4-H Photo Project encourages entrepreneurship, creativity in Pima County youth

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A new 4-H photography project gives kids ages 9 to 18 the opportunity to sell their photos that were exhibited at the Pima County Fair online.

The idea came to fruition when local 4-H leader, Laura Levin, decided to use online media to showcase as well as sell the 4-H kids' work. The photos 4-H'ers submit to the county fair are posted online for sale. Each photo is credited to the child who took it and any proceeds go to the young photographer with prices on the prints ranging from $7 for a 4x6 print to $40 for a 20x30 print.

The website that hosts the children's photography was launched on April 18, 2012. Individual galleries have been viewed over 1,400 times now, and 15 children have sold their photos.

The popularity of the photo project has grown tremendously in just one year. During the first year, 12 kids participated. Sixty-two photos were posted online and about $100 was generated. In 2013, 53 4-H members participated in the project—525 photos were posted with approximately $500 in sales.

The photos taken are organized into several different categories, allowing participants to take pictures of virtually anything. The most popular category among the kids seems to be animals, but the photos generating the most profit are actually the ones featuring landscape and western foliage. This hasn't discouraged the kids from taking photos of what they like, however. It is nice to make a profit, but as Levin tells her 4-H kids, money should not be a factor. "If it matters to you, then that's all that matters."

For the upcoming years, Levin wants to expand the project and increase focus on the kids advertising their photos in creative ways so they can make a name for themselves and grow as entrepreneurs as well as photographers.

4-H Youth Development, which is celebrating its centennial in 2013, is based at the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and implemented through UA Cooperative Extension. Some 200,000 young people take part in 4-H programs across the state.

Check out the children's photos at the link below.

Written by Monique Garcia, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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