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Old 01-06-2006, 05:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Some of you know that in 2003 my daughter gave birth to twin boys prematurely and they both died. Since then I have often thought of taking my photography skills and using them to photograph these babies so that their families will have them down the road. As a person that has had to deal with this loss I can tell you that portraits never crossed my mind that day in the hospital. I wish now that someone had suggested this to us that day.

Jump forward to today and an e-mail I got from Marathon press with a story about an organization that does this very thing. It is called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and they are looking for photographers all over the country that are willing to donate their time to help these families in their time of grief.

We have such a huge amount of talented photographers here that I thought I would post a link to thier website in hopes that maybe a few of you would check it out and maybe even get involved. Marathon Press is even donating brochures for this service to the photographers that are signed up with this organization.

This is a difficult time for these families and we can use our skills to help them through it. If you have a minute please check it out. If you are able to help them in your area that would be great.

Scott

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Old 01-06-2006, 10:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the the lead. I contacted them about possibly helping, just waiting for more info to see if it is something I can do right. Your heart is in the right place, and although I have no personal experience with this level of grief, it has always been one of my worst nightmares. God bless.
John
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Old 01-06-2006, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I understand this. As a commander I stood with a young lieutenaant at his wife's bedside after their child was born dead. The hospital had dressed the child in garments the mother had brought with her and then they photographed the baby with a polaroid. It was one of the more intense moments of my life. I did not know there was a way to use my skills to help here but I will. Thanks.


Mike
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Old 01-06-2006, 10:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've worked with two hospitals in my area to provide this kind of service for a couple of years. When my wife and I had our first child, one of the other couples (Jewish) on the maternity ward gave birth to a child with an infantile form of Gaucher's disease. It only affects Jews and the baby rarely lives more than 48 hours. I was talking to the father in the coffee room and he was just devastated. I don't know why, but I told him I was a photographer and if he'd like family portraits I'd be more than happy to take them, gratis, before it was too late. He talked to his wife, we talked to the hospital staff, and everyone made it happen. It was one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of my life. The baby died about 7 hours after I photographed the family.

Long story short, word got around the hospital and I was contacted by the administration a few weeks later. They thanked me profusely and wanted to know if I'd consider making myself available in the future. I told them to call me anytime, day or night. It's one of the most rewarding things I do.

I didn't know about Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, but if anyone reading this wants to do something that will absolutely touch your soul, offer your services to an organization like this.

-Chip
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Old 01-06-2006, 11:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for this post Scott. I never thought of this before and I haven't heard of anything like this either. I will look into it as well. My wife and I lost our second child at the last stages of her pregnancy. There isn't a Christmas that goes by that we still don't hang a stocking between our other two children's and talk about him... Thank you again...
 
 
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That is too cool. I expect to find this to be a very difficult time for me. Having been through this kind of loss in our family but I cant really think of anything I would rather do with my skills. I am glad to hear that you have been doing this and I have to believe that you have made those families very happy in some way and helped them remember that little soul. I think it takes a special person to do this type of thing. How do you create something beautiful in the middle of such a devastating event? I think you have to see something that most people cant. Thanks for doing your part. You are a good man Chip.

Scott
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Old 01-07-2006, 08:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ya know... When I first was reading that website and thinking back to when Alex and Ryan died. The thought that came to my mind was, " I wish Mike was around here when that happened, he could have done this for us" I dont know you well and only from on-line but I think I can tell the kind of man you are. I hope that you can find a way to get involved with this. I know you would be able to do a great thing here.

Thanks Mike

Scott
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Old 01-07-2006, 08:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am planning on signing up.
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Old 01-07-2006, 08:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm sending my application in and I have already forwarded the link to 20 other people. This is a great idea and I thank you for telling us about it.


Mike
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Old 01-07-2006, 09:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It's difficult for me everytime I do it, and I don't have the personal experience that you have. You have to be empathetic and have great communication skills. You also have to be part psychologist. You're part of the therapy, so to speak. There's just an incredible amount of love and sadness in the room. For me, creating something beautiful in that moment is the easy part because I get really focused and tuned in during those few moments. I'm very aware of the fact that there is no second chance here.

I think the hardest part comes a year later. More often than not I am contacted by the couple around the time of what would be their child's first birthday. They are so appreciative, but it brings everything back. Those are the nights where I let myself into my kids' rooms and just watch them sleep.

One of the best parts, on down the road, is getting a call from a couple who've subsequently tried again and had a baby. Guess who they want to photograph family portraits? That's when you know you really touched people.

-Chip
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