World Photo Day: A Celebration of Photography's Positive Impact
This World Photography Day, we're celebrating the positive impact photography has on communities across the globe. We know it's every pro photographer's passion to preserve memories for clients to cherish, and this alone is changing lives on the daily. In this article, we're highlighting four of the many non-profit organizations we've had the privilege of working with, that - with the power of photography - are also making a difference and helping others.
- Photography Inspires -
Sightless Summits is a project started by Santa Cruz-based photographer and physical therapist, Bryan Hill. His vision is to motivate and inspire the world with a focus on the blind, on veterans, and on others with disabilities. Brian works with fellow Sightless Summits team member, Michael Neal, and extreme sports athlete, Lonnie Bedwell, to do just that.
Lonnie is a blind US Navy veteran, and the team's goal is to title him the first blind person to reach the summit of the tallest mountain on every continent, and to ski to the North and South Poles. They've successfully checked off the first two of these peaks - Denali in June 2022, and Mt. Everest in May 2023. Brian describes Lonnie's ambitious and adventurous spirit: "He is an exceptional human that has achieved so many things since he lost his eye sight and he now wants to encourage others with disabilities to get out and live life to the fullest."
“Your disability is a part of you but it does not define you. We are able to adapt and do so much more than we think if we simply work together. So let's get up, and go live our lives to their fullest potential”
- Lonnie Bedwell
Brian sells his photography on prints from Bay Photo in order to fundraise for their expeditions, and the next one on the list is Antarctica in winter 2024. To learn more about Sightless Summits, visit https://www.sightlesssummits.com/.
- Photography Remembers and Heals -
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS) offers a compassionate and complimentary service of remembrance photography to parents experiencing the loss of a baby. Through the generosity of skilled photographers, parents receive professionally captured portraits as a comforting gift that brings healing, hope, and honor.
Dedicated photographers volunteer their expertise to capture the only moments between parents and their babies. These invaluable images play a crucial role in the recovery process for grieving families, acknowledging the presence and significance of these cherished babies and preserving their legacy.
NILMDTS has a network of proficient photographers and digital retouch artists who are trained and ready to assist. This initiative also empowers medical professionals to offer grieving parents the meaningful gesture of remembrance portraiture.
Photographers and digital retouchers are encouraged to join this compassionate community as volunteers. Learn more at www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org.
Sweet Nectar Society
Sweet Nectar Society provides cost-free photography sessions to children with complex medical needs, and is driven by the mission to encourage, celebrate, and advocate for their Sweeties through the art of photography.
Creators Brittany Wilbur and Carrie Anne Miranda were inspired to begin this project after experiencing health battles with their own children. Both photographers discovered the healing power photography brought to their families and wanted to share that with others in their community.
Since the organization was established in 2011, the team has photographed over one thousand children throughout central California. Sweet Nectar's photographers take pride in capturing moments that will be cherished by families forever, and Bay Photo takes pride in helping deliver those memories.
To learn more about Sweet Nectar Society, visit https://sweetnectarsociety.org/.
Love Not Lost
Having a daughter with a terminal illness, and being gifted portrait sessions, Ashley Jones wanted to pay it forward and started offering free portrait sessions to anyone she met with a terminal diagnosis. As she donated more and more sessions, she realized that something greater was taking shape.
Ashly founded non-profit, Love Not Lost with the mission to revolutionize the way we grieve in America. They started by photographing people facing a terminal diagnosis to capture beautiful memories for those they love. Whether it's the people they serve through photography and their loved ones, staff, photographers, donors, or the community they are a part of, the Love Not Lost team continually looks for ways to love people better, and inspire others to do the same.
"With every session, I could feel something greater taking shape… a way to capture love not lost."
- Ashley Jones
To learn more about Love Not Lost, visit https://lovenotlost.org/.
Images Courtesy of: Brian Hill, NILMDTS, Sweet Nectar Society, Love Not Lost