Wanted: A Forever Family

I was a volunteer photographer this morning for South Carolina Heart Gallery and it pulled on my heartstrings. The organization helps children in foster care find a forever family. My role as a photographer was to provide the organization with 25-30 images of each child to be used for web display, as prints to be framed for community exhibits, and for a keepsake book for the child. I photographed one teenage boy and two teen sisters.

I cannot share any of the images on this blog or on any social media or website. That is completely fine with me. I understand privacy and I understand that the photos now belong to SC Heart Gallery.

I can share my feelings with you though. I didn’t realize there are SO many children in need of a permanent home. The SC Heart Gallery website shows pages of images of children without a mom, or dad that will be there for them unconditionally. That is sad. I can’t image my kids growing up in that situation, and I’m heartbroken that the ones I met today are in that situation.

I’m thankful I was able to use my talent to help those in need. They smiled for the camera today. I  hope one day soon they will smile because they are part of a forever family.

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Mr. & Mrs. Brad Riley

I attended the wedding of Bradley Steven Riley to Kyla Jo on August 27th. It’s the date that will always be in their hearts as the day they began the next chapter in their lives. I’m so happy for them, and wish them all the joy 32 years of marriage has brought me.

I brought my Olympus mirror-less camera, instead of the Canon 6D, to grab a few shots. It’s easier to slip the smaller camera in my purse when not in use. I knew the ceremony and reception were to be held outdoors beginning at 5 pm, so lighting would be good.

Brad became a friend of my son’s when they were in elementary school. Brad was a great kid back then and will make a great husband and provider. Brad’s parents, Susan & Steve, became our friends many years ago.

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Susan & Steve Riley

Although one of the reasons I brought my camera was to practice people pictures, I couldn’t help but take some photos of a few of the other elements at the wedding.

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Flowers at the ceremony

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Program/Personal fan

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Table seating for the guests

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Jack & Lorraine – Table 12

My son, Cooper, and his girlfriend, Jillian, attended. The 17mm lens on my Olympus is not my favorite portrait lens, but I worked with what I had. I paid attention to where the light was even, and where it fell nicely on the subject’s face – something I have learned by practicing. I moved my subjects into good light.

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Cooper

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Jillian

It took my extroverted husband no time at all to begin mingling at the reception. Here he is talking to Pastor Art Beyer, the same Pastor who baptized Brad as a child.

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Jack and Pastor Art Beyer

Pastor Beyer is a really personable guy!

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Pastor Art Beyer

This guest needs a refill!

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Andrew

I chose a few children as my subjects to photograph at the reception. They were all adooooorable in their dress-up clothes. This little guy has eyes that matched his shirt.

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Cuteness overload

The flower girl didn’t want her picture taken and kept running in circles. I finally caught one of her in focus.

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Flower girl

The youngest guest at the wedding was 10-week-old baby Riley (named after her mother’s maiden name).

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Riley

And finally…the guests of honor as they prepared to be introduced just before dinner.

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Brad & Kyla

A gathering of family & friends, a beautiful ceremony and reception, and two hearts joined as one. All because two people fell in love.