It's nearly impossible to start a story about yourself without using the word "I", and yet it's equally difficult for me to talk about myself...so it seems I've found myself in quite the conundrum. I guess I should start with the basic facts - I am a mostly stay-at-home mother of three, former Marine, current photographer, the wife of a Marine and about to be college student (again).
I have always had this belief that there was something I could do to impact the world in a positive way. Being little ole me, I figured the best way would be to use my love of photography to help my immediate world...the local community of wherever I live at the time. I have used my camera to help small businesses, animal rescues, and Marines coming home from deployment AND I am a regional volunteer with Capturing Hopes Photography, which provides free sessions for families with babies in the NICU. So, the idea of using my camera to help and to give back is not a new idea to me...
When I started hearing about the slave trade and sex trafficking, like anyone else, I was completely horrified. I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, when the guy being interviewed basically called me out by name...he said something like, "if you are a veteran, you need to get involved..." Well, my infant son needed to nurse, so as I was sitting there feeding him, I went to the website. I looked around and found the volunteer tab...I clicked it, scrolled and saw that there is a space for photographers.
Then I got scared. I have three children, one of whom is an infant who needs me around. I knew that the guy on radio was probably talking to the veterans who actually did more of the "on the ground" stuff, who have skills I don't possess. So, I put my phone down...then I picked it back up with the intention of donating money...then I saw the "start your own campaign" tab and my mind blew up with ideas. Once again, I came up with a way that my photography could help...and this time, it wouldn't just be the local community...but worldwide!
My specialty is photographing children. I love those wiggly, crazy, not-put-together little humans. There is something just SO beautiful about their raw emotions, their creativity, their imagination. A while ago, I had a vision of doing an art series about childhood...a photographic journey into answering the question "what would a child do if all they had was a chair and some time?". The idea being, let's take the technology and the toys away for just a little while and see where their little minds go.
Well, when I got the idea of starting this campaign, my mind immediately went to this project I had been brewing...I truly believe I could be killing two birds with one stone here! Through this art series, I can call attention and awareness to the horror of the slave trade, while also raising money to help fight it.
Since I've decided to go down this path, I've had many moments of doubt, but I've also had dreams that encourage me and give me MORE ideas.
So stay tuned, because I hope this will be big and I hope you will join me and become an abolitionist.
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