In December I was able to take part in a wonderful program underwritten by The Photo Imaging Manufacturers and Distribution Association (PMDA), called “Portraits of Love.” Photographers across the country volunteer to spend time, either at a base, or opening up their studios, to do family sittings for military families. Sometimes it is the whole family, other times maybe just mom and the kids, as dad is deployed overseas. We post the galleries of images through Shutterfly, the families get a code for 2 free 5X7″ prints, and can of course order more as they desire. Fort Hood is of course the site of the massacre two years ago, so it is kind of a special place to be able to go and provide some measure of comfort for the personnel. As a matter of fact, the building we were in was the actual site of the shooting, so there was an extra bit of gravity we felt just being there.
While our subjects ran the gamut, from eager to shy, and maybe a few little ones who were downright cranky, we were invariably thanked for doing it, and some even mentioned it was the first time they had been able to get the whole family together for a professional photo.
But I want to share the result of working with one delightful couple, who came prepared to play and have a good time. They brought props and fun clothes, and really turned their sitting into a great experience for me and my assistant.
We had so much fun, that, although I uploaded the basic files to Shutterfly, I couldn’t help doing a little more work on one of my favorites, and making a a good sized print to send to them.
Here it is…..
Although we photographed 29 different families on that Saturday, this was hands down the most rewarding, as they had really put some thought into what they wanted to do, and their planning gave us multiple setups to work with in the time we had with them.
Most photographers I know give back to the community in any number of projects like this one. “Flashes of Hope” is another worthy cause that I will highlight in another post soon.
Meanwhile, all of us involved that weekend in December are planning our return next year.