Photos for a Cause

Zoë Butler and Mira Bohannan Kumar

It may seem as though people–especially teens, constrained by a multitude of impediments–may be unable to help others. But students make large changes and small ones, and both can open up doors.

Tatum Hills ‘18 is one of those students, taking her time to offer senior photos to students at a reduced fee. Hills’ small operation began when she was recommended to a student in need by art teacher Michael Close.

“A Special Ed teacher…had a student that couldn’t afford to get a professional photographer, so she asked Michael [Close] if he knew anyone and he referred me to her,” Hills said. “After that it was mostly close friends–’I could do that for you if it’s a problem with money or anything like that.’”

Hills said she had not been working with photography for long before going into this endeavor.

“It’s pretty new. I’ve been taking photos for a few years, but not decent ones. I took [the] Basic Photo and the Advanced Photo class,” Hills said. “My appreciation for photography has definitely opened up.”

After the first photo she took, “it was $50.00, which is pretty cheap for senior photos.”

“It was…helping people out, like, ‘That’s really expensive, you don’t want to pay for that, I can do it real cheap for you,’” Hills said. “There’s all kinds of stuff especially seniors are paying for. College applications alone are so expensive and then there’s this big cloud of college that I think everyone’s…freaked out about.”

Hills said she focused on making small positive changes to help students around her. “I’m not saying I’m Gandhi or anything,” Hills said with a laugh. “It was just, ‘Hey, I can do that for you.’”