The magic of Camp Kesem doesn’t end when campers go home at the end of the week. We aim to bring magic to the lives of our campers and community members year-round. At CK Richmond, we were able to do just that, in a very unique way.
Earlier in the summer, Hippo and I began our first project together working as 2014-15 chapter Co-Directors with one of our fellow UR students and Photography Club member, Laura Del Prato. CK Richmond teamed with Photography Club earlier in the year during Kesemania and Laura, club president, wanted to team up again to capture Camp Kesem magic in a whole new way: through light painting.
Light painting is an art form using long-exposure photography and the movement of other light sources to create dynamic images. It’s a way of creating larger-than-life images without Photoshop–and it’s a lot more fun!
“I read about the organization’s mission on the Camp Kesem site and was inspired by the unique way Camp Kesem creates activities to benefit children affected by a parent’s cancer,” Laura describes as her motivation to reach out to us.
“Upon discovering that “Kesem” means “magic” in Hebrew and that the organization strives to “bring magic to families coping with cancer”, I thought that partnering with Camp Kesem for a light painting photo shoot would be a great way to illuminate the powerful, positive impact that it has on families in need and to promote the art form of light painting.” The three of us then brainstormed together and planned a photoshoot with 2 of our long-time campers, BBQ Monster and Snickers, who excitedly accepted the invitation.
Setting up the shoot took a lot of time and labor but gave us a peek into the process behind this magical art form. We started off with some test shots and got to have our own little photoshoot. Laura worked with us to use Camp Kesem colors and even draw Karl with lights to create the magical effect we wanted. She used items like electroluminescent wire, flash lights, and light wands to create texture, color, layers, and words. “During the shoot, I interpreted the experiences that the campers and counselors described to me in hopes that it would bring the magic of those experiences to life,” Laura explains.
BBQ Monster and Snickers told Laura about Color Wars and their favorite activities from past camp sessions and we worked together to create surreal images depicting their idea of camp magic. “I intend the images to remind campers that they can choose to view the world in a positive light and that we can create happiness as it is a state of mind and not exclusively contingent upon external factors.”
“The interactive nature of the light painting process mirrors the personal support and development that Camp Kesem strives to offer its campers.” We had so much fun experimenting with different lights and angles to produce the final products. Each image required time to adjust the main flashes and space out where the light effects would be placed. We had to get many shots for each image to get it just right (especially when drawing Karl!). But that was part of the fun: finally getting the right shot!
“Overall, I thought it was a great opportunity to blend the magic of light painting with the magic of Camp Kesem and introduce campers to the art form.” We definitely agree! Hippo and I had so much fun working with Laura and our campers BBQ Monster and Snickers to create these images of Camp Kesem magic!
You can view all the pictures from our project here.
For more information about light painting and to see more of Laura’s work visit www.lauradelprato.com.
CK Love and all of mine!
Written by Marissa “Maple” Parker, CK Richmond Co-Director