November 10, 2012 6:17:40 PM
Jan Swoope - [email protected]
A family photo is a cherished heirloom, a gift that can be passed from generation to generation. But not all families enjoy the luxury of booking a session for professional photos. Six area photographers have set out to do something about that this Christmas season. They are banding together to "pay it forward."
"Inspired by Arkansas photographer Amber Lanning, we all teamed up to share our talents and give to others," said photographer Katie McCrary of Columbus. "Each of us has signed up to do a photo shoot for a family that may have had a rough go this year, a child that may be struggling from an illness, or a community hero that needs some recognition."
Once committed to taking on the "Pay it Forward" project, the group consisting of Liz Behm, Emily Anne Callaway, Masa Kathryn Hensley, McCrary, Katie McDill and Renee Reedy, ran with the idea.
To encourage submissions from the community, they shot a video that will go live Monday on the blog payitforwardmississippi.com.
"We're so excited," enthused McCrary. "We're challenging the whole photography community to do this as well. This is the season to give. We all have different talents that the Lord has blessed us with; this is the time to use them."
Each of the six photographers will choose one submission from the area to shoot. All, except one group member who is expecting a child and will schedule her shoot after Jan. 1, expect to complete shoots before Christmas.
"We ask that submissions with details and story be for a family that has struggled this year, or a child struggling with illness, or someone you feel is a community hero that deserves recognition," stated McCrary.
Submissions will be accepted from Nov. 12 until noon on Dec. 10, by email to [email protected] Each selected family will receive, at no cost, 10 digital high resolution files on a disk, a 16-by-20-inch print, two 8-by-10-inch prints, and three 5-by-7-inch prints. Each chosen submission will agree to have photos displayed via the web.
McCrary recalled looking through her grandmother's old photographs, trying to imagine what her ancestor's life was like.
"Photos tell the story of our history," she stated. "If every photographer we reach could 'pay it forward' to one family, what a blessing that could be."
Photographer Emily Anne Callaway of Crawford added, "I'd love to see other photographers in Mississippi jump on board in their own communities. I hope this is just the beginning of our 'Pay it Forward' adventure."
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.