We deeply believe that family photos are incredibly important.
Shannon and I have been wanting for quite a while to do a family session day where we can give away photos to families for completely free. We know that quality photography is a luxury that many simply cannot afford, so we wanted to make a way where we can bless people with family photos when they might not be in the place where it is financially possible. It is so important for a family to have a visual record so that years later, the kids and grandkids and the generations that follow can look back and have those memories. It’s true we all have hundreds of photos and videos on our phones and computers, but our families need something real that can be touched…that can be handed down. We believe that this is something that every person should have, so we want to do our part to make that a reality regardless of income or status.
Here is what we are doing. On Sunday November 2nd we are doing a 100% free photo day in our hometown of Collinsville, IL (15 minutes from the Arch). We are doing twenty scheduled short sessions with families in the morning and early afternoon, and later in the day at 3 PM until around 5:30 PM we are doing a free-for-all first come first serve family portrait time where we will get in as many people as we possibly can to at least do a single family portrait for them. All of these sessions are completely 100% free. It will not cost a dime. For those who do have the financial means, we will be accepting donations that will go to helping local families have enough food during Christmas…and we will not be keeping a penny of the money that comes in. We want this to be something that can bless as many people as possible. The event will be at Willoughby Farm in Collinsville (which is one of our favorite places to take our own son to walk and play), and it will be a wonderful place to hold the event. The address is 631 Willoughby Lane Collinsville, Illinois 62234.
EDIT: As of 9/31, all of the full family sessions are already taken. But, the family portrait time period is wide open and will be first come first served for as long as we can keep it going and people are waiting. We want to get in as many people as we can. For the family portraits, you just need to show up between 3 PM and 5:30 PM and head to the barn on the farm. We do not know if there will be a line (we hope people show up!), but there might be. We cannot guarentee that will be able to get everyone in if there is a massive waiting list, but we are going to do everything we can.
The only thing that we ask from this is that with the images you receive, make a print and put it in a frame. A print and frame will cost you less than $10 from a discount department store. If you literally cannot afford even that, then we will buy you a print. We believe in this very strongly, and we want you to have this for your family.
Use the gifts you have been given to bless someone around you. Light up the darkness.