits on Wednesday

CMC photographers hard at work at a past portrait event.
Provided |

In a world of smartphones and social media, selfies are the norm while professional portraits fall by the wayside. Colorado Mountain College is looking to change that with a free event from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at First United Methodist Church, 824 Cooper Ave. in Glenwood Springs.

It’s the seventh year CMC has taken part in the international “Help-Portrait” movement, which encourages photographers to use their time, tools and expertise to give back.

“We are a community college, we like to do community outreach,” said program director Derek Johnston. “The students get an opportunity to work in a real environment where they don’t know the people. It just seemed like a real natural fit.”

The church will host three studios and computer stations, with several prints provided on-site and the option to take the whole shoot home digitally if you bring a thumb drive.

Spanish translators will also be available.

Johnston emphasized that anyone is welcome to participate, and the crew is hoping for a robust turnout.

“We want to serve as many people as we possibly can. There’s really no qualifications or specifications,” he said. “We’ve had families, we’ve had couples, we’ve had kids, we’ve had individuals, we’ve had friends, we’ve had people come in with their pets.”

There’s a real difference, he said, in the conscious process of a formal portrait compared with other sorts of photos.

“Portraiture is the business of preserving people’s memories,” he said. “It’s just a different process than the candid documenting of our daily lives. It can be really an heirloom.”

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