Texas Teacher Aims to Mentor 30 Students with Kodak Box Cameras

The old Kodak Box Camera Rebirth could help the next generation of photographers

When Texas-based educator and photographer Dusty Parrish came across a Kodak box camera from the 1930s, he didn’t want to keep the experience to himself. He had the brilliant idea of bringing back the old school photography experience to kids today by mentoring 30 kids from the school he’s teaching in. But of course, acquiring 30 box cameras alone requires some funding, and that’s where he needs our help.

Dusty has set up the Box Camera Rebirth Kickstarter campaign to help fund his plan to acquire 30 Kodak Box Cameras from 1930s, as well as purchasing 120 films and developing chemicals. With his passion and expertise as an educator, he intends to bring back a piece of photography history and mentor 30 students from Boyd Elementary School in Allen, Texas. After teaching them the history and mechanics of box cameras, film exposure basics, and developing and printing the images, he also intends to culminate the experience with an exhibit.

“My connections with the school, community, and educational level, will allow me to inspire kids from all walks of life. Those that have passion, but without some of the tools that could help them experience something unique,” he says on his campaign page.

“I firmly believe the ‘best’ way to learn is by doing. I also believe that making these kids rock stars at an exhibition of their works created from these little boxes would also boost their confidence, while also recognizing their work as young budding artists!”

These efforts indeed offer something different for today’s children, many of which could develop an interest and talent in photography. Interestingly, Dusty’s project also echoes the spirit of the Kodak box camera he purchased: a Kodak Eastman 50th Anniversary Camera. The camera, which included a roll of film, was especially made by Kodak to distribute for free to children across North America who were 12 years old in 1930. The company made 557,000 of these special and historic cameras.

Dusty still has a long way to go to reach his target funding of $3,000 with 10 days left. If you’d like to learn more and show your support, head to his Kickstarter campaign to back the Box Camera Rebirth project.