I am so excited to share the wonderful news I just received. Woodbine House chose my photo of Sayer Riley (and his sisters … sort of 😉 ) for the COVER of Gifts II, the second edition to the popular Gifts : a book about how children with Down Syndrome enrich lives. I am so honored and humbled once again. Wow!
Before I share the cover photo, I want to share a few things. First of all, I have had the wonderful privilege of photographing several children and families with children with Down Syndrome over the last year. Haven’t ever known or really been around people with Down Syndrome, I must say, the first few sessions were nerve wracking for me. “What if I’m not good with these kids?” “What if they hate me and my camera?” were some of the thoughts in my head. After session number #1 (Sayer’s session oddly enough) was a success, then my second session (Cute little Gabby, which is still one of my very favorite sessions to date), then three, then four, then five … and so on, I realized just how much these little angels had affected me and opened my eyes to a world of Gifts I had been missing out on. So much so, in fact, that I get so giddy when I book another family with a child with Down Syndrome AND I am in the process of getting my full SKPA (Special Kids Photography Association) accreditation. So, thank you. Thank you to all the families that have trusted your little ones with me and giving me the opportunity to capture the essence that truly makes them all Gifts … to all of us!
AND, one more special note before the picture, although I am sure you already stole a peek! I was beside myself when Fran called me and told me that they chose Sayer’s picture and not necessarily for the reason’s you may think. Of course I am proud that it is my photo, but more than that, I just knew how very much this would bless this family. You see, Lisa, Sayer’s mom, was diagnosed with ALS (commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) the DAY after our session. I don’t have to go into all the details about what this means for her and her family for you to realize how heart wrenching this is. My wonderful Aunt, who is a friend of Lisa’s, set up this SITE in honor of Lisa and her family and to help raise awareness and support for their family. Please check out her story and the many ways you can help!
The other AMAZING news is that when I told Fran about Sayer’s mom, Lisa, she spoke with the awesome folks over at Woodbine House, and I just received confirmation that they are also awarding Lisa’s family with a matching $250 award (which I will also receive for submitting the winning photo). How stinkin cool is that? I haven’t decided exactly what my $250 award will be used for, but I do know that it will be going toward our upcoming calendar project with The World Should Know, which we hope will become a staple for Love, Me every single year as our way of giving back. Let 2009 be the year you give back in anyway you can!!! Stay tuned for more ways to give to the orphans in Sierra Leone as well.
So, here it is (for those that played by the rules 😉 )