About the Project

An Idea Born Out of Need

Over the summer Emily was working on a joint project with Utah Valley University and Namibian University Science & Technology to interview Namibian women from all ethnic groups in the country. This project gave her the rare opportunity to meet amazing women and their wonderful kids. Emily brought along a Fuji Instax SQ6 and took photos of the mothers and children. She couldn't believe the positive response from everyone when they saw their photos of themselves developing before their eyes-- the power of instant film. It was a big hit and the next thing Emily knew, kids were coming from all over the village to get their photos taken and to have their own little keepsake.

and then COVID hit...

Through the help of Utah Valley University, the project raised $680, higher than the modest goal of $500! The plan was to return to Namibia, Africa in summer 2020 but then the COVID pandemic struck and all international travel was halted. Unfortunately, this meant that the Instant Portrait Project was grounded until travel to these areas was possible again.

There's no shortage of opportunities to give portraits to underpriviledged communites. That's why the Instant Portrait Project has partnered with other service projects in Africa.

Back to Work!

The simplicity of the project is that all proceeds go towards cameras and film. These small packages work in tandem with other service projects.

With new projects opening up across Africa and South America, the Instant Portrait Project is able to tag along as well! Project funding is in place for over 600+ portraits, and the work will continue with planned trips from Mali to the remote Amazon villages of Brazil in 2023.

Currently, these projects are in their planning and preparation phases. Stay tuned as stories will come in about the successes and meaning of such a simple project idea!

The Founder

My name is Emily Hedrick, and I'm an Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Utah Valley University. As strange as this sounds, I love instant film. Yes, the lovable, magical instant film that puts a smile on everyone's face.

After my experience in Namibia, Africa with I couldn't stop thinking about how such a simple idea-- a picture-- could create so much meaning for people. When I got back home, I felt determined to create a way for family, friends, and good-hearted people to donate instant film and equipment we need to give to people in these communities.

I've been blown away by the support I've seen and I'm excited to ramp up the project again! Thank you for your support.


Generous Partners

Utah Valley University

UVU helping us to raise our first round of film funds!


Raising awareness through an article highlighting the project.