25 April 2007

An Average Schmuck

I got the best compliment today... "Here's a question... how come when an average schmuck like myself takes a picture of someone, it just looks like a picture of someone? But when a photographer takes a picture of someone it becomes so much more... alive?" That came after I had my first (WARNING: THIS LINK IS KNOWN TO MAKE PEOPLE CRY) Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep shoot tonight. What a beautiful family it was to have for my first experience with this non-profit volunteer organization. I certainly hope they felt the same as I tried my best to capture the sweet spirit of their little girl. What a blessing it is that I have a talent that can be used for good. I will not take it for granted. You shouldn't either. If you're a photographer then you should look inside yourself and find a way to use your talent to help others (I highly recommend NILMDTS since more photographers are needed). Q: What talents do you have that could be used for good? It's okay to toot your own horn, woot woot. Confidence is an asset.

20 comments:

Elizabeth-W said...

Red, I've never heard of such a thing (lay me down). I think it really is a beautiful idea. It truly is a gift you give to someone. To be in that moment, somehow hold it together, put your vicarious grief aside and then do beautiful work.
I don't know how you do it.
Actually that's a little joke. People often say that to counselors--"I don't know how you listen to people's problems all day long" that sort of thing.
But really, I do think being with parents in that sort of situation is a particularly difficult one for me. Thanks for letting people know this is available.

Lyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
-Matt said...

NILMDTS is a wonderful thing, wonderful people. Personally we've decided that we can't do it but definite kudos to those who can and do. I am sure the family *will* appreciate and enjoy your images for years. It's good. :)

We do Heart Gallery - the adoptive kids project. That's our thing. I want to do more...whenever you learn about more, let us know!

Lyle said...

I don't think you can still classify yourself as an average schmuck in photography.

I've got skills. I'm pretty good with a bo staff. I could use it to help liberate oppressed freshman.

I once wrote a grant proposal for Yehu Microfinance.

Julie P said...

I think it's awesome you're volunteering with that organization, what a beautiful gift you're blessing that family with.

Sandy. said...

I've had friends that have needed bereavement photography, and it's not so easy to find someone willing to capture those moments. Bless you for what you do. Photos of their little one is sometimes all they have to hang on to . . . to have proof that their child did exist. The website made me cry. It is beautifully done.

I saw someone else mention the "Heart Gallery." Another worthwhile project. Kids in our area are often featured on internet adoption lists with crappy snapshots that do nothing to really showcase them.

You're an awesome woman Lucky Red Hen.

Sandy.

Julie said...

Wow. I just spent over an hour at the site. What a beautiful service to provide for greiving families. How do you ever get through the sessions? You are an amazing woman, Lucky.

Lucky Red Hen said...

Lyle... love your skillz. I'm sure they can be used for good somewhere ;o)

Thanks for everyone's encouragement. I am surprised with myself that I didn't break down while doing this service. On my way to the hospital I said a really long prayer trying to cover all the bases (for the family mostly but also for me to maintain my composure so I can perform in a professional and respectful manner). It wouldn't be helpful for me to walk in there and bawl like I would've if I weren't "working". The Lord held me up in this situation and I didn't shed a tear. I believe that the sweet baby is safe where she is now and that I was there to help with the family left here to cope with the loss.

This experience was so powerful to me in that I found a calling where I can do good. I believe that strength was given to me from above to do this so that I can continue to help grieving families.

metamorphose said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing your talent and sharing how you shared your talent. :)

Lyle said...

I did fail to mention that NILMDTS seems like an amazing organization. I'm glad you got to be a part of it.

b. said...

I can't say enough how proud of you I am.

threewinks said...

You've inspired me, Shannon. What a worthwhile thing to do with your talents. Are you allowed to post those pictures on your blog? Or are they strictly for the family's personal use? I'd love to see some of the images.

Bek said...

Shannon, I am so proud of you. I have a dear friend that does this here at Stanford (we have one of the mega childrens hospitals on the west coast). I think that the idea of this is wonderful. My friend Merritt had twin girls, they were both pretty sick, Juliet died when she was 6 months old, but Merritt had me come and take pictures of her every two weeks for Stella to have. She always had tubes and wires and was on lots of medications, but we managed to get some good shots of her. It was too painful for Merritt to see them at the time, but now, a few years later, she is so glad to have those pictures. I did them b/c I was her friend and she didn't want anyone else w/ Juliet, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE that people like you give their time and talents for these families so they can have a memory of their cherished child....

Again, you amaze me....

AzĂșcar said...

I will trust you that it is beautiful and I'm proud that you do the work. However, in my state, there is no possible way I could look at that site right now and not be catatonic for days.

luckyzmom said...

It is my fervent prayer that it will not be necessary for you to do this loving service very often.

Kate Benson said...

WOW Shannon... WTG!!! You are one strong puppy. I am really proud of you taking this venture on... KUDOS!

Emily said...

wow. what a neat consecration of your talent. Can't imagine what an emotional workout it must have been to be there with the family. thanks for sharing.

Rebekah said...

Good for you for doing such a wonderful thing. I would love to do this charity, but I don't think I could handle it. I cried just watching the slideshow.

nie nie said...

Shan-dogg,

I shocked to see my brother-in-law on your black/white pictures. What? this is so crazy! I need more info on that!

Melody said...

Perfect place for a talent like yours... so cool you connected with it... cried and cried.

All the best with your future gifts to families of babies gone too soon.