I had decided back in November of last year that I wanted to honor those with Down Syndrome and their families again for National Down Syndrome Day (March 21). But, since I was due to have our third baby at the beginning of March, that wasn’t going to be able to happen. Instead, since my dear Uncle Royce was the main reason I have come to love others with this syndrome so much, I wanted to have the sessions take place around Royce’s birthday, January 18th.
I could not believe how fast my flyer was shared throughout Facebook. 7,912 people saw my post. 95 people shared it. I was completely overwhelmed and in awe of how gracious people were. Originally I was only going to do 4 sessions. But there were so many people that contacted me and asked about taking part in the sessions, I just could not say no. Thankfully, another photographer, Patty Hornsby, offered to help me if I needed anything.
I was getting nervous about how I was going to pull off having 8 families that morning. Then the weather report said that it was not only going to be very cold, but that there would be rain the day before and during our sessions. I was worried about my clients getting muddy in the field that we were originally going to use. When I tell you that God has a plan, I mean it. He had His hands all over this! My wonderful friends, Christina Johnston, Mary Ellen Pollard and Burt Rich stepped up and offered to help. Christina owns SNAPP Studios and allowed me to shoot there for FREE and use her back drops and lighting. She and Burt came an hour before the sessions started to help me get the sets put together and to make sure that the studio lighting was done properly. Did I mention that I was not used to using studio lighting? I was a nervous wreck, but these two are truly angels and doing God’s work. Mary Ellen couldn’t be there that morning but was so generous in allowing us to borrow her lighting also. Christina and Burt stayed the whole morning with Patty and me to help with the flow of clients in and out of the studio.
The day went flawlessly. I love how supportive our community is for Downs Syndrome. And I love that there are other photographers out there that are willing to help you out no matter what. I can’t say thank you enough to these outstanding people. They truly have hearts of gold. And I only hope that someone will continue this tradition that I’ve started and have a session next year for National Down Syndrome Awareness Day since I won’t live in Huntsville any longer.