Cross Point Church
"Everyone's welcome because nobody's perfect, but we believe that anything's possible."
I am a regular volunteer with the church which I look at more as a community than just a church. If it was “just a church” I wouldn’t be as interested in being as involved as I am. I absolutely love this church and what they do for the community and for others. I have had SO many opportunities to just GO LOVE this year and look forward to continuing that in years to come. Cross Point has really helped me become a better photographer. I love having assignments and capturing creative and meaningful moments. They use most of my images for social media and driving community within the church. On top of photographing regular Sunday services and Baptism Sundays, this year I was also able to photograph the Louisiana flooding, the Dollar Club presentation with the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena, Serve the City, Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine. I am hoping that this year will be the year I am able to travel abroad on a mission trip with Cross Point!
Flashes of Hope
Flashes of Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating powerful, uplifting portraits of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses
I don’t remember how I began working with this organization, but it is probably one of the most heartfelt things that I do. The first day I went I was very nervous and thought I might cry or not be able to contain my emotions. And then my first client showed up! She was this happy little blonde that was losing her hair and was very frail, but she was just a “normal” kid. Big smile and filled with hope and happiness, even though she was in a hospital and terminally ill, she still smiled and goofed off in front of the camera and loved on her Mom. It was so awesome! And one after the other little babies to high schoolers of all different shapes, nationalities, and economics came into the studio and one after the other they smiled and hugged and posed for me. I even met a girl that completed her last chemo session on the day I took her portrait and I have maintained a relationship with her and even had her on one of my sets. It’s awesome to see her thriving! I know not every child leaves that hospital or survives cancer, but it comforts me knowing that for even a brief moment in time, they smiled at the camera and their family will have that image forever.
Help-Portrait is about GIVING the pictures, not taking them. These portraits aren’t for a portfolio, website, or sale. It’s about giving people who otherwise couldn’t afford photography, a chance to capture a moment, a memory…and a whole lot more.
The first year I moved to Nashville I was introduced to Jeremy Cowart’s work and philanthropy and I knew I wanted to somehow be a part of it. I saw a post on Facebook asking for additional volunteers for the 2014 Help Portrait and I drove down to help out. The first year I was a greeter/guide and loved it, but I wanted to be a photographer! There was something magical about that back room filled with photographers and smiling people! So I made a goal to be a photographer the next year. So that’s what I did! The following year I teamed up with two other photographers and rotated taking photos. It was AWESOME and exactly what I thought it would be! Now I had decided a few months prior to move back to Missouri because I was frustrated with my photographer progress in Nashville and was losing my focus. At that Help Portrait I went Friday night to help set up and a few of us went out to dinner, including Jeremy Coward. He sat across from me and talked about how great of an area Nashville is, especially for creatives and photographers. By the end of dinner I was re-motivated to stay in Nashville, but still a little lost as to what to do and how to make my career happen. Then the following day I met David Molnar, another celebrity photographer, who happened to be photographing at the station next to ours. By the end of the day I had an interview for an internship! So I stayed in Nashville! And very thankful I did! Oh, and Help Portrait 2016… I helped organize it and run the day of activities! So needless to say, Help Portrait holds an extra space in my heart!!
Desana uses an approach that focuses on the developmental and needs of children. We provide connected programs and services that have a proven positive impact in addressing what children need for their long-term well-being. We work through local based partners, we engage children and youth, their parents and families, and the people and communities support them. We always put the child at the center, protected and supported with programs that improve children’s lives and create positive social change. It does not matter which country or program, the child is the focus and always at the center of what we do.
I started working with Desana through a co-worker that worked with me at Apple. Seeing the little kids come in with their families and get their photos taken is so much fun! The smile is so universal it doesn’t matter what your financial status is, what language you speak, what color your skin, or what part of town you live in. Everyone wants to smile and it is such a fun day!
Soles4Souls creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world.
I’m in the process of working with this organization and volunteering with them and (crossing my fingers) traveling to India in December. They are such a great organization that not only raises funds and provides new shoes to those in need, but they also travel all over the world creating entrepreneurs and teaching others to fish (ok not technically fish, but sell shoes!)
Notes for Notes
Notes for Notes™ (N4N™) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that designs, equips, and staffs after-school recording studios inside Boys & Girls Clubs offering youth the opportunity to explore, create, and record music for FREE
In the process of working with this organization in some capacity. I am a huge fan of music, and keeping music in schools and allowing every child to experience learning an instrument and have music move their soul, not matter what their economic situation is. Music can heal, it can be a way for a child to express themselves, it can build relationships, it can give confidence, and it can also be something they can use as a career in their future. That said, I am not a skilled enough musician to actually teach kids how to play, luckily they already have that angle covered. I do however, know how to photograph bands and musicians and want to offer my skills to the kids in their program.
I’m working on a way to provide a dollar amount to each of these charities through the photo shoots that I do. I am not at a place where I can financially give a lot, but every dollar counts. I would love to start my own non-profit, but right now there are a lot of others that have wonderful and meaningful purposes for me to contribute to!
I also want to launch YaThatsMyJam who’s motto is We connect. We encourage. We inspire. We celebrate.
I would like to highlight individuals that are living up to what this life can offer. Those dreamers and doers and those who absolutely love what they do. I want to fund this through a T-shirt line (starting with a photography one of course!