A couple of months ago an organization called Flashes of Hope reached out to me asking if I would be interested in volunteering for an upcoming photoshoot for them. In case you aren’t familiar with them, Flashes of Hope is a non profit organization that provides photography to families with children fighting cancer. They also raise money for pediatric cancer research.
I don’t really have much experience transporting my equipment to shoot on location like this, so that part made me a bit nervous because I wanted to be sure to deliver the same quality of images that I do from my studio, but I knew I really wanted to do this, so I said yes and put the date on my calendar. This shoot was just a couple of weeks before the covid pandemic got really bad and we were issued a stay at home order here in Michigan (more on that later)
The concept of the photoshoot is simple, a pop up studio is set up in the hospital (we used a waiting room) It’s a break for the kids in between treatments, or just a chance to get out of their room, it gives them a few moments to forget about being in the hospital environment for a bit and have a little fun. These are also treasured moments for parents who receive several black and white images from the shoot in both digital and print. The organization also provided a little gift bag to the kids after their shoot as well, which I thought was really awesome.
Upon getting started I expected that some of the kids might not to feel like smiling for pictures due to not feeling well, but it was actually quite the opposite. Even though they are fighting a battle bigger than some of us can imagine, they were still in the best spirits, the little ones were playful and the smiles were so big and contagious. I photographed 14 children from 2 months old up to 16, and they were all amazing and inspiring. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet these brave kids and their families.
Today is April 4th, 2020. We’re about 2 weeks in to this whole stay at home isolation thing. I’ve had my down moments for sure, but then I think of these kids and their spirits when facing something so serious and scary and it inspires me to be better, to try to be a positive light in any situation.
If you would like to read more about this organization, donate, or if you would be interested in volunteering, you can check out their website here: https://flashesofhope.org