Do you know one of these people?

If so, it's urgent that you contact them immediately and give them a real or virtual hug. They donated their time this past Sunday to help with our annual Family Photos in the Park day in Bend, OR. Some gave of their photography talents, others lent a hand as assistants and coordinators. The day was amazing - beautiful weather, colorful leaves falling from the noble trees. We photographed 260 families between 10am-3pm and I certainly couldn't have done it without all of their time and talents. It was a complete volunteer effort created to give families in need a beautiful holiday portrait - something with incredible lasting value.

We've been doing this project for 10 years now and it gets bigger and better every year. If you are a photographer, and want to start something like this in your area, we'll be happy to share with you our experience and forms we use to organize the event.

 

Every year I'm touched by the families that come for their portraits - it's poignant in ways that are quite different from my normal portrait photography work. These families are incredibly thankful for their gift and I realize that for many of them this is also a first time experience. One family brought us some jars of home-made strawberry jam from their garden! Early in the day, I had one of the most heart warming experiences I've ever had there. A young girl came with her mom. She appeared to be very shy and hid her face from us as we tried to photograph her. I put down the camera and started to talk to her and she turned and looked at me. Then, with arms outstretched, she walked to me and gave me the biggest, longest hug I've ever had! She wouldn't let go…and I didn't want her to. After that, she joined her mom and we got some wonderful images of them together.

The gift that keeps on giving!

One of our setups in the park. The fall leaves were wonderful!

And…my wonderful volunteers!! Find them. Hug them. Thank them for me.