So how did it all begin?
Charlotte Rosario, Founder of The Community Photobooth, tells us the backstory...
Since I was 11, photography had always been a magical way to express my creativity. My camera worked wonders for my curiosity. During quarantine of 2020, with my camera dangling around my neck, I urged my mother to drive me from corner to corner of the Bay Area. Despite only being an amateur photographer, I shimmied my way into the action of lionhearted protests, election voting centers, and community volunteer events to not only show my support for the causes but to capture it all in photos. I craved the thrill of exploration, photographing hidden gems, and being amongst other people in my community who felt the same passion as I did for these issues. From this, I created The Focus, an online photo-journal that documents important events, issues, and topics around the community. The goal of the photo-journal was to not only open viewers' eyes to the current events in our community, but to inspire other amateur photographers to explore their communities and involve themselves in these pressing issues too. On The Focus, every photo and every photographer has a story.
But my journey did not end there; I wanted to not only show but do with my photography. In order to go beyond displaying community needs through photos and actually make tangible change in my community, I needed to a way to raise money for these causes. In the past, I had done countless photoshoot sessions with my friends and my own family. I soon realized that I could use my other interest in photography, family photoshoots, to raise money for these community causes. The Community Photobooth was born out of an idea to gather neighborhood families together under two similar interests: one being the desire to have beautiful family photos and the second being improving the community. In other words, The Community Photobooth was a way to merge my photography with philanthropy. We put the money earned from photoshoots back into the community through local organizations, small businesses, community educational events, and programs.
I’ve come to realize that there is so much in our world that needs fixing, but also that there are many people who want to help. I hope that with The Community Photobooth, we can help bridge a connection between the people who want to help and the issues that need our help. Photography can allow us to raise awareness, spread empathy, and make change like never before. Photography can bring us together. And when we come together, it's clear that we can do great things. At The Community Photobooth, we are a community helping the community.