PICTURED ABOVE: Senior Eliza Parker (Right) and senior Lauren Puplampu (left) pose before their trunk show on Dec. 10. Click through the slideshow to see some of the work that Family Photo Foundation has photographed.
Stringing beads and small tassels on nearly completed necklaces, seniors Lauren Puplampu and Eliza Parker prepared for a trunk show benefiting their non-profit organization, Family Photo Foundation.
In 2016, during the summer before their junior year, Puplampu and Parker, both photography students, set out to combine their artistic skills with their passion for community service in order to benefit the Dallas community. In searching for an organization that fit their goals, however, they were unable to find the right fit, so they created their own non-profit.
“We decided to make our own [organization]. And we did. And here we are,” Parker said.
Family Photo Foundation, now in its second year of existence, was created out of the seniors’ desire to provide every Dallas family with the opportunity to have professional photos of themselves and their families. Puplampu and Parker agree that the photos that they take are important in emphasizing familial unity as well as pride in oneself.
“I think people discredit photography sometimes as one of the important things people need to have in their lives, but when you see the way people’s faces light up, you really know [they do],” Puplampu said.
Beginning with a family photo shoot at a Christmas church service for a homeless community, Family Photo Foundation has taken photos at preschools and Habitat for Humanity homes, and Puplampu and Parker are busy planning new shoots at refugee centers such as Heart House.
Despite their constant success in achieving their mission, Puplampu and Parker have faced difficulties in asserting themselves as heads of a non-profit organization.
“I think the biggest challenge was to get people to take us seriously and say we aren’t just a bunch of high schoolers, we’re here to make a difference and we really want this to go somewhere,” Puplampu said.
In addition to being a foundation, Family Photo Foundation has also been a Hockaday Upper School club since 2016. Alejandra Suarez, Form II Dean and Upper School Spanish teacher serves as the club’s faculty sponsor, observing the leadership of Puplampu and Parker.
“It’s nice to see how they complement each other and how they go back and forth with ideas and getting things done,” she said.
On Dec. 10, Puplampu and Parker hosted a jewelry trunk show at Parker’s home, with all proceeds going to the planning and execution of upcoming Family Photo Foundation events.
Displaying that they have more than just photography skills, this vibrant display featured numerous necklaces, bracelets and soaps crafted by Puplampu and Parker themselves. Parker’s mother, the artist behind Gwen Parker Designs, also contributed her talents to creating the stock.
From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., customers of all ages filed through the Parker home, and by the end of the day, the trunk show had generated over $3,000 for Family Photo Foundation’s future endeavors.
Although Puplampu and Parker are seniors, their passion for the foundation they have created and sustained will not end when they leave Hockaday.
“As time goes on and we go to college, we’re hoping to branch it out, depending on where we end up,” Parker said.
Story by Ali Hurst, Copy Editor