Some time back I came across the facebook fan page of The Gold Hope Project, a group of international photographers that have come together to photograph families completely free, with the hopes of bringing about awareness of and raise funds for Pediatric Oncology Research and treatment. In browsing the page I was brought to tears by the stories and images of the brave little Fighters and their families.
When they opened the application process for new photographers to join their mission I was torn between wanting to be appart of it AND being intimidated by the strength, joy and innocence I saw captured in the eyes of the children who had been photographed. I mean really, I’m the girl who stubs her toe and has to lay in bed for three days. Talk about making me feel utterly and completely inadequate!
But in scrolling threw the pictures of these kiddos I was reminded of what I USE to say when starting my photography business. I wanted to be a blessing. I wanted to use my talents for something greater. I wanted to give in a meaningful way. I wanted to make a difference in the world with my images. I had WANTED all of that. Yet somewhere in the years between being an amateur girl with big dreams to a professional paying the bills, I’d lost sight of why I had fallen in love with photography. Yes I’d done free shoots, give-aways, special discounts and other things trying to reach out and share…but half the time I’d walk away feeling unappreciated and that my attempt at a gift had been meaningless.
So on the very last day I gave up my inner war and sent in my application to The Gold Hope Project. While I was HOPEFUL that I’d be accepted I was sure I wasn’t good enough, lived too rural, didn’t have enough experience…blah blah. And so when I received the e-mail saying I’d been accepted and welcomed into the project I about fell out of my chair! Then I promptly called my husband, mom and best friend to talk their ear off about how excited I was!
I am truly honored and BEYOND excited about this opportunity to use my time, talents and equipment to give and share in a meaningful way! BUT I’m going to need a lot of help spreading the word. New Mexico is not an area that is very familiar with this project and not many know that it is even available. Whether you know someone affected by cancer or not, please like The Gold Hope Project on Facebook, visit their website www.goldhopeproject.com and share this post to help reach families who would be blessed to receive a TGHP session.
If you personally know of a family effected, no matter WHERE they are in the world, please share this with them or you can choose to nominate them using the forms provided on The Gold Hope Project website.
View the story of the little girl named Ava (pictured above) and the stories of many others by visiting the TGHP Blog. (The images used were not taken/created by me, but are used with the permission of TGHP for this post.)