Cameradery is a student-run program at Cornell University that brings young people together to appreciate – and enjoy – the art of photography through creative expression and interaction. In this safe and imaginative space, Cornell students partner with youth of all backgrounds where they collaborate and work to reveal the beauty of individual differences.
myFace participated in this unique 5-week program from mid-March through the end of April where Cameradery’s members were each paired with 15 individuals with a variety of craniofacial conditions. They explored different aspects of photography, such as self-portraits, landscapes, and street scenes.
Not only was this workshop helpful to improving everyone’s photography skills, but it also fostered some new and close friendships!
One of the photography pairs included Scarlett Carson, a high-school sophomore from Florida, and Lucy Cotto, a Cornell sophomore. Lucy has been taking photos since high school when she got her first camera. But what made this pair extra special is that Lucy, like Scarlett, is also a craniofacial patient. Lucy was born with Pierre Robin Sequence and a cleft palate and could relate to Scarlett’s experience.
“It was great to explore creativity with someone from the myFace community while also connecting on so many other levels.” – Lucy
At 16, Scarlett has already endured 14 surgeries for her congenital craniofacial condition: Craniosynostosis. For her, this program was very meaningful, and she enjoyed learning from her mentor, Lucy and connecting on such a personal level.
“Teaming up with Lucy was such a wonderful experience because we both had a different perspective on photography, and being able to join those ideas together was something that was really cool.” – Scarlett
Both girls recognized the impact and importance of connecting with someone else who understands firsthand what you’re going through.
Everyone who participated in this Cameradery program walked away with a sense of empowerment and enjoyed the new connections they made. It was true camaraderie.
The program concluded with a virtual gallery showing everyone’s work.