Saturday, November 20, 2010

How do you use your talents to give back...?

One of the things we do is raise service dogs for the local VA in Loma Linda. You can find us wandering the halls there with a dog or two visiting with our Heroes on a regular basis. We were encouraged to send a few of our photos into a photography contest put on by the National Labrador Retriever Club, Inc this year and two of our photos came in First! One is of a little boy hugging one of our labs. The other is a Master Mason from our lodge and one of our dogs at the VA visiting. How cool is that! We will again be there for Thanksgiving Day from Noon until 2:00PM serving a Pot Luck lunch if you can join or cook for us. Let us know, love to see you there...:)

John'e & Duane

Friday, November 19, 2010

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Photography

Last Month I received a call from a nurse at a local hospital saying they had a young woman who had come in to deliver her little girl but the child had died. I was asked if I would come in and photograph their last moments together. I was called because I belong to an organization of photographers, NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) who freely give of their time and skills to help preserve the precious memories of those who have or will be soon losing their child. This was my first time being called and I have often wondered if I would be mentally prepared for what I would encounter. Being involved in preserving the memories of a passing child with their parents made my comfort level, rather trivial. I immediately packed up my gear. When I arrived the nurse shared with me a few of the details so I would have a better understanding what they had gone through that morning. As I entered the room I found the couple crying and staring at their little girl, who was laying motionless in a bassinet right next to her mother’s bed. I asked if they had any requests and shared with them what I would like to do and they agreed. The father who was very emotional asked not to be photographed. The nurse laid the little girl on her mother’s chest. I asked the mother to just spend some quite time with her child, and not pay any attention to me. What I tried to capture was them being alone and the closeness between a mother and child during a very difficult time. Having the honor of capturing those precious moments is one of the most important and satisfying moments I’ve had as a photographer. I have taken photos of at least half a dozen more babies in the last two months for NILMDTS. Each one very special to them and to me.

Any one interested in finding out more about NILMDTS or wanting to donate can reach them at;