What is Picture This?

What is Picture This?

Picture This is a developing project through which children whose lives have been affected by the juvenile justice system are guided through a 500-year relationship between scientific discovery and photography, on a journey of self-reflection and individual creativity


Creating team collages from student’s photos of Lucky.jpg

During 2018, thanks to a planning grant from California Arts Council, Nevada County Arts Council partnered with Charis Youth Center to develop a rigorous and fun photography course for youth who do not have access to digital cameras or cells phones. 

With input by administrators and counselors at Charis House, we developed lesson plans that met California Visual and Performing Arts and Common Core Standards. These lesson plans are specifically designed to help teachers incorporate strategies and approaches for working with vulnerable youth.

Boys developing personalized cyanotypes.jpg


Portable camera obscuras waiting for their students.jpg

At its core, Picture This introduces students to the idea that creativity provides a mechanism for self-reflection, transformation and growth. Simply put, we believe that photography provides a healing, motivational way for young people who have had a rough start in life find a new focus.

Having fun with shadow pictures while on Field Trip.jpg

Picture This is a partnership between Nevada County Arts Council Artist in Residence, Michael Llewellyn and senior staff members at Charis Youth Center. Michael is a nationally renowned photographer with experience working with vulnerable populations.

Our teaching team


Picture This is a developing project. We appreciate your contribution, when large or small. Whether it purchases lumber to create camera obscura, photography paper, or more workshops for our vulnerable youth – any amount will be gratefully received.


Student’s cyanotypes made using favorite phrases and celebrities.jpg