Free family photos offered at Morenci Club

Contributed Photo

A very merry Christmas from MCC

By Walt Mares

It has often been said that anything that is free is not worth having. Maybe so, but that does not apply to what the Morenci Community Center is offering.

The offer is free photographs of families. It is being done in the spirit of the Christmas holiday. It will be done from 3 – 7:15 p.m. at the Morenci Club on Friday, Dec. 4. The event is a way of the Morenci Community Center wishing everyone a very merry Christmas.

The photos are not limited to family portraits. Nor are they limited to Morenci residents. Folks from anywhere in Greenlee County are welcome.   Couples or groups of friends may also have their photos taken. Subjects are placed in a very picturesque scene of the interior of a log cabin. A Christmas wreath hangs from a corner above the subject. The scene indeed looks warm, cozy, and festive.

On Wednesday my wife and I were strolling past the Morenci Club when photographer Ali Thomas, standing at the front door, asked us if we would like to have their picture taken. We were initially hesitant but decided, “What the heck, why not?”

I am a longtime news photographer and have taken thousands of photos over my 44-year career but rarely had my picture taken so this was going to be a somewhat unique experience.

There was a stool on which someone could sit or people could have their picture taken while standing. I sat on the stool while my wife stood beside me with an arm on my left shoulder.

Using a digital camera, Thomas took several shots. As a good, experienced photographer, she was aware that the camera flash might cause a subject to blink. I said when I have taken still photos such as the ones Thomas was taking there are often some shots in which one of the subjects has his or her eyes closed, a result of natural blinking.

When Thomas showed us some of the photos we were quite pleased and I complimented her on her photography.

I recalled the early days in my career when photography was mostly done in black and white and required using a darkroom and foul-smelling chemicals. I commented on how I am often still amazed at how digital camera photos can be immediately reviewed.

Thursday will be the last of three evenings the free photos being taken are being offered. There is no need to make an appointment.

“From what I have seen you do and the darn good results I hope people take advantage of the free service,” I told Thomas. “It’s a real Christmas treat. It’s a community service and doesn’t cost a dime. All you have to do is smile when you look at the camera. And that’s only if you want to smile, but why not?”

Thomas’ photographs will be appearing on Facebook by next week.

For more information contact the Community  Center at (928-865-6625.

This article was corrected to identify the photographer’s last name as Thomas and not Martin as previously listed.