Giving Back | atlanta child photographer

March 01, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Do you ever feel like God talks to you? I do. I don't believe there is anything that is actually coincidental. Honestly, I believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we may not know the reason or even understand it, but I do believe that there is a reason. That can be pretty difficult to hear, especially when something horrific has happened. In those instances the reason may or may not have had anything to do with you, in the grand scheme of things anyway.

Getting back to my question...if you do feel that God talks to you, how does He/She talk to you? In my experience, God talks to me in the ways that I am more likely to hear Him. For instance, He may talk to me by using a certain line from a song. You know, when I first turn on the radio and a song is already playing. Has that happened to you? There have been times when something heavy was on my mind and I was having trouble figuring out what to do. I turn on the radio and a specific line from a song is playing that addresses my issue. Even if I change the station, there is yet another line from perhaps a different song that addresses my situation. I don't know about you, but things like that make me take notice. Well recently something similar has happened to me.

Being that social media is rather ubiquitous, I find myself quite engaged with it at times. I post to Instagram and my Facebook business page everyday, except for most Saturdays and Sundays. Time limits had to be utilized to restrict my time on Facebook because it is truly a time suck, but that's a post for another day. Anyway, I was on Facebook after chatting with a friend of mine via Messenger and I made the mistake of clicking on Facebook. This was on my iPad, so in case you didn't know, they are two different apps that way. After opening it, I saw this add by a company called ShootProof. They host proofing sites for photographers in case you're wondering. Well ShootProof has a blog and there was a direct link to said blog about charitable photography. I have been looking for other ways to give back, aside from what I currently do, which is provide event photography for charity/nonprofit events, even though I am not an event photographer. Don't get me wrong, I love providing images to these organizations to help their cause, but I suppose I was looking for something on a more personal level. What made me delve into this even more is that when I opened Instagram, that very same blog post was displayed there as well. Of course I took this and the previous sighting as a sign.

After reading the blog and finding out about the charitable organizations within, I made a conscious decision to apply as a volunteer photographer to one of them. One nonprofit is Now I Lay Me down to Sleep (NILMDTS). This particular organization I'm familiar with and provides the gift of remembrance photography at no cost for those families who have suffered the loss of a baby who was stillborn or died days after birth. It's heartbreaking work, but so necessary. Another organization I considered was Magic Hour.  They provide free portrait sessions to those who are fighting against cancer. Next is The Gold Hope Project, which provides free portrait sessions to families who are battling against pediatric cancers. Love Not Lost provides free portrait sessions to people facing terminal diagnosis. Their motto is "Love Not Lost photographs people facing a terminal diagnosis to preserve their memory for those who love them." There is also Red Thread Sessions, which provides photography for families going through adoptions. Just like the previously listed nonprofits the portrait sessions are free, but the print products are provided at a discounted rate. Thirst Relief raises funds to provide clean drinking water to people around the globe. The photographers who volunteer won't be providing portrait sessions, but they will be documenting all of the wonderful work that is being done by this organization. Operation: Love Reunited provides free portrait sessions and products to military families dealing with a deployment. They know how difficult it is for families having to deal with a loved one being gone for a long time, as well as the one who has to do the traveling. This organization provides them with tangible memories that they can take with them. The last two organizations that were highlighted were Sweet Nectar Society and Hearts Apart.  Sweet Nectar Society provides free portrait sessions and gifts to children suffering from serious illnesses, disabilities or injuries. Hearts Apart provides soon-to-be deployed servicemen and women with pictures of their spouses and children that will be specifically printed to fit securely in their uniform pocket.

I do hope that you take a moment to read about each of these organizations and if you know anyone who could benefit from them or even volunteer or donate, that would be awesome. They are all great organizations, now I just have to select one and apply. I'm sure you already know that I'm drawn to the ones that involve children. Regardless of which one I select I know that I will be doing good and that makes me feel good and I like feeling good.


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