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09/12/2007 04:26:28 PM · #1
for almost a year now I have been thinking of doing portraits for children who are recovering from cancer treatments and or are in remission(for free of course). I just read rossbilly's thread about doing a short notice wedding for a wonderful couple that wanted to get married after getting a rather sad diagnosis. this got me to really wanting to get this idea of mine on the ball. my problem is I have no idea where to start. such as who to call to get started or who to leave my name and numbers with. I would really like to get this started and going by the end of the month...anyone have any ideas of where to start? Ive already contacted a friend who is engaged to a surgeon and she is going to talk to him tonight and see if he has any ideas. he has a few cancer patients but they are all adults and I really want to work with children. this will be for children in delaware and southern maryland for starters and maybe then I will be able to expand to farther locals....but one step at a time
thanks
~~Cher~~ :D
09/12/2007 04:36:50 PM · #2
I think it's an abosolutely beautiful idea and one I also thought about doing.

Have you seen this Pulitzer Prize Winning image? The series is very powerful and hard for me to view.

I get choked (shaken) up everytime I see that first shot and fear that I'd might crack if I ever did get the opportunity to do the same shooting. I'm very weak that way. Jeez....I cry at the ending of It's a Wonderful Life, like 6 times a year.

If I ever get the courage or the time I would simply contact a Doctor that specializes in that field or a Childrens Hospital and outline in a few words what you have in mind. It could work very well during a small event that they might do with the kids.

Please let me know how it's works and good luck!

Message edited by author 2007-09-12 16:58:37.
09/12/2007 05:17:22 PM · #3
WOW...thats some very powerful and emotional stuff there...I was sooo not prepared *wipes eyes for the 100th time* I hadnt seen that series but it is a vey touching piece. it was actually this photo that gave me the idea to do this and its way past time i started
318501.jpg
by ericwoo

Originally posted by pawdrix:

I think it's an abosolutely beautiful idea and one I also thought about doing.

Have you seen this Pulitzer Prize Winning image? The series is very powerful and hard for me to view.

I get choked (shaken) up everytime I see that first shot and fear that I'd might crack if I ever did get the opportunity to do the same shooting. I'm very weak that way. Jeez....I cry at the ending of It's a Wonderful Life, like 6 times a year.

If I ever get the courage or the time I would simply contact a Doctor that specializes in that field or a Childrens Hospital and outline in a few words what you have in mind. It could work very well during a small event that they might do with the kids.

Please let me know how it's works and good luck!

09/12/2007 05:52:11 PM · #4
Cher (and everyone else)

I have another suggestion for you. I've been doing photography for the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation since May.

NILMDTS

We do bereavement photography for families who have experienced or are about to experience the death of a newborn. At this point we are desperate for volunteer photographers to fill the need. At first I thought this would be very hard for me emotionally, but I've come to learn that these photo are so important for these families. Much more important than any thing I might be feeling at the time. Sometimes I cry right along with them. I am scheduled to do another session tonight for a young couple as their daughter is taken off life support.

This is from a letter one mother sent me:

"This has been such a difficult time for us. We had many compliments at the funeral of your pictures. Now I look at them and they are all I have to feel close to her. I just wanted you to know that the work you do is greatly appreciated! We will not forget your kindness."

While I'll never be able to fully understand what these families are going through I hope to be able to provide some comfort and lasting memories for them. Unfortunately there are many request that go unanswered because there isn't enough photographers to fill the need. If you're looking to donate some time this is an excellent, meaningful opportunity. There are NILMDTS offices all over the world.

If you have questions please contact me -- I'd be more than happy to talk with you.
Debi
09/12/2007 05:59:46 PM · #5
Hi Cher! I enjoyed our IM's today, and glad to see you posting about this. Pretty sure I have several links saved about this subject, but they're on my work computer...

That photo of Eric's has been one of my all-time fav's since finding this site, both in meaning and composition. For that matter, both he and his wife are amazing people - very giving, humble, and gracious. You probably want to contact him/them; pretty sure they can help find what you're looking for.

Steve, I remember watching that slideshow a while back (hope everyone notices to turn on the comments/captions while viewing). Amazing body of work, and I cried like a baby when I watched it - very powerful stuff.

ETA - Debi beat me to it; exactly the link I was trying to remember.

Message edited by author 2007-09-12 18:02:35.
09/12/2007 06:12:46 PM · #6
debi- Im not sure I could handle something like that but i did go look at the site and i noticed that there are several photogs in my area that are already signed up and I have plans to call one and speak with him about my idea and about his experiences with NILMDTS...something i will really think about. Im just not sure i could give the parent the photo they deserve of thier children as i get way to emotional with things like this. i guess im very empenthetic (sp) and I dont want that ruining a last chance thing.

billy...i enjoyed our talk about this today too and since then Ive decided to get off my butt and quit just talking about doing this...Im GOING to make this happen! thanks for the words of encouragement. hugs
09/12/2007 06:46:15 PM · #7
Thank you for sharing the information about NILMDTS. I just sent an email to our local coordinator in hopes of offering some assistance. I don't know how much of a demand there will be in our area.

Sher...I would start on a National Level such as Cancer Societies, St. Judes or other related organizations. Then work your way down to leaders in your community that offer support to those families. I have a child with Tuberous Sclerosis. Other families can find me through the National Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance. Hope this helps get you travelling in the right direction.
09/12/2007 10:02:39 PM · #8
smilebigforme1x thats a fantastic idea for children. I am a cancer patient six month out of chemo. Cancer is difficult to deal with as an adult. I can't even think of what dealing with this invader is like for a child. Please post some of the children's photos here on DPC.
09/14/2007 01:33:46 AM · #9
There is a group that does something similar, and I WILL find their name. I just haven't found it yet. It makes me smile that a photo of mine inspired at least one person to make a positive impact in this screwy world. I will keep looking for that group, Cher. Even if volunteering with them isn't exactly what you want to do, you may be able to get some ideas from their operation. I'll PM you when I come across it.

E
09/14/2007 02:34:36 AM · #10
Better be very careful with posting pictures online of cancer patients, or any kind of person under the care of hospital, hospice, organization, or any kind of facility as the HIPPA laws are very strict about patient confidentiality !!!!!!!!

Message edited by author 2007-09-14 02:39:16.
09/14/2007 06:55:31 AM · #11
ericwoo- thanks so much...ill keep an eye out for it.

olyuzi- I dont plan to post any of the portraits in a public forum but I will still get all parents to sign my release. plus...wouldnt I still hold the copyright to these anyhow? I will not be working for any chairty except my own. I will be doing this and absorbing the cost of it out of my pocket...not anyone elses. so I guess you could say that Ill be my own chairty. this is something I want to do and I will not be letting any org. dictate how I will do it. I have several friends that work with patients and they will be giving my number to the patients parents and the parents will be the ones calling me...not a cancer org. gotta run a munchkin to school..brb
09/14/2007 08:54:55 AM · #12
Oly - in Eric's comments he does mention the image being shot outdoors @ a public venue, so no release required (BUT, still good of you to remember patient's rights... Also, isn't HIPPA for persons working in the medical fields? Just trying to clarify, as I'm not sure how that relates to photography.

Cher - I've given lots of thought to the business aspect of charity work, and I'm wondering if writing up a simple contract - including the 'normal' costs - then stamping "NO CHARGE" on it would be useful for tax purposes. ..
09/14/2007 10:16:21 AM · #13
HIPPA is another toothless, BS set of rules and laws that do not apply in this situation. If you volunteer your time to shoot photos, you are not accessing any privelaged info that you'd be apt to share with anyone. HIPPA is just another way to allow bunches of frivolous lawsuits. It has no application to what you are doing, Sher. How do I know? I am a nurse and a paramedic for a very large, children;s healthcare facility. And yes, you would still hold the copyright. Its a great thing that you have in mind, and it will work out well for you. These kids are the most inspiring group of individuals that you will ever meet.
09/14/2007 10:26:08 AM · #14
I really want to do this but I don't know if I could. I went to NILMDTS's website and started crying without even clicking on anything. I think it'd be a great thing to be involved in but I think I might be too emotional to handle it.
09/14/2007 06:06:20 PM · #15
HA!!! Found it. The organization is called Flashes of Hope. They primarily use experienced, commercial photographers, but not always. I went and sat with them through a couple of shoots. Everyone there was great, but it just wasn't what I was looking to volunteer for. Even still, I think that you could gain some insight from them and make your own plan. It is a great thing that you are looking to do. If you have a children's hospital in your area, I'd recommend giving them a call and letting them know what you'd like to offer. Most are very receptive to offers like this.

NILMDTS is a vastly different organization. It offers parents the chance of one photo session for an often dead or dying child. It is also a very great thing, but it is often difficult. I shoot for these guys from time to time, and it is tough. I have spent a lot of time working in this field, so I can easily see that the value of this service far outweighs the sadness that I feel. Let me know if I can help with anything else.
09/18/2007 10:26:27 AM · #16
I have been talking alot to people in the medical fields and have learned that all the children in this area are sent to christiana (2 hours away) but thru my conversations with nurses I have my first portrait set up.I gave the nurse my phone number and website addy to pass on. Its for a 14yo girl who has 3 kinds of cancer and is currently going for radiation treatments. they live about an hour away and I cant wait to meet this brave girl. I have been doing ALOT of reading about the affects of the treatmants and Im hopeing that she will be well enough for a short trip outside for some sun and giggles. either way I plan to give her my best work to date. wish me luck!

thanks for all your help with this. I have a few people working on getting me donations so that I can give the parents prints along with the CD and copyright release. thanks for all your help...this is the reason I keep comming back...what a community! Hugs for everyone!
09/18/2007 11:05:51 AM · #17
good luck and fingers crossed! i'm sure the work will be lovely, and the family thrilled.

i just registered with NILMDTS, so, we shall see....
09/18/2007 11:35:00 AM · #18
Originally posted by xianart:

i just registered with NILMDTS, so, we shall see....


Thank you so Much! If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me.
Debi
09/18/2007 12:11:13 PM · #19
NILMDTS had been re-working their website & I had a printed reminder on our fridge to go back (they asked folks to return mid-September).

Glad to see they got the new site up & working, as it looks great. I've also signed up (even though Glenda fears I'll have nightmares LOL) Maybe its karma & will help keep my own little angels healthy...

Best of luck to you Cher & Christian.
09/26/2007 01:27:46 PM · #20
ok, I was just perusing cindi's royalty free music thread, and wandering around some of the sites, when I found a piece of music that reminded me of NILMDTS:

night night moon
(click the sample @ top with this name)

it yanked on my heartstrings, but now I'm thinking it may be TOO sad... anyone have any other ideas for slideshow productions?

(BTW - it's been a week & no word from NILMDTS - does it take a while?)
09/26/2007 06:30:05 PM · #21
Originally posted by rossbilly:

ok, I was just perusing cindi's royalty free music thread, and wandering around some of the sites, when I found a piece of music that reminded me of NILMDTS:

night night moon
(click the sample @ top with this name)

it yanked on my heartstrings, but now I'm thinking it may be TOO sad... anyone have any other ideas for slideshow productions?

(BTW - it's been a week & no word from NILMDTS - does it take a while?)


I try not to use recognizable songs or even songs with words. I had a neighbor who had some meaningful photos of her very sick daughter on a dvd with disney music playing in the background. These weren't professional photos just something put together by a friend. Anyhow, now she can't listen to the song without feeling sad. It reminds her of a really low point in their lives and being disney music... you hear the song often. I'd feel bad if I did that to someone. NILMDTS has some royalty free songs on their photographers site we can download. Even some songs in Spanish, I believe. I have some instrumental stuff I use as background music. I want the photos to be what the family focuses on not the music.

If you don't hear from your area coordinator soon contact me and I'll pass on the National coordinators information to you. I don't want to step on toes.

Cher - how's it going with the cancer photography?
09/26/2007 07:14:47 PM · #22
I have some friends who have children on this site - CaringBridge.org
09/29/2007 12:38:40 PM · #23
OMG... talk about fate:

I've been waiting anxiously to hear from NILMDTS - worried if my work would be acceptable, and knowing that Glenda wasn't totally sure if SHE was emotionally ready for such work...

This morning, I was thinking of how to broach the subject (I was accepted yesterday) when Glenda says "Honey, I need to talk to you..." She had just read a message from a friend, asking if I could 'work on' the only photo of a stillborn baby (for the infant's young mother).

Needless to say, we have both decided this is the right thing to do. destiny / fate / karma - whatever, I'll take it.

Message edited by author 2007-09-29 13:17:58.
09/29/2007 01:06:56 PM · #24
I had a similar situation. I had printed out the application for NILMDTS a long time ago and never had the nerve to send it in.

Now, they have an online process so I figured what the heck? I did and was accepted. My husband and I had talked about this a lot a while back, and his concern was that I might not be able to stand it emotionally (a justified concern, I might add).

I got my acceptance about the same time I read a post on another forum my husband had made about a couple that had to deliver a stillborn baby. One line in the whole blog post about everyone visiting and holding the little girl jumped out at me. (The grandfather was writing) "Of course, I took a lot of pictures."

Yea, I may never get called but I think it is the right thing to do. :)

eta: it took a week to 10 days I think for me to hear from them

Message edited by author 2007-09-29 13:07:23.
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