Portraits for Paradise: Organization Offers Free Holiday Portraits to Camp Fire Victims

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CHICO — It’s been one month since the Camp Fire left parts of Butte County in ruins.

While families are just now seeing the damage firsthand – many are realizing all their family photos and keepsakes were lost.

Now, a group of photographers are hoping to recreate those photos.

FOX40 spoke to the group at the Chico mall who were volunteering for the weekend.

“Everything is gone, everything is gone,” said Casey Belcher.

Belcher is one of thousands who lost everything to the Camp Fire.

“Our wedding photos, we’ve been married going on 3 years now, our family photos everything is gone,” said Belcher.

Irreplaceable keepsakes now reduced to rubble. That’s when a group of photographers – including Greg Arens, stepped in to use their lenses to help replace what was lost for Camp Fire victims.

“We figured that this would be a perfect way to give back,” said Arens. “We started to hear all types of stories from people who come in here wanting us to take their photos of what they lost, and what things they could save.”

Photographer Steve Twist, recounted his experience with the Camp Fire saying, “when the smoke covered the city it was as dark as night, and lasted for days, it was overwhelming, and it made you stop and reassess what your life is like.”

Now, people like Arens say she’s grateful to be able to recreate memories lost to the fire.

“It’s amazing – we’re able to build our memories as of today – we survived it, but having a photo holds so much more memories,” said Arens.

You can come by the Chico mall Portraits for Paradise for free photos if you are a Camp Fire victim. They’ll be there from 11 a.m. -6 p.m. Sunday.

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