Amy Hedges Photography Blog » Albany, New York Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

A Day of Compassion {A. Hedges Photography Mini-Sessions; a fundraiser to fight cancer}

I read once, probably in a silly Facebook status, something about doing what you love and it being important enough to make a difference in the world. I know that my photography business is (usually) fun and I love doing it. I know that people enjoy my work and seek it out. But am I making a DIFFERENCE in the world? Is my work IMPORTANT? Honestly- no, I don’t think so. I had to do something- the pull to do something big was strong and it felt right.

I came up with this idea of a fundraising event. I had seen other photographers hold mini sessions and they’ve donated their proceeds to charity.

Easy- peasy.

But I wanted more than that- I wanted bigger. I wanted a full fledged party! A day of fun, photography, food and games….all the things I love wrapped up into one amazing day.

So I contacted Jess Lubin of The Good Karma Yoga Studio and we started talking. I thought teaming up with a yoga studio just made sense. Likeminded people working together for a great cause. And who better than a community of yogis who are always giving back with wide open hearts!? She and I started brainstorming and my idea quickly took off.

But who to donate to?

I wanted to keep our focus local and I wanted it to feel personal and powerful. I wanted to be able to relate to the cause and really get passionate about it. We were stumped…..

Until I heard about a diagnosis that hit home for me. Dylan Maycrink, the father of my daughters classmate, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Cancer runs wild in my family so this just made sense. There was my personal, local connection. I could really dig my teeth into this one. And oh man did I.

The day turned out to be so much more than I ever thought it would. Volunteers who didn’t know the family– who didn’t even know ME helped out that day. People contacted me to donate money, to bake treats, to donate services, people spread the word, people signed up!! My mini sessions sold out within just a few days. Many people attended the donation based yoga class and  even more people came for the “after party”, for the kids activities and just to say hi!

Yoga warriors went to battle that day and we all went home victorious.

The energy was amazing. I can’t say much more than that. It wasn’t a day of feeling sorry for the Maycrink family or a sad day for Dylan. It was a vibrant, compassionate, light hearted day that raised spirits as well as funds  🙂  I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and strength that flowed through the studio that day. We ended up raising just over $1400- not a drop in a bucket in the grand scheme of things, I know. But I hope that it will help them, it will help raise awareness, and help to find a cure.

There are so many people to thank, and I hope everyone knows how much I appreciate the hard work and effort you put into this day along side me.

Of course a photo event was heavily documented— here are a few highlights. Thank you to Darron Leddick and Lynne Cable for volunteering your time and photog skills to capture the day for me while I was busy with the mini photo sessions.

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I think this next photo kind of sums up the whole day.

Support. Connection.

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We don’t break we bend…

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The yoga class was blissful relaxation for the adults but we didn’t want to leave out the kids! So we amped up the energy with arts and crafts and other activities. We invited Twist n’ Flip Gymnastics and Kind Performing Arts to lead some activites, and Jess also got the kids swinging in an awesome aerial yoga class!

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The meditation jars were such a cool craft project for the kids to create!

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And speaking of Mini Sessions here are a few sneak peeks of the adorable families I got to work with that day.

But first, as I posted on Faceboook:

“Today was a day of being happy, lifting spirits, spreading love, being courageous, making laughter and raising awareness. While I did capture wonderful, picture perfect portraits— these photos are my favorite and truly embody what today was all about.”

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 Here are a few more of my favorite faces and some of me “in action” 🙂

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So thank you to Jess, from the bottom of my heart. You opened your studio with open arms and I am so grateful for your generosity and hard work. Thank you to each and every person who donated your time and service to volunteer that day. And thank you to everyone who donated prizes to the raffle, money to the cause, baked goods to feed us. To those who showed up and added to the positive, healing energy and to those who couldn’t make it but sent me encouraging messages telling me they were sending their love.

And one last word to Dylan, Christin and your family. I wasn’t the only person who has reached out to you to help. Since your diagnosis was made public, people have been coming out of everywhere to raise awareness and show you their support in so many different ways. It just goes to show how much people care about you all and want to see you, and everyone touched by cancer, be victorious. Thank YOU both for coming to the event and I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that you both enjoyed yourselves!