A 8x10 portrait of a young boy named Olivier taught me the power of photography when I was very young. It has been hanging on my parents’ wall for more than 58 years. Olivier was my older brother, who passed away a few days before I came into this world.
This portrait of Olivier is more than just a photo. It is a precious memory, a lasting legacy, a tangible connection to my brother who I never got to meet. It is a gift that my parents cherish and that I treasure. It is a reminder of the fragility and beauty of life.
That is why I resonate so deeply with Soulumination’s mission. They provide families with children who have life-threatening conditions with the same gift that I received: the gift of photography. They capture the love and joy (and sometime grief too) that these families share, the strength and courage that they show, the hope and grace that they embody. They create images that honor and celebrate their lives, that preserve and share their stories, that comfort and heal their hearts. They make a difference that lasts beyond a lifetime.
As a volunteer photographer for Soulumination, I have the privilege of capturing the precious moments of families who have children with life-threatening conditions. Soulumination is a wonderful local organization that provides free professional photography and custom photo gifts to honor these families and celebrate their lives.
I have been working with Soulumination for nearly 12 years (and over 100 sessions), and I can honestly say that it has been one of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences of my life. I have met so many amazing and inspiring people, both the families and the staff at Soulumination and Children Hospital, where I often photograph the children.
Every session is different and unique, but they all have one thing in common: they are filled with love. And sometimes with joy and hope, other times with sadness and grief. I try to capture the essence of each family and their story, their personalities and their emotions, their strength and their beauty. I want to create images that they can cherish forever, that reflect their bond and their spirit.
Sometimes I photograph the children at the hospital, where they are undergoing treatment or waiting for a transplant. Other times I photograph them outside, at a park or their home, where they can enjoy nature and have fun or even in my studio. No matter where we are, I always try to make them feel comfortable and relaxed, to let them be themselves and have a "normal" family time, when nothig else is.
I am honored to be a part of Soulumination’s mission and to share my passion for photography with these families. I am grateful for the opportunity to witness their courage and resilience, to learn from their wisdom and grace, to be touched by their love and gratitude. They have taught me so much about life and what really matters.
If you want to learn more about Soulumination or support their work, please visit their website at www.soulumination.org. However you won't find sample on my portfolio, by respect to the families (and respect of HIIPA rules.)
Thank you for reading. You may also check this video below from Soulumination that discuss the experience of Soulumination from partners and clients point of view. I took some of the photos displayed there. And I am indeed the "Pierre" mentioned by Enyo and Charles Ofori (starting at 3:35).