Orange County California photographer Allen Johnson contributed to our blog twice before. He wrote the following account of how he donated his services on Mother’s Day. It’s an inspiring piece about giving back to the community. What follows is his own account of what he did this past Mother’s Day.
I had to make sure I had it all. I didn’t want to forget anything. Thousands of people would be awaiting their opportunity at a memory and it rested on my shoulders to be organized and prepared. Isn’t it so much more than just be organized, though? It’s what you’re packing when you plan important events. Ask any expert in their field. They want more than just any equipment, they want what they can count on time and time again. Typically, you learn these lessons because you know from past experience when you’ve been let down. I knew I was not going to be let down, I would be packing all my Profoto equipment for this two day event.
Here’s what I loaded up:
All of this transformed into three separate stations at our church on Mother’s Day weekend. The moms along with their families were able to choose from three different backgrounds to coordinate with their attire. This offering of free portraiture has become a tradition offered at our church. I’ve had the privilege of being a part of this for several years, and in years past, my equipment has let me down making post-processing a lengthy nightmare. This would be the first year I wasn’t fearing color shifts or light variations. I used a Sekonic light meter along with the ColorChecker Passport to ensure consistency, and this made my post in Lightroom only take a couple of hours.
With the technical concerns behind me, I found myself enjoying the opportunity of serving others and giving back. On Saturday evening and all day Sunday, we captured memories for the moms and their families. It was such a sweet blessing to be part of it all. I enjoy seeing everyone putting forth that extra something and arriving dressed up and looking ever so precious, especially the littlest ones. The moms radiate such joy at having everyone together for a portrait. All weekend long, I was honored with their gratitude and thanks. However, nothing reminded me more of why I was doing what I was doing until one family in particular thanked me. They expressed their appreciation for last year’s portrait because since last Mother’s Day, their mother had passed away. They cherish the portrait from last year. It’s a moment like that which gives me all the encouragement I need to keep providing this service each year.
Giving back to the church or your community will always bring reward beyond your own human comprehension. The time and energy you offer up to others comes back a hundred fold. I understand many of us find it difficult to even manage to get their own to-do list completed and find time to spend with family. I’ve noticed, however, when I give of my time and talents, I am still able to get the other things accomplished as well. Are you carving out time for others? Have you found a way to give back? Each one of us has a talent. Discover yours, and put it to use. You’ll never be sorry.
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