Giving back is very important to me, plus I work with a some amazing organizations in Jacksonville. One is Dreams Come True, an organization that is dedicated to granting dreams for children with life-threatening illnesses. I have a special place in my heart for kids with cancer, and I have an open offer to families of kids with cancer for a free photoshoot. It’s the one gift that I can offer a family that will last a lifetime. The reason I bring up Dreams Come True is because they are the reason I even found out about the amazing Hope Haven. Courtney from Dreams Come True asked me in late 2015 if I would do a photo shoot for a sweet boy named Liam, who was battling leukemia, and his family. At the shoot (Photo below), I not only fell in love with Liam, but with his entire family!
I kept up with Liam and his mom Shenera after the shoot. One day, she made the comment that she wished I could do the Hope Haven down Syndrome calendar shoot this year… My first question was, “What is Hope Haven?”
Hope Haven is an organization that provides specialized services and individualized educational opportunities for children with disabilities so that the children and families can realize their full potential. They also have a specialized down Syndrome center which is where Liam and this calendar shoot comes in! 🙂
I had a few goals after agreeing to shoot this calendar:
- Have a theme that would highlight how truly amazing these kids are – ✓
- Shoot the entire calendar outdoors – ✓✓
- Give 100% of the sitting fee back to Hope Haven – ✓✓✓
- Have it be the highest-selling calendar to date -TBD!
I instantly thought that Princes & Princesses what a perfect theme to start with, and the fabulous Terri George, the Director of Education at Hope Haven, agreed! After announcing to the families that I would be doing the calendar, and my vision of the theme, we had 51 families sign up from all over Florida! So, after 14 days of shoots and hours and hours of editing, I have to say I am so proud of how amazing this project turned out to be. I love each and every one of these special kids, and I’m so thankful I was asked to do it.
After the shoot, Along with a nice check ;), I was able to donate 5 large canvases to brighten up the lobby of Hope Haven. I think they look fantastic!!
Please see all the stars of the 2017 Hope Haven down Syndrome Calendar below!
I will post the link to calendar when it goes on sale on my Facebook page as soon as it’s available!
The BEST way to see all the Princes and Princesses is in this amazing Video… with the most perfect song,
“Shine” by Jade Ambroze. I think it was made for these special children!
Or See all the stars in this slideshow 🙂
I had such a great time with all of the kids. Since Liam is the reason I was chosen to do this calendar (and he is MY prince), I had to dress up extra special for the final shoot:
**Special thanks to my friend Angela Black for letting us use her “throne” and for helping me during a day of shoots, To Lindsey and Kevin Dunn for being so awesome and taking the pictures for Liam and my photo shoot and last but certainly not least to Terri George for being my assistant on EVERY session and helping bring my vision to light!
ANDDDDD HERE’S THE COVER OF THE CALENDAR!!
Thank you for reading this entire blog, I know it’s long, but this project is just so special to me 🙂