Flashes of Hope

September 12, 2008

I recently had the opportunity to begin working with non-profit organization called Flashes of Hope.  It is an organization dedicated to creating uplifting portraits of children who are fighting cancer and other life threatening illnesses. (that’s straight from their web site)

It was a good experience.  I arrived at 8:00 and began setting up equipment to transform a hospital conference room into a mini studio.  Kim and Nancy were there representing the Flashes of Hope organization and with their help I photographed 13 kids and a few parents who were willing to be in front of the camera.

The best part for me was seeing that even though these kids have life threatening illnesses, they are not beaten down by it.  Most adults I know would be bummed and have their bottom lip out in all the photos, but these kids had an energy and a spark, even though they were all at the hospital for treatment that day.

This cause is one that I am closer to than I thought I’d be.  Meridith’s brother who is in his early twenties got the news this past March that he had a brain tumor and it was cancer.  He’s doing fine now after two surgeries and radiation.  He and I had the same hair style for a while, but lucky for him, his hair will grow back, me, not so much.

I just got the call last week from my aunt that my cousin has breast cancer, she is twenty three and in a fighting mood.  This year she will lose her hair, both breasts, and a lot of the momentum she had going with the plans of her life.  I do hope though, that just like these kids I photographed, she does not lose the spark of energy that makes life great.

Flashes of hope is a great cause and I’m happy to be a part of it.  Each family receives a cool 8×10 folio with ten or more black & white photos from their session.  It was cool to find out that the print lab that Meridith and I use also handles all of the printing and donates the prints for free for Flashes of Hope families.

8 Responses to “Flashes of Hope”

  1. monica garrick mcguire said

    James,
    I haven’t spoken to you since we saw you at a wedding you did back in April 2006. Remember, I was so very pregnant? Well, our little boy was diagnosed with a chronic seizure disorder when he was 8 months old, and we are still to this day battling. i want to thank you so much for getting involved in organizations like this. Those pictures were just beautiful. I’m sure they are priceless to the families. God bless you and Meridith. I still treasure all of the pictures you did at our wedding (7/24/04). I follow the blog all the time, and congrats on your newest addition!! Monica

  2. These are amazing, wonderful images; I know the families will cherish them. Bless those kids and you.

  3. Tamara Lackey said

    such wonderful personality you captured – they all look beautiful. great work and great heart. thank you for sharing!

  4. Hayley Reck said

    James,
    WOW! Again, these pictures do not portray real people. The fact that you could catch these children at such a hard time in their lives smiling and having the time of their lives in front of your camera just proves how charismatic you are, and how special these children are. What you do with these organizations is amazing. I am sure that the families are so blessed to have such wonderful shots of there little angels!

  5. Leslie Kotonski said

    Please let these beautiful children know that their joy in these pictures is truly inspirational. Thank you both for supporting this program and sharing these amazing pictures with all of us.

  6. getthelook said

    Thanks for commenting everyone! This session has really energized me (I needed it) I love being able use what I know to give people something unexpected and fun. I look forward to doing more in the future!

    JW

  7. Lucy Clement said

    These pictures a absolutely breathtaking and evoked so much emotion in my heart.
    It’s amazing to see these beautiful faces that are fighting so much more than I am and still have smiles on their faces!

  8. Brooke Thomas said

    These portraits are so moving and beautiful! I had tears in my eyes as I scrolled through them. God bless you for using your amazing talent to create this wonderful work! Both you and these children are an inspiration to us all.

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