Sunday, December 01, 2013

Project 33- Photo Style

For the past couple of years, I've done a little service project to celebrate the week leading up to my birthday.  It's been fantastically fun, but this year I decided to change it up a bit.  Challenge myself a little more.

I truly feel that talents and skills are given to us for the sole purpose of serving others. Though I'm not the most amazing photographer ever, I decided to donate 33 sessions (that's how old I turned) to families this year.  It has been such an amazing experience. 

Little did I know that one of those sessions would be the last images one family has together.   One image would grace the cover of a funeral program for a four year old boy.   Talk about humbling.   The Webb Family's story has been one of faith and strength, love and eternity.  It's been a blessing to be able to do something very small, in the grand scheme of things, to serve them. 

 DSC_2170watermark DSC_2093watermark 

After I heard about Liam's passing, I asked on my business Facebook page if any of my clients would be willing to donate towards a fund for a canvas to be displayed at the funeral and afterwards in the Webb's home.  Less than an hour later, I had not only enough to cover one large canvas, but two.   It was another humbling experience to see complete strangers give to this family.  My printing lab even gave me a discount and rushed the canvases so that they could be here for the viewing. 

I believe that the Lord gives us so many tender mercies in our lives.  When I wrote Carli to ask her which pictures she would like made into canvases, I also shared with her something I thought of as a small blessing.

Their session was in the evening soon after Liam had started treatments.  He was quite tired and I think had even fallen asleep in the car on the way to the location for pictures.  Sleepy boy and strange photographer are not a good combination.  I was a little worried at first that we weren't going to get him to smile at all.  In fact, the first 100 frames or so, he wouldn't even look at the camera, no matter how many silly songs I sang.  After a little break with dad, running around and throwing rocks (what boy doesn't love throwing rocks?!?!?), Liam came back all smiles.  And not the usual "cheese" smiles I tend to get from kids at first, but real, genuine smiles.  Almost a full 30 minutes of that.  And then he was done having his picture taken :)  But that 30 minutes was enough to capture moments of happiness and joy with his family.  Real joy.  And because I don't tend to believe in coincidences, I think the Lord had a hand in it.  He knew that the pictures would bring his family comfort.  

I can't imagine the kind of grief the Webb's are dealing with, but I am grateful for the knowledge that families are eternal and can be together for ever.  What comfort that brings to know that this isn't the end and they will see their sweet Liam again.  


Leanna said...

I'm proud to have a sister who is so willing to serve others, no matter the circumstance. Love you!

Veronica said...

Beth, you're just awesome and I'm so sorry we didn't get to see each other this week. You truly were a blessing to this wonderful family. Thank you thank you.

Amy said...

Beth. I happen to have pictures taken of my baby, Connor, two days before he passed away, and I totally agree that Heavenly Father has a hand in things like this! Connor was only 9 weeks old, but he had a huge smile on his face, like he somehow knew I was going to need that smile years later. I treasure those pictures, and I know the pictures you took of sweet little Liam will be treasured by his family. You captured a joy that will get his family through many difficult days. You gave them something priceless.

Talent well spent :)

kylie said...

I have been one of your followers for years. I enjoy following and reading your words. And since I think we will never meet in life, I had not thought about leaving a comment before. But this time you really inspire me.
Beth, you are such an wonderful woman and great mom. I teared up when I read through your blog today. I thank you for being such a wonderful and beautiful person. Thank you!

Megan said...

What a blessing for both the family to capture such pure and happy moments with their beautiful boy and for you to be a part of it. It is so nice to hear of such experiences of serving others, even by those who don't know the family affected. Those pictures of little Liam really are precious and I will pray for his sweet family to be comforted knowing that they will see him again and he is watching over them.

Melissa Brown said...

You are a wonderful woman Beth. Thank you for sharing your life. I am a better person because of your words.

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