ICCC students invite Friendship Haven residents for photography session

-Photo courtesy of Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Central photography students took photos of Friendship Haven residents on Monday.

Iowa Central photography students welcomed a group of seniors for a special photo session Monday morning.

These seniors were not the subjects of photos to be seen in a high school yearbook, but rather senior citizens who live at neighboring Friendship Haven who took time to create special images for their families to treasure for years to come.

As the first group arrived for their Earth Day portrait sessions, each resident selected flowers to add a pop of color to their photos and let the students get to work photographing their subjects.

It didn’t take long for resident Rose Jochims to find a bouquet of tulips and a floral crown for her session. Jochims placed the crown on her head and smiled.

“How do I look?” she asked her friend, Niki Conrad, director of marketing at Friendship Haven.

Jochims then handed the crown to Conrad who put it on and posed for a few photos with her.

“She’s my sister,” Jochims teased Conrad.

The staff-resident duo shared a special moment captured in time and a few laughs as a group of students each took turns taking their picture.

Which was exactly the purpose for the photo sessions.

“So many of our residents have not had their picture taken in quite a while,” said Conrad. “We thought this would be a fun way for them to get a new photo and share them with their families as a keepsake.”

Eleanor Ostendorf came with her daughter, Nancy Thompson, for a photo session. Ostendorf’s face lit up as she donned a floral crown and interacted with the students.

“She loves art, and she loves students,” said Thompson. “This is just perfect for her.”

“It was wonderful, so wonderful,” said Ostendorf. “They do a beautiful job.”

“This is such a fun, feel good thing,” said photography student Katie Carroll. “I know my grandma would really enjoy something like this, so I knew I wanted to be part of it.”

Photography student Brittany Wiskus said the project fell within her love of volunteering with seniors.

“I just love working with senior citizens because they have such great stories,” said Wiskus. “It is fun to work with them and a great way to add variety to my portfolio.”

Rochelle Green, Iowa Central Photography Program coordinator said her students have worked with Friendship Haven residents on various photography projects over the years, but Monday’s Earth Day floral sessions were a first.

“We have worked with Friendship Haven on portrait projects several times in the past,” said Green. “We wanted to do a ‘senior photo’ session in the style of high school senior photography and the Earth Day session is a great way to promote the sessions. So many of the residents live such vibrant lives and have fun things they love to do, and this is a way to capture that and for our students to have age diversity in their portfolios.”

Before leaving the portrait studio, Jochims showed her appreciation to the students one final time.

“Thank you, thank you,” she said. “You made me feel famous.”


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