From what we get, we can make a living;
WHAT WE GIVE, however, MAKES A LIFE.
- Arthur Ashe
My life is greatly shaped by the community around me. Those that inspire me to seek out beautiful things, the loving hands on my shoulder in times of great despair and the personalities which color each day with joy, learning and family. Accordingly, it is my belief that community service is a key part of my work and that which gives me greatest joy and passion for my work.
Following are a few of the amazing organizations and initiatives with whom I work to provide free portrait sessions to deserving children, couples and families. I also welcome inquiries for special needs and private donation requests. To learn more, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome Them Home
Welcome Them Home is a network of photographers who donate their time and skills to soldiers and their families as a thank you for the sacrifices that are being made for our country. Each photographer in the network has agreed to photograph your soldiers homecoming, free of charge. Your session includes a minimum of 30 minutes of photography time, plus a printed 8x10 portrait.
As a personal contribution, my Welcome Them Home sessions also receive a disc of high resolution images at no charge.
For more information, go to www.welcomethemhome.org.
Children and Families
Facing Major Illness
Inspiration Through Art (formerly The Littlest Heroes Project) is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering people to give back, and make a difference through the beauty of art. Their mission is to provide and capture memories for families with a child facing serious illness or a life altering disability.
Each family is unique, and sessions are catered to fit and honor each child and family. Photographers travel to homes, hospitals, clinics, fundraisers and benefits to help capture each child’s journey in a "Day in the Life" sort of style and work personally one on one with your child and entire family to get those special family photos and moments that you can cherish for years to come.
To learn more about this organization, go to www.inspirationthroughart.org.
Update: This organization has disbandedHowever, the gift offered to those who meet this need will still be honored by me upon direct request.
To see a recent ITA session,
read about Olive on my blog.
backing the blue line
Backing the Blue Line is a non-profit organization in Minnesota dedicated to supporting law enforcement. Law enforcement families live a unique lifestyle. This group offers a forum for law enforcement wives to find and provide hope and support for each other through friendships, networking, discussion, service, and faith.
As their official photographer for 2016, my services included photographing the annual ball, community appearances, fundraising events and police funerals. While my official work with BtBL has comcluded, I continue to offer 50% off portrait services for any law enforcement families seeking to capture personal events, family members, etc.
For more information, go to www.backingtheblueline.org
Military Families & Couples
Operation: Love Reunited is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides free professional photography sessions and photo gifts to our military families dealing with a deployment.
Their mission is to boost the morale of deployed service members through photography. The organization helps those long months go by a little faster by capturing the moments from deployment to homecoming that you will long remember and always treasure.
Couples and families will receive a disc of high resolution images that are yours to keep, print and post online at no charge.
To learn more, go to www.oplove.org.
Yellow Ribbon Photographers
Yellow Ribbon Photographers is a non-profit organization of professional photographers donating their time and talent to photographing service men and women in all branches of the American military.
Their goal is to provide professional images to soldiers who are about to deploy, so they may bring a small piece of home with them or for their families, keep a piece of their loved one at home.
Families will receive a disc of high resolution images that are yours to print and post online as you like at no charge.
To learn more, go to www.yellowribbonphotographers.org.
The Military Family Care Initiative is a network program designed to help military families during times of deployment and active service. The Initiative unites community organizations and businesses with military families to provide volunteer and discounted services to the families of military personnel during times of separation from their loved-one.
Families and couples will receive a disc of high resolution images that are yours to print and post online as you like at no charge.
For more information, go to www.beyondtheyellowribbon.org.
Red Thread Sessions
"An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break." - Ancient Chinese Proverb
The Ancient Chinese Proverb is a commonly-used saying within the adoption community. It symbolizes the bond that all adoptive children have with their adoptive parents, even before they meet. An invisible “red thread” connects them to the people they are destined to meet. Red Thread sessions not only capture family portraits of new families, it also capture the precious, happy, confusing, exciting, exhausting, traumatic, life-changing time that is so often brief and fleeting in the life of an adoptive family.
As a Red Thread photographer, I will do free family portrait sessions within the first 3 months of a finalized adoption, homecoming sessions at the airport upon arrival home and birth photography sessions to capture the birth of the adoptive child in an open adoption.
To learn more about this organization, go to www.redthreadsessions.com.
When you are blessed with a family, there is no more profound joy or greater purpose in life. Through this initiative, we want to help you celebrate your family, while helping others come together.If you are looking to adopt and want help with fundraising through a campaign like this, just drop me a message.
How it works - People donate $150+ direct to YOU and I offer a free family portrait session to them that they can use in the next year! It is a win-win!
2014 :: The Cormicans
Celebrate Family began to help family friends Tony & Tara Cormican raise funds for the very costly process of adoption. It was wonderfully successful and with other fundraising efforts by this wonderful couple they soon brought their son home from Uganda!
- Read about the Longanecker family on my blog as they celebrate their adoption finalization as part of this fundraiser!
- See part two of their story here.
2016 :: THE haugens
After meeting and photographing this wonderful family during the Cormican campaign, I was delighted to learn of Chad and Kim's plans to welcome a new adopted daughter into their family. Their Celebrate Family campaign has since come to an end and now they have their beautiful daughter Lexi home from Africa!
HeartsApart.org was created to keep families connected while our military men and women are serving abroad. Through national collaboration, HeartsApart provides our soon to be deployed servicemen and women with pictures of their spouses and children. The photographs are printed on waterproof and durable bi-folded cards, which fit securely in their uniform pocket. We believe that our military personnel deserve and need the memory of their families to carry them through the difficult times that lie ahead.
wish of a lifetime
Wish of a Lifetime is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to shift the way society views and values our oldest generations by fulfilling seniors’ dreams and sharing their stories to inspire those of all ages. Seniors are nominated by others and then a team at WOAL go to work to make it happen!
My work with this organization has been to capture and document the wish as it unfolds - both for the recipient and the organization's media affairs. See my recent session with WOAL when Ford Lund saw his wish come true to see the Minnesota Vikings play. (Little did he know that he was being flown in from Montana for more than just a game!) See this wish here.
To learn more about this great organization, visit their website!
Hero K9 was founded to resolve challenges faced by public safety agencies — law enforcement, search and rescue, and fire departments — across our nation by providing K9s, training, and equipment so they are better able to make a positive difference in our communities.
It is their mission to ensure that all public safety agencies have access to working dogs and the highest quality equipment and training so they may more effectively serve their community. This effort includes:
+ Door Pop & Heat Alarm Systems
+ In-squad Kennels
+ Ballistic and Multi-threat Vests
My work with this organization has been to photograph their flagship event and annual benefit - including a live demonstration.
To learn more about this organization, visit their website!
God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts,
but bold and loving and sensible.
- 2 Timothy 1:7