I don't even know where to begin.
One week. It's been one week...wow. Living here in Okotoks and seeing the change in our small town as we take in the many displaced people from High River, it is hard not to feel an urgent need to help out. In any way possible. And, we've done some physical helping...down at the Blackie shelter and donating to the food bank. Offering help to the families we have met. But, nothing seems like enough. NOTHING. And, I know that this is how everyone feels from Canmore to Calgary and out to Turner Valley and Bragg Creek...and, of course, High River.
The other day, while we were buying items to donate at Walmart, the cashier asked us if we were 'lucky or displaced'. She had asked everybody this and everyone else in line had said 'displaced'. When we got to the till, I said 'lucky'. She told me her story...of living in a camper in the campground and getting only a little bit of silt and mud in her trailer. She said, 'I'm lucky, too.'
How can you not want to help? So, when my dear friend and amazing wedding photographer, Gabe McClintock put out the call to donate sessions to those people who weren't so lucky, I was immediately on board. And, so many photographers wanted to join us. I mean...MANY, MANY photographers. It was obvious in a very short period of time that organization was needed to help bring all of these amazing photographers together with families who could use their help in creating new memories. Together with my friend, Jennifer Kapala (wow...a more organized person I have never met...truly) and the amazing people at FLIPP advertising, we now have a home for this wonderful movement started by Gabe.
So, if you are a photographer who is wanting to help, please sign up at our new, amazing website made by the people at FLIPP. The fact that they created this website in about 48 hours completely BLOWS.MY.MIND.
And, to all of my families, if you have been affected or know of someone who has been affected by this terrible disaster, please sign up to receive this gift we'd all love to give you. We know you have a lot on your plates right now, but we are a patient lot. We can wait until your ready for our help.
I know that some of my clients are facing losing their homes. I want you to know that my heart and thoughts are with you now. I consider you all 'my families' and I don't take that idea lightly. If you need help recovering images from past sessions, please contact me and I'll happily go through my archives for you.
Finally, so proud to be Albertan this week. We are a generous, hardworking bunch. Salt of the earth. There is no better place to raise my kids.