You may have noticed that as of Jan 1, 2018, my session prices increased. While this is common business practice to adjust prices for overhead and cost of living increases, my reasons aren't completely that cut and dry. See ... while it does add a little bit more to my operating budget, allowing me more training, better equipment and the occasional assistant for big jobs and busy times ... this year, and from here on out, it will allow me to do so much more.
Let me explain. A little more than a year ago a friend of mine broke the news that her adorable three-year old nephew had been diagnosed with Leukemia. I had virtually watched this little boy grow from a tiny infant via Facebook, and while I've never met him in person I feel like I've known him his whole life. I'm sure you know what I mean. Social Media has a way of connecting us all.
When I heard what was going on with little Kellan there was a pain in my heart that still hasn't gone away. My own little boy is about Kellan's age, and I am constantly reminded how life can change in an instant. One day your healthy boy is complaining of stomach pains, and the next he's fighting for his life against childhood cancer. How is this even allowed to happen to children? I'll never understand.
One of the things that stuck out to me during Kellan's experience was that his family had a photo shoot done with a local photographer in their state of Washington. My friend (Kellan's aunt) hired a photographer for her sister who ended up donating her services and the images to the family. They were beautifully shot and captured this vivacious and energetic child ... outside, playing, and loving life. It was a wonderful reminder that while these babies are inside hospitals for days, weeks or months on end, they're still children. It's important they get the opportunity to BE children, and it's important for parents to have those memories of them.
I am deeply touched by Kellan and his family and grateful that I have now found a way to give back to my community. I don't have gobs of money to donate to charities or even enough to give to every GoFundMe that crosses my Facebook feed, no matter how much I wish I did. But I can serve by giving of myself ... my skills and my time. I am so beyond excited to now offer free family portrait sessions to families with children facing childhood leukemia and other life-threatening illnesses. Tell your friends!
So now back to the price hike on my sessions. Starting today —or I guess now it's yesterday— January 1, 2018, I will be putting away 20% of each session booked to a separate account. The funds in that account will be used to produce a keepsake photo book for each donated session that will be presented to the families I serve. My goal is to eventually establish nonprofit status for this separate entity and create a network of additional photographers also willing to donate time/services, but since nonprofit status requires a bunch of paperwork among other things, that will all happen a little further down the road. I want to get started on the really important stuff NOW!
If you know a qualifying family who would be interested in this service, please pass along my website/info along to them, share this blog post, however you want to get the info out. I am so very excited to see where this goes!
Thanks for reading,