I'm not sure if any of you have ever heard of Hearts Apart but it's this really awesome non-profit program for military members. Photographers all over can donate their services to this program so a military family can receive portraits of their family before a deployment. If a military family is interested in portraits all they have to do is reach out to this program and the Hearts Apart program puts the family in contact with a photographer in their area affiliated with the program. The family chooses a photographer and are able to get a session prior to a deployment. Even though this area doesn't handle many deployments it's still something that i'm honored to be a part of. If you know any military families I suggest you let them know all about this program here ( www.heartsapart.org )
The main requirement for a portrait session is that the one that is being deployed needs to be photographed in their dress blues/military outfit.
Such a small gesture that creates a large impact is truly inspiring.
If you're new to my page welcome! My name is Cara.
If you're not new then welcome back and thank you for sticking with me!
By now most of you know my love for our local fire departments. It's something that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My dad has spent countless hours at the local fire department and growing up we knew at any moment that his pager could go off and he would be gone for any amount of time. That time frame could be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and sometimes all night.
It wasn't until I got older and joined the department that I truly understood the sacrifice that these volunteers make.
(Pictured here my father and I helping at the Fonda Fair with the Town of Mohawk Fire Department)
I'm always in awe at the effort and time given by our volunteers as well as the sacrifice of their families. The amount of training and dedication needed for no pay and no benefits in return is always so humbling to witness. During structure fires the interior firefighters are to give up one of their tags to a delegated person on scene for accountability. That way we know exactly who is inside the structure.
("Accountability tags" Image from training drill 8/4/18)
So much is at stake. I don't know each one of those tags but I know that they're someones husband, wife, daughter, son, father, mother, sister, brother etc.
On a hot and humid saturday morning in August several volunteers sacrificed their time to train (unpaid) to practice saving people they most likely don't know. These men and women are our every day heroes and how lucky we are to have them in our lives.
I can't help but want to give back some way to show my appreciation.. but how? On the Hearts Apart website there's a bold quote from Brownie Harris
"Every once in a while you do something that makes everything else worth it. This is one of those moments."
That quote was stuck in my head yesterday, August 4, as I photographed a county wide emergency drill. Photography is my way to give back. I knew several years ago when I started taking photos that I wanted to some how give back. Both my parents have always been active in the community so it's no real surprise that giving back is a passion of mine.
Romans 12:11 says "Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward Him on fire! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve Him."
We are all given something special not for ourselves but for others. My heart is on fire for God and for this community which is why I believe it's time to start offering Hearts on Fire sessions for our local volunteer Firefighters.
These family photo sessions will run only 45.00 each for our volunteers with their immediate family as a thank you. While i'd love to do a non-profit I'm not sure if I can swing that right now. Who knows maybe down the road with lots of prayer and hard work I may eventually be able to create a county wide-->nation wide non-profit?! Definitely a concept worth praying over.
As a requirement for this particular session I would like to do at least one photo of the department member in either their dress blues and/or turn out gear to qualify for this session. I have an image of my father in his turnout gear on my wall and it's one of my favorites and I feel other families deserve the same!!
So if you know a local volunteer firefighter please send them my way. I'd love to thank them for their time and effort with a photo session!