Miami Heart Gallery Profiles Foster Kids

Mar 26, 2014

A foster child getting her makeup done by one of the volunteers.
Credit Lisann Ramos

Volunteer photographers, videographers and makeup artists gathered in Coconut Grove to profile foster children that are up for adoption in Miami-Dade.

Twice a year The Children's Trust puts on a photo shoot for the foster kids. It's called the Miami Heart Gallery.

Sid Hoeltzell is a photographer who's been involved with the project since it started in Miami.

"[The foster children] have their own thing in mind. They want to go to a certain location. You have to work with them because you want them to be smiling and happy and very exuberant the whole time," said Hoeltzell. "I just photographed two little girls who were absolutely icing on the cake. They were giggling and they were next to this waterfall. It was beautiful so they were very energetic."


This method of profiling foster kids originated in New Mexico. Five years ago the Heart Gallery was started here in Miami.


"We want to dedicate the resources of the heart gallery to those children who are the most difficult to place or who are older and it takes a little more effort to get them adopted," said Emily Cardenas, a spokeswoman for The Children's Trust. "We know that babies fly out of the foster care system without a whole lot of help. And we want to dedicate our resources to those children who need the most help and the most help and the most support with the most help and the most promotion to get them adopted."

The photos and videos of each child are posted online at until the child is adopted. At least half of the children featured on the site have found a permanent home.