Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why Not Give Back A Little?

Published by Jillian McGrath at 8:06 AM

Lately I have been thinking more and more about ways that I can use my photography to help others. Give back to the community that I have grown up in and to the people in my area who could really use a nice portrait session, whether it is to show strength through a hard time or for remembrance. I think that everyone should have access to and be able to proudly show off wonderful portraits of them and their loved ones.

Life is like a story book so why not capture a piece of each chapter and hang it on your wall as a constant reminder of where you have been and where you are going. Those wonderful photographers out there who are volunteering their time, efforts and resources to help others are a great inspiration to me and have really gotten me thinking, how can I help others and maybe make another person's day a little brighter, how can I use my strengths to up lift another during a hard time? Well I found just the places to do just this. Inspirational, helpful and caring organizations that give back to those in need. So why not consider giving some of your time to brighten someone's day?

Here are a few of my favorite organizations that I have come across, be sure to check out their websites for more information and on how to volunteer.


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Pregnancy and birth are miraculous journeys. This amazing time of life is full of mystery, anticipation, joy, hope, and wonder. Feeling the powerful energy of birth and new life, watching as a new family is born unto each other. These things humble and amaze. These are the things that we celebrate when a baby is born.

But there is another aspect of pregnancy and birth. There is an unexpected place in this journey where some families may find themselves. When a baby dies, a world is turned upside down. There is confusion, sadness, fear, and uncertainty that cannot be explained. There is sorrow where there should have been joy. During this time, it might be impossible for families to know what they might need in order to heal in the future.

This is the place where the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation gently provides a helping hand and a healing heart. For families overcome by grief and pain, the idea of photographing their baby may not immediately occur to them. Offering gentle and beautiful photography services in a compassionate and sensitive manner is the heart of this organization. The soft, gentle heirloom photographs of these beautiful babies are an important part of the healing process. They allow families to honor and cherish their babies, and share the spirits of their lives. The NILMDTS mission statement is to introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with the gift of professional portraiture. We believe these images serve as an important step in the family's healing process by honoring their child's legacy.

Website: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep


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If you have ever been through a military deployment, there are no words to explain how hard it is to send the father or mother of your children off to some foreign, dangerous land, leaving you all behind…. Alone. It’s indescribable to watch their faces light up as their mother or father come up the stairs of the airport after months, possibly a year or more, of not hugging each other. Emotions fly through the main lobby, it’s so very good to have them home. Your base’s Family Support Squadron will help you with your deployment. But the last thing on your mind when your wife or husband arrives home after a 4 to 18 month tour, is capturing all this love – on film. Most people are so overwhelmed with emotions they forget to simply point and shoot the camera, they are grasping of their child’s first hug, or that single tear of relief from a mother being able to hold her twenty year old son again. With the help of Operation: Love ReUnited and local photographers near your base, you can.

Website: Operation Love Reunited


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life is a gift…
and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility
to give something back by becoming more.
- anthony robbins

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Pictures of Hope is a charitable organization of professional photographers who provide complimentary, documentary-style, photography sessions to babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and their families. The Pictures of Hope Foundation includes photographers from across the United States and Canada who are dedicated to donating their time to a cause they believe in, and sharing the gift of photography with families in need.

It is our desire to have members who are professional photographers actively participating in community involvement and spreading the word about Pictures of Hope.

Website: Pictures of Hope Foundation


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Think Pink Photography is a charitable organization, comprised of a network of professional photographers, serving two main purposes – celebrating life and supporting the cause. We celebrate life through complimentary portrait sessions for breast cancer patients, and we support the cause by partnering with the Eric R. Beverly Family Foundation.

Are you a professional photographer? Please visit the Info for Photographers page and sign up to join our Network!

Website: Think Pink Photography

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