Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On giving back...

I have had so much trouble writing this post. My thoughts and emotions and epiphanic moments have been all over the place this week. I'm not a writer. I wish I were so that I
could explain all that has been happening in my head and my heart clearly in a way that
made sense. Bear with me.

When I began this journey of photography, my purpose was to somehow combine my two roles; nursing and "shooting people", and use it as a way to give back. Each day I go to work,
I am reminded how many blessings in my life that I have. I decided long ago that I would offer free sessions and prints to patients with cancer. I have missed working with cancer patients and felt this would be a great way to give back to people who have taught me so much. I have not been quite sure how to go about offering this, and as of yet, have not come up with a plan.

A few weeks ago, a fellow RN approached me about getting some family portraits done. Sadly,
her father in law is battling cancer and they wanted to update their pictures with him and all the kids. So, the one thing I have been wanting to do for someone just fell right in my lap.
Perfect. I feel so strongly about being able to do this for people. This is just the gift I want to
I can't really explain why I lacked the confidence to offer this to people just yet, but I have.
I'm forcing myself to just get over it, move on, come up with a way to let people know, and just do it.

There are a few reasons for, come the epiphanies. I now know that taking my first workshop with Zack Arias, was so much more of a blessing beyond taking the mystery out
of lighting off camera. I had a thought last week that I hadn't checked his blog site for a while.
He hasn't been posting as often since the birth of his new boy. Understandable. Photography business-workshops-studio-family- blogging should be way down on the "to do" list. I was happily surprised to see a new post there: "How many of you are standing on the dock?"

This post was prompted by a letter from a gent who had reached the frustration point and lacked confidence to follow his dream of photography. This led to the next post, a brilliant
interview with a young man selling soap; "Dope, soap, and hope." It is worth your eight or so minutes to watch. Please click on it if you feel like you would like to be inspired. You'll thank me. So, from there, I bought some virtual soap, was able to meet up with my friend and her family, and will happily provide this service to patients that I am able to help. I will go forward. And now, on December 12, 2009, is planning a worldwide event to challenge photographers to give back and service those in need. Awesome and I AM IN! I'll be working on this as well. And just to share how important these portrait sessions are and how
excited I am to be offering this to others, below is a small series of just a few of my favorites from the day.
Thanks for reading and I hope you are inspired to help others in some big or small way as well.

Thank you for the opportunity to give back and my best to you guys always!
Enjoy this sunny day!!


  1. breath taking photos..inside and out.
    your a good woman.
    so blessed to be related to you.

  2. Touche'.......Thanks for spending the time with me yesterday Sis.....Much appreciated and also spending each day with me just by being right here....You'll never know how close you make me feel even though I am not near.Love ya Heidi

  3. I got me one of the good ones....
    love ya

  4. Thank you will never be enough... xo Mel Artle

  5. Aloha Sissel, Thank you for sharing your gift of photography. I am apart of Melissa's family from Hawaii. I am Melissa's step mom, Kim. Sadly Melissa's own Dad was diagnosed with cancer and he died August 30, 1990. I am not a "professional photographer" but I cherished every shot of the family. During Randy's illness one of my children dropped my camera!With my broken camera in hand I raced over to the main office for Cannon to get my camera fixed. I told the clerk my husband was dying and my camera meant so much to me! Much to my amazement, when I returned to pick up my camera, they said there was NO CHARGE! As I sit here today reflecting on that "act of kindness" I am so blessed to have my photos of Melissa, Quinn, Dustin, and their Daddy! So this letter is to THANK YOU, first for your work as a nurse and secondly for giving back by way of your photography to families affected by cancer. My family and my photos of them are true gifts! Thank you for blessing my "extended family" by your kindness and talents! May you be blessed, Aloha from Kim

  6. This is so great, I'm so happy you did this. These pictures are beautiful!

  7. Thanks for the lovely posts everyone....and yes, for me, thank you is certainly enough.