A few professional photographers want to be sure former soldiers, wounded warriors and seniors in our community have pictures to last a lifetime.

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) --- They say 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' even if the pictures never tell the whole story.

A few professional photographers want to be sure former soldiers, wounded warriors and seniors in our community have pictures to last a lifetime.

The Washington Gallery of Photography opened its "Behind the Smile" photo exhibit, June 6, 2014, located at 12276 Wilkins Ave. in the Twinbrook neighborhood. The exhibit is organized by Washington ArtWorks.

The images are the result of a free weekly program offering makeovers and professional portraits to veterans and low-income senior citizens.

For many of them, the photographs are the only professional pictures they've ever had.

"It takes them back in memories," said Don Becker, who took many of the photographs.

"And quite often sometimes, the memories are all that you have left. And to have nice memories that you can go back to, and to relive your life, that's a lot of fun," Becker added. Currently, he works as an instructor at the Washington School of Photography.

The professional photographers and makeup artists volunteer their talents regularly to provide seniors the personal experience.
Participants come as a result from the logistical efforts of The Fenwick Foundation.

Missy Loewe, Executive Director of the Washington School of Photography, shares the rich biographies of many of the seniors:

"We're talking to women that served in WWII. One of them was a post-mistress in France, in WWII. Another one got really high up in the military. She's now in a retirement home. She doesn't get to do a lot. So let's, we thought, let's get them here, let's do hair and make-up, make them feel special."

The photo gallery will be on display until June 27th at the Washington School of Photography.

12276 Wilkins Avenue
Rockville MD 20852
301-654-1998


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