Photographers to Provide Legacy Portraits as SCCS Fundraiser

By Erin DeSimone

A Legacy Portrait program will launch in April as a fundraiser for South County Community Services (SCCS). On the morning of April 24 and the evening of April 29, photographers Linda Hoard and Judy Gray of BrioLife Photography in Vicksburg will take photos of seniors and their families.

Mary and Bill Homan, of Mendon.

The Legacy Portrait session is designed to include at least one person 55 years old or older.  Seniors can be included in these portraits as an individual, couple, or group such as mother-daughter, father-son, sisters, brothers, etc.

Portraits will be taken at the Community Center, 101 South Main St. Participants will be asked to give a donation to SCCS. In return, they will receive a portrait session valued at $50 and a complimentary 5×7 print.

Checks for donations may be made payable to South County Community Services. Special discounted portrait packages will be available that day for those wishing to purchase more photographs, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the SCCS.

Appointments should take 15 minutes for one person or 20 minutes for two or more. Computers will be set up to view the portraits within 30 minutes, and selections will be made at that time. Allow three weeks for delivery of finished portraits, which may be picked up at the Community Center.

To make an appointment for a Legacy Portrait, visit the BrioLife Photography website at or call 269-649-9604. You may also email Linda Hoard at or Judy Gray at

The Legacy Portrait concept began one day when Hoard’s mother, Theresa O’Keefe, pulled out a well-worn photo album to show to Gray. As they looked at the album filled with pages of memories and old photographs of her own parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and various aunts, uncles and cousins, Hoard and Gray realized that a portrait served a much bigger purpose than memories alone. Portraits are truly a legacy.

Ada VanRyswyk and Yvonne O’Keefe, her daughter, in Atlanta.

Realizing a need for senior citizens to create a special portrait for their families, and creating that moment in time that can be passed down to future generations, the Legacy Portrait concept was born. Hoard and Gray approached Danna Downing at SCCS in Vicksburg asking if a fundraiser could be established using Legacy Portraits and the idea was enthusiastically received

Linda Hoard is no stranger to working with the social services agency. After photographing weddings, families, children and high school seniors for almost twenty years, she opened a studio on South Main Street in 2006, calling it Village Photography and later changing the name to BrioLife Photography. In her studio, she photographed children in their Halloween costumes in exchange for canned food for the SCCS food bank. Linda has also donated her time for several years to photograph children with Santa Claus for the community Christmas party, enlisting Gray’s help.

Now from her home-based studio, with access to fields, woods, and gardens, as well as an indoor studio, Hoard has joined with Judy Gray as a partner in the business.

Gray has owned and operated Judy Gray Photography in Marcellus for the past five years. Their passion for photography has brought them together to serve the community and their clients.

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