Shavee {Charity Event}

Cancer. It’s a word that has become far too much a part of our culture’s normal conversation.  If you’re reading this there’s a good possibility that your life has been touched by this in one form or another.  Maybe you’ve lost a grandparent, or held a friend or child’s hand through treatment.   Cancer is scary, its mysterious, its ugly.  But for all the ugliness and pain that is associated with this word there is another word that goes along with it and that is Hope.  Cancer causes us to hope.  To hope that life will continue, that the battle will be won, that a cure will be found, that there is something bigger than this ugliness.  It’s the reason there are walks and organizations and head-shaving events and new research grants being created each year. It was hope that I got to photograph tonight.

St. Baldrick’s is an organization that funds childhood cancer research grants through money raised by volunteers.  Individuals or teams host Shavee events in which they collect money in return for them shaving their heads.  These events have raised over $117 million dollars to date.  To learn more about this phenomenal organization check out their website at

Tonight I attended one of these events and got to witness hope in action as my friend Grace shaved her hair off for this cause.  But it wasn’t only Grace’s actions that spoke to this hope, but the love that surrounded her through the support of her family and friends who had donated money as pledges for this event and who bid on silent auction items.  Thank You Grace for this awesome opportunity to be part of the cause, and thank you to her friends and family who supported her in this and who gave to the cause.  And of course praise to our Heavenly Father who is the reason for any hope that we have, who’s Spirit moves in us the desire to do good, and to Jesus Christ who shows us what sacrificial love truly looks like.

Now for a few photos from tonight.


Every so often I have a session that reminds me why I do this, why I choose to fill my time being a witness to others’ lives, to view their laughs, smiles and precious moments from behind my lens.  It’s because there’s something so humbling about being invited in, even just for an hour or less at a time, to be witness to these lives, to be trusted with the documenting of it, and to be humbled by the story being told.

This year I’ve witnessed the love of families as they celebrate another year of growth, the excitement and anxiety surrounding senior year, the first few hours of life and the love between husbands and wives as they commit to each other.  Each session has its own story, each family has its own soundtrack, and each time I am honored to be the one to share it with the world.  But sometimes, in the chaos of my own story, in the busyness of my own life I can forget to focus on that, I get lost in the schedules and deadlines. It’s in those times that God usually gifts me with a story I can’t look over, with a session that impacts my being, that snaps me out of my routine and throws me straight into His story.

Today was one of those times.  Today I got to be witness to a different story than I ever have been before.  Most of what I capture are the joys in life, the milestones, the yearly witness to continued life together, and the beginnings of stories.  Today was different, today was celebration of a life lived together and acceptance of the path ahead.  I’m not going to share the details of this story, it is their story to share, but I am so very humbled to have been witness to it.  To be able to see the love shared between two people, not in loud vibrant ways, but in small looks, and reassuring hugs.  To be able to see the faith in a God that promises so much more than just this life.  To be witness to all this, in a few moments of time, under the last of the fall leaves, and the quiet, warmness of an empty chapel, is a blessing that I could not have imagined.


So to those who trust me to be a witness to your lives, to your joys, your loves, your celebrations and your stories, to you I am thankful.