What is Gus’ Gift? For several years I have been looking for a way to give back to the community. My mission and vision have been to create memories and beautiful images and to get them hanging in your home where they can remind you every day of the good things in your life. The importance of what I do was never as clear to me until after I met an amazing family a few years ago. I had the honor of creating family photos for them just months before their oldest son, who was 7 years old, passed away from cancer.
Their story, which you can read a little more about below, and several other families I have come in contact in the last few years have inspired me to create Gus’ Gift. My goal is to create memories for families with children who have or have had a life threatening medical complication or condition. I will be donating a session with digital files to one family per quarter who is nominated by the community.
I also wanted to make sure I could give these families the same level of service that I give to my other clients by making sure they have printed portraits from their session so I am giving all of you an opportunity to give back as well. When you order wall art and gifts from your session 20% of your total purchase price will automatically go towards a fund for the chosen family for that quarter for them to purchase wall art and gifts of their choice.
To nominate a family please fill out the form below.
Nominated families can include, families with a child with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses, families who have almost lost a child in an accident of any kind, families with a child who spent time in the NICU for a life threatening condition or who were born extremely premature.
Gus’ Story from the blog post that I wrote after his families session in 2016
I often take for granted how important my job is, I sometimes even get told that it is “not a real job”. But every once in a while a client comes along that reminds me why I do what I do. A few years ago, when I still photographed weddings, that client was a bride who 6 months after her wedding emailed me to let me know how thankful she was for the portraits of her and her father together. He had died suddenly a few months after her wedding and those were their last family portraits. This year that client that reminded me was a 7-year-old boy named Gus.
Gus was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was 3 years old. Although the doctors were able to fully remove the tumor his family recently learned that his cancer has returned and that it is only a matter of time before it claims his life. His family had never had a formal family photo session when his mother Sasha contacted me about the session she said that they would be the only family portraits that they would ever get with both of their sons.
With my own son turning 7 in just a few months I can’t help but put myself in her place for a moment. Just the thought of losing my precious son at such a young age makes it hard to breathe. I honestly don’t know how Sasha makes it through each day with such strength, although I am sure she feels anything but strong at the moment. I have learned that the moments in life when we feel the weakest are usually the ones when we have the most strength.
I wish I had something deep or profound to say here, the fact is that I am really not a writer, I let my images do most of the speaking. I will say to other parents who have never had a family session or haven’t had one in a long time, don’t wait. Life is precious and fragile and children grow so quickly.
Gus passed away the day I wrote this blog post. I will always be thankful that I was able to capture memories of them together as a family.