My Weddings: Helping Kids, Turtles and the World

When I first decided to pursue photography as a career, my initial goal was to shoot photos full-time for non-profits – specifically international humanitarian organizations. But there are very few people who are successful (make a decent living) at that without fear of being cut from the payroll.

So I shifted gears and by a random series of events got into wedding photography. It’s been fun, and I am excited with the couples I have this year and next. But the yearning to do more persisted…

I’ve been thinking about this since January, and am finally ready to just do it. – From now on, couples who book me for their wedding will have the option to give a small percentage – $50 – of their photography investment toward at least one of four organizations. It is the best way for me to balance the things I care about. While the need is everywhere, the groups (links are given with each name) I selected were chosen based on the high quality of work they do, and the success in continuing/fulfilling their missions. They are as follows:

The Children’s Therapy Center of the Quad Cities

I’ve had an incredible relationship with this organization for the past couple years. Based in Moline, Illinois, the CTC is the only Quad City-area facility that provides physical, occupational, speech, and feeding therapies to children up to age 9. I’ve had an opportunity to photograph some of the kids, and their parents will tell you that the therapy received has helped in many ways.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders)

I think most of us have heard of this organization. But here’s a refresher. They’re an international medical humanitarian organization formed by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. They’ve responded to about every major emergency in the world in more than 60 countries, whether it results from armed conflict, malnutrition or natural disaster. Most recently, they’ve had a strong presence since the earthquake in Haiti. And they have a Nobel Peace Prize to prove they’re awesome.

Peace Corps’ Health and HIV/AIDS Fund

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the South American country of Suriname (2004-06). During that time, my fellow PCVs and I worked on a wide range of health-care related projects. They ranged from organized initiatives to impromptu lessons about everything from daily exercise to nutrition to maternal care to HIV/AIDS. In some cases, we were left to our own imaginations to teach these lessons. The Peace Corps fund – which is a donation-driven Special Fund – helps volunteers tackle daily health issues in their developing communities by way of educational resources for schools, construction materials to build health clinics, and equipment, such as first-aid kits. It’s an important fund that has the potential for more than 7,000 U.S. volunteers to change lives in 77 developing countries – without the element of disaster.

The Turtle Hospital

Seriously, I couldn’t imagine offering something like this and not mentioning turtles. My interest in sea turtles stems from my Peace Corps days when I worked extensively with endangered leatherbacks. I haven’t looked at sea turtles the same way since. And long before the BP oil disaster, I struggled as to which turtle-related organization to support until I finally decided recently on The Turtle Hospital, based in the Florida Keys. This facility treats sick and injured sea turtles, many which have flippers amputated from fishing lines and/or have ingested plastic bags. The hospital can also perform surgeries. And the staff’s work has taken on greater importance since the oil spill. To see more on this hospital, take a moment to check out this news clip that aired just over a month ago.

My wedding couples will get to choose which organization(s) to support. In doing so, they’ll be contributing to something that will help make a difference.

Cheers,

Shuva 🙂

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About accentphoto
Accent Photographics specializes in on-location baby, children and family photography, and special-event photography of weddings in eastern

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