Giving back to the community has always been near and dear to my heart. And being married to a retired sailor means I have a special soft spot for military families as I have experienced first hand long deployments. We survived three of them in the first five years of marriage, one of them just a month after our daughter Raina was born. And let me tell you that being apart sucks, but being apart during the holidays really, really sucks!!
Enter, Very Merry Military Minis, a volunteer organization founded by Laura Fleming (a fellow Hawaii photographer friend) which gives back to military families who have a spouse deployed during the holidays. Families who meet the requirements receive a 20 minute session with a professional photographer, completely free of charge. These photographs are meant to send a little piece of “home” to your deployed Service member during the holiday season. For more information on being photographed, go to Very Merry Military Minis.
Now back in the day when my husband was active duty, technology was no where near what it is is today, so all we had to rely on was the mail (ahem, yes email was invented but was slow at best) so care packages with pictures and goodies was the go-to for the holidays. I sent plenty of pictures of our daughter, but I never got IN FRONT of the camera, and I regret that to this day. This is part of why I feel its so important to volunteer for this organization, I really want mom's to be in pictures with their kiddos.
I consider it an honor to volunteer my time to give back to these families, and can't wait to be a part of it for years to come.
My dear friend and photographer Allie Richardson assisted by taking video greetings from families. In combination with the photographers images, we created a slideshow for each family containing their images and their video message.