April 16, 2021

Photo Start Fan Friday- Kay Jacobson

By Elizabeth

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” —Marcel Proust

If we had a chance to show our appreciation to our fans, we’d probably do it everyday. However, to make it special and memorable, we will be honoring one fan every month by featuring them on our website and/or our social media channels.

Today, for our maiden feature, Kay Jacobson opens up about her life and her work, and tells us why she is such a big fan of Photo Start’s mission.

Let’s hear it from Kay!

“What you do for these children is amazing.  Using a camera can be so therapeutic and gratifying, in addition to just being fun.  The possibility they can use their knowledge of photography, and other skills they’re learning while using that camera, for employment,  just makes it so much more valuable.  Thank you for what you’re doing for them.” – @kljwatercolors

I’ve been following the Photo Start organization via @photostartgo, @photostartkids, @photostartworld, and @davidlehmanphoto, since joining Instagram as KLJ Watercolors several years ago.

My name is Kay Jacobson. I live in South Florida, USA, but I have traveled to East and Southern Africa, and have visited areas where children struggle to break free from the cycle of poverty.  The Photo Start program supplies children with the resources and support to gain photography skills, while affording them an outlet for creative expression.  This opens up a number of opportunities for these children, as creative, skilled photographers are valued and in demand in many professions and businesses.

I’ve been an avid amateur photographer for over 40 years, and watercolor artist for 20 years.  I’ve been accepted into juried photography shows, as well as watercolor exhibitions. I have sold and donated both my photographs and paintings. I also juried a yearly photography competition for local students in grades 6 – 12, for several years.

Learning the art of photography teaches you to really “see” what’s around you – what’s up high or down low, what’s right in front of you or off in the distance.  You learn to “see” in black and white, as well as in color.  Any scene, happy or sad, beautiful or not, can make for a great image.  Learning photography fosters the ability to think outside the box, to find something to photograph where no one else might have seen what you saw, how you saw it. It encourages you to appreciate the natural and man-made worlds around you, or the human body and face, or all of these things.  It teaches you to pay attention to details, to be a good technician, to work well with others, to be responsible — all valuable attributes children can carry into their adult lives.

Photography broadens horizons. The kids in the Photo Start program are exposed to so much they might not experience otherwise.   For children in under-resourced areas, this art is tremendously empowering.  And, photography is just plain fun!  Plus, there are no age constraints- you’re never too old for it!

Moreover, the kids’ photos are really good! They truly are learning the art of photography, and it’s obvious that they are enjoying gaining a skill and expanding their world.  Just seeing the Photo Start kids teaching each other, seeing the looks on their faces — happy, sad, thoughtful, inquisitive — when in front of or behind the camera, always puts a smile on my face. I love starting my day with one of the Photo Start photos.

I wish I lived close enough to volunteer in person.  Instead I will always find ways to support and amplify the work of Photo Start from afar.

I’m so happy I stumbled on the @davidlehmanphoto feed, which led me to the Photo Start Instagram pages. I’m their biggest fan!

Thank you Photo Start for all you do.

Kay L.J.

If you would like to have a t-shirt like the one Kay is modeling, go to  https://www.photosoundsdb.com/photo-start  Every purchase benefits our students and programs.

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