Photography Project on Island Children

Laurie Callies
Laurie Callies

KAHALUU (KHNL) -  Empowering children.

That's the goal of two island photographers who look to build children's self-esteem with the use of a still camera -- both in front of, and behind the lens.

Cameras capture images -- moments in time.

But, they also capture hope, and deliver it to these children, who are looking to heal.

''These children that we're working with have been through some very challenging times," explains Laurie Callies of Baby Face Productions.

Callies, along with Lisa Uesugi of Utopia Photography have created a 12-week program where they teach kids how to use a camera -- not just to take pictures, but to tell their stories.

The healing takes place through that story telling.

Gathering at picturesque Tagami and Powell Galleries in Kahaluu, the duo has paired-up with "Kids Hurt Too", an organization that helps children work through the grief of losing a parent.

''Give them a sense of a life that they can want to live. I think a lot of times they they think they'll never be happy again," says Kids Hurt Too Executive Director, Cynthia White. "But, when they do things like this, it makes them smile."

The three months of work culminates with an emotion-rich exhibit to be held this August at Macy's, Ala Moana.

''It has opened opened up a whole new world for these children," says Callies. "If we can only help one child become something they never thought they could, that is the greatest gift that Lisa and I get out of this project."

This is is the project's third year.

Lisa and Laurie could use your help.

If you'd like to donate funds to keep the dream alive, just click on the associated link.