Local photographer shares images of Africa in McClelland Art Gallery

Terry Schwartz's images from Africa will be on display in the McClelland Art Gallery now through Dec. 11.

For Terry Schwartz, a local photographer and business owner, taking pictures is not only a passion, but a mission. His exhibit in the McClelland Art Gallery now through Dec. 11 features photos taken during recent mission trips to Africa—a continent he feels is the last to still bear a major thumbprint of its past.

Schwartz dedicates much of his time to mission trips abroad, giving him many opportunities to pursue photography. “Photographers all shoot for different reasons,” he explained. “For me, it is to bring awareness of what is happening around us.” He often carries a printer with him when traveling to more remote regions. “We have given away hundreds of photographs to people who have never even seen themselves, much less owned a copy of their image. I am so thankful God has chosen me to be the one with the camera in hand instead of having my photo taken.”

Schwartz also enjoys sharing wildlife and nature he encounters in his travels. “The animals usually don’t mind if a camera is pointed at them,” he explained. “The anticipation of potentially taking a really good image always keeps me excited.”

Photography runs in his family, and Schwartz has early memories of his encounters with cameras and film. “Dad bought me my first camera when I was in first grade,” Schwartz recalled. “He had a darkroom and we spent many enjoyable hours taking and developing photos. I have been a camera nut ever since.” Since his first exposure to photography Schwartz always takes his camera gear with him in his travels. “I want to share the world we live in with others,” he explained.

Schwartz supports budding amateur photographers and encourages them to branch out. “The best advice I could offer would be to shoot often and experiment to find your parameters for yourself,” he said. “Digital has changed the way the world takes pictures. I take second shots of what I want to capture and if I end up with two to four images out of several thousand I am a happy guy.”

The McClelland Art Gallery is located in the Ortner Center on the campus of Union College, 3800 S. 48th Street. Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the gallery is free and open to the public.