How we give back
‘For every wedding that I photograph, a child receives a life-changing cleft lip or palate operation through Free to Smile. Free to Smile is dedicated to providing education, free surgery, and follow up to kids and their families in many different countries. My own daughter was born with a severe cleft lip and palate. She was born in China, and we adopted her when she was nearly two years old. I have volunteered with other cleft lip organizations, but Free to Smile has my heart because of the way they seek out families of kids with cleft, not just orphanages. When families can be better educated about cleft lip and palate, and can receive the surgery at no cost, it helps them stay together. Many kids with cleft are brought to orphanages because of the stigma that surrounds cleft, or miseducation, or inability to afford surgeries. I like how Free to Smile is helping with this, and I plan to join them for a trip to Guatemala this February. My clients will receive the child’s before and after picture. I love how their wedding smiles will mean these kids will receive a new smile! I also work with an organization called A Family For Every Child (AFFEC). Volunteer photographers give free sessions to kids in foster care to provide images with their information on adoption. For a $50 donation, I provide the child with a small album of their images, and provide my clients with 3 digital images from their wedding. When I do AFFEC sessions, I can truly see a change in the kid from the beginning of the session to the end: confidence is raised and they feel special. We always go do something fun like bowling, the arcade, the park, or shopping. I LOVE doing these sessions, and love to be able to provide the child with an album.