“Just as we were locking the doors a mother came in with her 2 children, all dressed up for the pictures. She stopped before she left to thanks us (we were busy tearing down) for taking the time, for caring, for making a difference, and as she walked away she said this was the only picture she had of or with her children. This wasn’t the first time we’d heard that, or seen tears, but it is the one that got to us all, and we cried and hugged each other as we watched her walk away.” -Connie Polk, Louisville, KY
Here’s a group shot of the volunteers – taken by a participant!
Many of the participants who attended our event commented on the fact that they had never had a portrait taken of themselves or their family. The looks of excitement and enthusiasm was evident on many of the faces that were present. The atmosphere was electric, and everyone including the volunteers were having a great time, and the ladies and young girls enjoyed the opportunity to have a makeover.
The highlight of the day was our “family of 12.” They had experienced many traumatic events this year. First losing their home to a fire, and then suffering a major flood which effected the entire northeast area of the State of NY. This family was amazing. They were interactive with each other, and the children were so well behaved. At first we were a little concerned about the number of children having to stand still for a photo, but they were exceptional. What made photographing them so rewarding was seeing their faces once the image had been edited and presented to them.
The father went from having a smiling face, to tears, as he saw his family photo. He commented that even he was smiling….something he hadn’t done in a while. He was overwhelmed with emotion and his lost for words showed us just how much he was blessed at having a simple photo taken of his family. They had lost all of their family photos between the fire and the flood, and the photo they received that night would be the first photo they now possessed that they could hang on their wall. This made the entire event worth the hard work and effort.
We had the opportunity to witness over 150+ smiling faces in just a few hours, and that made it all worth while.
“This was the first year that Paul Mitchell school volunteers [pictured below] came and the people that came the women loved that treat. Things went smooth all volunteers said they would come back next year. I met a pair of photographers that we are now friends on Facebook we will stay in contact through out the year.” -Agustin M. Lopez, Livonia, MI
“The first family to arrive was a single mom and her little girl. She was so touched that we would take her picture and give it to her for free that she had a hard time holding back her tears. She thanked us over and over again. She lingered with her daughter for quite some time just visiting while her little one played with some of the other kids.” -Pauline Demelo, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada