I have done many things so far during the course of the 24 ½ years that I have been around. Perhaps one of the greatest things I have done was to take pictures of a family this Christmas season.
During the beginning of December I heard a song by Matthew West titled “Give this Christmas Away.” Upon hearing that song I wanted to do something to give this Christmas away. Living in such a materialistic world, it is hard sometimes to keep the right perspective. I knew that I wanted to give this Christmas away, I wanted to give someone hope. I knew that I wanted to participate in such a movement but had no idea how I would do this. Follow this link to listen to the song: Give This Christmas Away by Matthew West
Then one day I was reading through some blogs when I learned about help-portrait. Help-portrait is a movement of photographers who are using their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those who are less fortunate. It is about giving, not taking pictures. It works like this – find someone in need, take their portrait, print their portrait and deliver them. The light bulb went off in my head – this was it, this was how I was supposed to give this Christmas away. Ok so I had the idea to give this Christmas away, and now I knew how I was supposed to do this…but with who? I called my mom.
Moms are good at solidifying things! She told me about a woman at church and her two children, that their husband/father died three months ago. They came here with nothing and had to rebuild. She said they would be extremely grateful. The next day I was taking pictures. She brought with her a picture of her husband – hoping in some way I could include him in the picture. So this was it, I was to give this Christmas away through help-portrait of this woman and her family. It all made sense.
I took the pictures – the little boy looks just like his father, and the little girl is very photogenic. She gave me the picture of him, I uploaded all the pictures and did the edits, had them printed, and even framed one. I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible I felt knowing that I had accomplished just what God called me to do in this situation. With God’s timing, my mom’s guidance and this family’s need, I was able to give this Christmas away.
I have completed help-portrait number one and look forward to making this a yearly event. The one thing I wanted more than anything this Christmas was the opportunity to put hope in somebody’s heart and a smile on their face, I wanted to give this Christmas away. The odd thing is, now that I have gotten what I wanted – which was giving something away - I feel so incredibly blessed! Which makes me think about a quote from Mark Batterson’s book, Primal; “The blessings of God are never ends in themselves. And if we use a blessing selfishly, the blessing actually turns into a curse. The blessings of God are always a means to an end. And the end is blessing others. We are blessed to bless.” I have been blessed with the gift of photography, and am so grateful that I had the opportunity to bless others with my blessing. AWESOME… Don’t you just love when you get to see things come full circle?
I have uploaded a collage that includes the original pictures I had to work with as well as the edited finished results that I came up with. What do you think? The first two pictures I combined to make the family picture of all of them together!