Through the Lens
My Experience as the BBY Camp Photographer
Written By: Connie Greene
My name is Connie and I am a faculty member of the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation. One day Barbara asked me “DO YOU HAVE A CAMERA & CAN YOU TAKE PICTURES? I didn't really know how to use a camera but I said “Yes!" I can take pictures! Barbara Jones put trust in me that I would be able to capture the spirit of "Be The Best You Camp!”
It all started in the year 2000 when I was teaching image classes for the "Be Your Best Self” now "Be The Best You” girls camp at the University of Utah and later at Thanksgiving Point. My only experience with a camera was to take before and after photos of the girls I used as models for my classes with my old film camera. Digital was not yet on the scene! I really did not know anything about taking pictures-but Barbara gave me the opportunity to experience something new and I was very excited.
In those days we had to take pictures with slide film. Every roll needed to be developed, sorted out and put into a slide projector to show on Friday evening. With film I never knew what I had until it was developed! I made the photos into slides and sorted pictures to put into a slide projector and show on a big screen. It was-click-click-click! This lasted a few years until the first digital camera came out and I got Fuji Digital Camera. We would plug the cord into the camera and attach it to a projector and I would push the button to advance the pictures!! Better digital cameras came out and I soon began taking some pretty decent pictures! I rented a professional Canon full frame 35 mm camera and 70 - 200 L series Lens. I took photography lessons and got my first Canon Rebel digital camera. I then took more classes and soon advanced into a Canon Mark III then a Mark IV with pro L series lenses. Learning how to take pictures is only the beginning of the new experience Barbara had offered me. I no longer taught image classes- I just took pictures! You see for 20 years I have looked through the lens of a camera and seen marvelously wonderful changes come to the girls who have attended this inspired program.
I get the opportunity to become invested in each girl. I am able to take pictures of sweet moments that are not realized until the pictures are shown on Friday night. As the pictures roll over the screen there will be gasping and clapping from the groups as each girl sees herself or a friend showing love to a handicapped woman or child, reading to the children from the Boys & Girls club, making blankets for the Primary Children’s Hospital or talking to an elderly person at one of many assisted living homes we visit each year. The compassion coming from the girls is overwhelming to me. I get so excited that I just want to capture every girl as she learns to let her fears go and serve these special people.
Being the camp photographer has been a honor and preserving the years in photos has been a blessing. It came down to this-Barbara Jones said I could do this and she trusted me to do a great job. She trusted me to capture what she had envisioned many years ago when it was just a dream.
I pray that you will catch the same spirit when you're asked to do something you are not prepared for regardless if it’s your parents, teacher or leaders. If you open your mind and heart and just do your best, you will find great rewards and gain self esteem and confidence! You will be blessed in many ways-what a joy! Blessings, Connie Greene
"Captured by Connie"
Check out the Gallery of Pictures from the last 20 years of BBY Camp!