USF Photographer offers Flashes of Hope

August 03, 2007

LAKELAND, FL (August 3, 2007) - Photography can help children and their families cope with a life-threatening illness. That's the message University of South Florida photographer Joseph Gamble delivered this afternoon at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Lakeland South.

Gamble is the campus photographer for USF in Tampa. He also volunteers his time as director of the Tampa Bay chapter of Flashes of Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating uplifting portraits of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

“The portraits, taken by award-winning photographers, help children feel better about their changing appearance by celebrating it,” he said. “For families of terminally ill children, it's especially important to have a portrait that preserves forever the beauty, grace and dignity of their child.”

Each family receives enlargements, proofs and a CD of all the images. All services are provided free of charge. Local funding is provided by interested foundations and concerned individuals.

Gamble helped set up the local chapter after he moved to Tampa and realized Flashes of Hope had no presence in the area.

“I realized I wanted to make this happen,” he says, “so I called the national office of Flashes of Hope and got the process started.

“It’s such a great program. People sometimes ask me, ‘What’s the catch?’ I say, ‘There is none! It’s free and we’re all volunteers.’”

Gamble’s chapter works with All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, which helps cover some expenses and provides families in need of portraits. In a typical year, Gamble and about a dozen other photographers will take anywhere from 100 to 120 portraits.

The Rotary Club of Lakeland South provides service to others, promotes high ethical standards, and advances world understanding, goodwill, and peace through fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. Gamble spoke at today’s meeting to help raise awareness of Flashes of Hope and promote its mission.

For information on Rotary Club of Lakeland South visit For information on Flashes of Hope visit