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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Charity photography of deceased babies
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01/21/2011 06:38:20 PM · #1
I've heard of a ministry of photographers who donate their time by taking a photograph and giving it to the mother/father of stillborn babies... or babies who die while in the initial hospital stay.

So many times there is no photograph of a baby and the parents never have a physical reminder of their baby's being.

I want to do this locally and cannot remember the organization's name.

Does anyone have information to help me, please?
01/21/2011 06:40:18 PM · #2
//www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/

try this organiztion.
01/21/2011 06:40:27 PM · #3
I work for a company called Bella Baby and we provide that service. This service is offered through the hospital and not all hospitals use Bella Baby.

There is another company called Our365 that offers a similar service and I'm not sure if they do demise babies.
01/21/2011 06:42:57 PM · #4
try thisNow I lay me down to sleep
01/21/2011 08:01:36 PM · #5
There was an article in "Professional Photography" magazine a while back. I believe it was called "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep". Beautiful story and images.
01/21/2011 10:25:48 PM · #6
Thank you, all.

That will get me started, I'm sure.

I'm not actually positive that I'm "game" enough for the task... but I WANT to be!

I think I can do this... if I remember the few of my friends who have had to suffer like this and have no tangible memories. I cannot imagine.

THANKS bunches for your help!
01/21/2011 10:58:11 PM · #7
Lydia, if I recall a previous discussion on this topic, they will want to see your portfolio. They want to deal with photographers with experience, as the situation requires not only a gentle soul (such as yours) but a competence and confidence to do the job professionally and expeditiously. I think you are more than suited to the task and I admire you tremendously for attempting it.
01/21/2011 11:08:38 PM · #8
Oh dang! I've been called to do this for a couple of years... and only yesterday another incident from a friend of mine brought it to my mind again.

"I'll look into it further this time", I said to myself.

So... I checked out the website you folks generously provided for me... watched the video ... again... and cried... again. Watched the photographers' video... cried then, too. Watched all of the videos. Cried through all of them. *sigh*

But, I steeled myself to it all and said to myself, "You KNOW this is what you want to bless people with... you have four wonderful blessings of your own... and you know people are hurting..."

"Okay, self. I'll go through the steps. I know they're not easy... 'have a professional website (Dang! I just did that this month!)... pass the natural lighting, enhanced lighting, etc critiques from the officials (they want to make sure the "shot of a short lifetime" is not missed...) Posing... attention to detail...

I read on...

"Attend a seminar" These are about the emotions of the photographer... and dealing with the grief situation... and...

Somewhere inside myself who fights this said, "Oh! THERE's my out! There won't be a seminar in my area for a long time. I'll have time to deal with all of this and settle myself to it."

There's a seminar 45 minutes from here on Tuesday.

*sigh*

I'm signing up... and holding my breath.

I really DO want to help hurting people.

I really AM compassionate... but maybe TOO compassionate.

But, I'm committed. (or should be *grin*)

God, help me!

I need it. Am I really good enough to trust myself to photographing one moment in time? I don't do weddings on purpose (from casual experience). Too much stress of missing the moment.

Am I nuts?

WAIT! DO NOT answer that!

*rambling*

Sorry.

I'll let you know how it all turns out. *sigh*

Please pray for me, if you're the praying type.

01/21/2011 11:24:27 PM · #9
Good luck....I'm not sure I could do this job...not in the sense that I'm too emotionally detached in most things. I'm a firefighter/EMT and I've learned to shut off my emotions. I'm not sure I'd be able to in these cases...and I'm afraid that if the damn broke on my emotions it could be really bad.

More power to those that can do this.
01/22/2011 12:33:10 AM · #10
Here's wishing you the very best. I thought about this a couple of years ago also, and watched and cried, then watch and cried and realized that probably wouldn't be able to do it without losing it, so decided to abstain. I can pray from here and hope that they find peace, but I don't think I could do this. It takes a strong person and you are much stronger than I!!!
Hugs!
01/22/2011 12:35:22 AM · #11
Originally posted by LydiaToo:

Oh dang! I've been called to do this for a couple of years... and only yesterday another incident from a friend of mine brought it to my mind again.

"I'll look into it further this time", I said to myself.

So... I checked out the website you folks generously provided for me... watched the video ... again... and cried... again. Watched the photographers' video... cried then, too. Watched all of the videos. Cried through all of them. *sigh*

But, I steeled myself to it all and said to myself, "You KNOW this is what you want to bless people with... you have four wonderful blessings of your own... and you know people are hurting..."
.......


I'm only half joking when I say that you might want to look into a 1D series, as xxD's and all that saltwater might not be a good mix... =\

Beyond that, I have no official thoughts, but go do what you think is right for you, and as always, I'm sure you'll produce great work.. (as long as you don't short out the equipment...)

Message edited by author 2011-01-22 00:35:47.
01/22/2011 11:03:04 AM · #12
I have contemplated this for several years, even going as far as applying (but never completing the final step).

I would love to do it to give these families something to "have," but I honestly don't know if I could handle it emotionally.

vawendy, I'm sure you would do beautifully.
01/22/2011 12:16:19 PM · #13
Thanks bunches for the encouragement, folks!

I've been reading more today on their site and found that they recommend each photographer have general liability insurance in addition to malpractice insurance and I'm not able to get that right now.

So... I've applied to be a photo retouch artist... bruises, etc. on the images others take.

I can cry while I retouch and noone will be the wiser. =D
01/22/2011 12:19:00 PM · #14
bahahahah. i'm crazy.

vawendy. LydiaToo. yea. they look so similar they just transposed in my mind.

sorry 'bout that.
01/22/2011 01:03:07 PM · #15
I get her and me confused all the time, Karma... not to worry.

=D
01/22/2011 03:00:25 PM · #16
Originally posted by LydiaToo:

Thanks bunches for the encouragement, folks!

I've been reading more today on their site and found that they recommend each photographer have general liability insurance in addition to malpractice insurance and I'm not able to get that right now.

So... I've applied to be a photo retouch artist... bruises, etc. on the images others take.

I can cry while I retouch and noone will be the wiser. =D


Spill proof keyboard for you... :)
01/22/2011 05:44:51 PM · #17
Indeed, Cory!

I received three photos from them that they want me to retouch to make into something parents would like to have.

I admit I almost quit before I began when I saw the images. I really don't think I could take being the photographer.

Anyway, I've edited them and am running them by a doctor friend (the only one I could talk into looking at them... my family won't even consider it) before I send them off for 'grading'.

THANKS, folks!
01/22/2011 05:47:43 PM · #18
You are a good soul Lydia!
01/22/2011 05:51:00 PM · #19
Originally posted by bspurgeon:

You are a good soul Lydia!


And YOU are a good "doctor friend", Ben. :)
01/24/2011 02:33:36 PM · #20
Good luck. Lydia. You have a heart of gold and steel to move forward on this. Personally, since I have two little ones of my own, I don't think I could handle such a job. It would be way too emotional for me to deal with. I never even knew such a service existed until now.

Anyone who can provide such services is a genuine saint. :) Kudos to you for at least trying it.
01/24/2011 02:49:03 PM · #21
Thanks, everyone!

They've looked over my retouched edits of the images they sent to me and... I've been approved as a Digital Retouch Artist!

Message edited by author 2011-01-24 16:52:21.
01/24/2011 02:58:16 PM · #22
Congratulations! I'm glad you're able to follow your calling to help people!
01/24/2011 03:02:04 PM · #23
Good on you, Lydia! I am in the "can't handle it" camp. Touches too many sensitive issues for me.
Heart of gold, nerves of steel - best of luck with it!
01/24/2011 03:06:29 PM · #24
Not sure about the heart or the nerves, Ken... I'm sure I'll find my own "coping skills" as I move on. I found myself dealing with "only this part" of the images... not the whole image at once, in my brain.

Seemed to work fairly well. I can't imagine that it ever gets "easy".

BTW, there's a photographer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep here on DPC (perhaps more than one). She messaged me to encourage me. And the email I got with my acceptance was also full of encouragement. It seems that there is a great amount of emotional support given in the organization.
01/24/2011 04:08:00 PM · #25
Congratulations Lydia!

It is a rare soul that will take on a portion of another person's grief in order to help bring them some peace and healing.

I stand in awe, and am so very proud to call you my friend.

Edited to add:

To anyone else here, that is doing the same sort of work... In their hour of grief, you may only hear the pain, frustration, and anger of loss. But please know that your efforts to provide a little bit of peace and healing, no matter how small, is appreciated beyond words.

Message edited by author 2011-01-24 16:12:46.
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