Having someone come and give us the gift of photography when Larson and Emmett were born has meant so much to my family. Being able to include them visually on the walls of our home and in our family photos help us share the story of their lives, that however short, they still blessed us, they still have a purpose, and they still are members of our family.
I started my application to NILMDTS in August 2017, almost one year after Larson and Emmett had been welcomed into heaven. My original submission hadn’t been rejected; they asked for more low light, auxiliary lit images from my portfolio. Which is necessary because all the sessions I have now since done for NILMDTS have required auxiliary lighting. I didn’t have many opportunities to shoot in that specific setting before, so I felt discouraged when they asked for more than what I had already given. So I let the idea fall to the wayside, which was easy to do, I’m ashamed to admit. I was caring for a 3 year old, my photography business was busy, and then I had a baby. And then my husband deployed. And then we moved. All the stability that I had, vanished.
Currently trying to reestablish my photography in a new place, I struggled (still struggling,) but a colleague gave me the motherhood memoir project. To capture moms doing their mom thing or snippets of what makes them a mom and this relit my fire and brought the opportunity to do some auxiliary lighting for my application. With willing and forced participants (my living children,) I had these images to now submit to the review committee.
But I still put it off. I had what they asked for and I ignored it. I didn’t want to feel like I missed the mark again, but God had different plans. Sending me little reminders that I needed to do it, until He put something in front of my face I couldn’t ignore. A letter from NILMDTS for a monetary donation, but in the upper right hand corner of the letter,
“I’m sorry. We don’t have a photographer in your area.”
Ok, God. I hear you loud and clear.
So, I finally did it. Got over my fear of rejection and sent the email with my 5 new images for review. And was told I’d hear back soon.
Finally, 3 weeks later, I received an email saying I have been accepted and I could start my training! Not a lot of people knew I was doing this, but I thank those who did and were thinking and praying for me. It was very much appreciated and now I have the honor of capturing families during their most difficult moments and preserving memories of their little ones, giving back the priceless gift that had once been given to me September 19, 2016.
For more information on applying to be a NILMDTS photographer or for a full list of volunteer opportunities, click here.