It’s an amazing thing.
As a professional photographer who gets caught up in way too much fun sometimes… it’s easy to forget just how important this trade can be. Photographs are so powerful. So incredibly powerful. I love shooting high school senior girls and weddings so much… I really do. It fills my heart to see these incredible people light up in front of me and end up with photos that they will have forever. But I know I can do more. I have always wanted to use this gift for a much deeper passion of mine. I want to share the stories of people less fortunate than I, and to help change their lives by doing what I love to do.
I have dreamed of going to Africa since middle school, after I returned from Mexico on a mission trip with my church. That trip changed my life. I loved doing what I could to help these people that lived such a different life than me. It made me appreciate things so much more. It made my heart sad for those that don’t even have the basics that we take so much for granted. Running water. Clean water. Shoes.
I especially loved the kids. Oh, those sweet, adorable, crazy little kids who climbed on me as if I was a jungle gym. They were so happy… with so little. They were so innocent, and so affectionate. I miss that so much, and I have always known I would make it Africa someday. It’s been on all my inspiration boards since I can remember. It’s on my chalkboard in my studio right now. I always knew it would happen… I just didn’t know when.
Well… because of time and people aligning perfectly… I am finally going to Africa!!! Thanks to my little brother Chase’s mother-in-law, Karen, who connected me with an amazing woman named Maryvonne, I will be joining the African Reflections Foundation. I’ll be going to Tanzania this June and then back again (With Matt!!) for a much longer trip sometime this winter. I’ll be meeting so many amazing people that have hearts bigger than elephants, capturing the amazing stories of the locals out there, and bringing back a ton of images and stories to share with all of you.
What does the African Reflections Foundation do? Here is their Mission Statement: “We seek to raise standards of living in Africa by achieving these objectives: To bring clean and safe water to people in developing nations. To raise standards of living by providing humanitarian aid.”
So, I will be capturing everything they do, and helping build more wells and many other tasks as well, which I will know way more about when I return!
I am SO excited. My heart is so happy right now I can’t even explain it. I feel like I have been preparing for this for half my life, and I am so ready to go.
I’ll keep you all updated of course… and I’ll probably be inviting you all to come to some fundraisers I’ll be hosting to raise money to build wells so these deserving people have clean drinking water!!
Thanks everyone for the encouragement… I can’t wait to share my experience with you.
See you soon, Africa!!
My inspiration board from years ago…
Our current dream board in my studio…
God is so cool.