NewsPinellas County


Nonprofit captures the courage of young patients at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Families receive free professional portraits
Posted at 5:51 AM, Nov 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 10:31:20-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jared Gotcher is a professional photographer in Tampa Bay.

But today, wielding his camera at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, he’s not charging a dime.

Jared is volunteering his talents for Flashes of Hope — a nonprofit that takes professional portraits of pediatric hospital patients.

“I’m trying to capture a genuine moment with the kids,” says the photog, who heard about Flashes on YouTube. “An in-between moment when they’re not really thinking what their face looks like, when they’re just kind of relaxed.”

Jared adds “that can be difficult when the kids aren’t feeling so great.”

Kids and their families can either have their pictures taken at a makeshift setup with backdrop and lighting or in their hospital rooms.

“This is awesome, it really is,” says one mom whose daughter is smiling and hamming it up for Jared.

Flashes of Hope will send the beautiful free pictures to the families in a few weeks.

Helping Gotcher today is Tera Ester, co-director of the Tampa Bay chapter of Flashes of Hope. When Tera was 14, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

She had the courage and bravery to fight and get better. Tera wishes Flashes of Hope had been around back then to chronicle her achievement on film.

“It’s something they can look at and say, ‘Yes, I’m a fighter.’”