// helping those in need with my wedding photography
Today is January 31st, 2018. And one of the first things I did in the morning was to send $85 donation to a family from Netherlands. I’ve never met them before and never will. What caught my eye was a post by Huy (the man behind Fearless photographers) in my Facebook feed, asking to help a family from Netherlands whose house burned down in recent fire.
I was in.
“Why would you do that?” someone might wonder. Well…
Even though, I might have agreed with them several years ago, I really wouldn’t today. I’m not the same human being and wedding photographer I was few years ago.
We live in the world that is getting wilder and crazier every day. Therefore, I think it’s more important than ever to suffocate that negativity and remain human being.
my family getting together at the bonfire
when and how it all started
When in end of 2016 I was working on my wedding photography business re-branding and was planning wedding photography business expenses for 2017, I was curious: what would happen if I wouldn’t spend any money on advertising?
With this in mind, I made a decision: I’ll give it a try. As a result, my relationship with Wedding Wire and Wedding Planner and Guide was over.
All of a sudden, I felt liberated. And I was ready to pass my all advertising expenses to those who really need it (and no Yelp, it’s not you silly).
Things were about to get exciting!
where did it take me?
2017 went by.
Throughout the year my family and I made several contributions for individual fundraisers, natural disaster reliefs funds, etc. And when wedding and portrait photography work started slowing down around Holiday season, I thought to myself: why stop here? Right?
See, donating money for the cause of my choice directly was one thing. Of course, it made an impact, but, I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing to have my friends, clients and social media followers join me for a good cause?
in 2017, my family and I donated 5.8% of my wedding photography profits to help those in need. to some people it’s might seem not that much, but to me it’s helluva good start.
With this in mind, I went ahead and did series of studio portraits for clients for free, as long as my clients provided me with a proof of donation of $150 or more. As soon as I posted proposals on Instagram and Facebook, people started to respond!
Suddenly, I wasn’t doing it alone anymore!
Consequently, I influenced around $1,000 donations to recent victims of hurricanes in US and Puerto Rico along with victims of wildfires in California.
And you know what’s the best part? Being wedding photographer that gives back to those who need it more than I do AND influencing people around me to join me felt amazing!
Aerial shot of the beach in Little Gasparilla island
Those who know me, know that me would be me, if I would keep it all simple.
Here comes the magical question that has been asked before: Why stop here?
I’m talking to you, my friend.
I’m asking you to look around and realize how much you have already. As Gary would say, “you won the ultimate lottery” already when you was born. Not as a snail, not as some weird specimen on Mars, but as a human being. And that’s a good start.
At the same time, even if you think you’re poor, you most likely are not. In reality, you’re probably still in the richest 15% of the world’s population.
So I want to challenge you to find your cause. To find your battle. Roll up the sleeves, get to work and help your brothers and sisters who need little push. Give little love to mother nature. Donate to local pet rescue non-profit.
It is easier than you think an. And I promise- it’s a damn good and rewarding feeling!
Because your donation can change someone’s life.
And it will!
And one day, all the good you gave to others, will come back you.
In 2017, my family and I donated 5.8% of my wedding photography profits to help those in need. To some people it’s might seem not that much, but to me it’s helluva good start.
That was 2017.
In the meantime, we’re all are stoked about what we’ll do in 2018.
Thanks for reading!
Please share thoughts in comment section and help to spread the word by sharing this story!
In conclusion, I put a list of several recommended top charities where your donations would make biggest impact:
EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY
US HURRICANE RELIEF FUND
ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE
BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION
PREVENT CHILD ABUSE AMERICA
NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE
AGAINST MALARIA FOUNDATION
FOOD FORTIFICATION INITIATIVE
Local (Madison, Wisconsin):
WIL-MAR NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER
OPERATION FRESH START
UNDERDOG PET RESCUE
If you don’t see preferred charity organization listed here, please click >> HERE << and look for well rated non profits.
my nut family and I on a rental house stairs in Florida. February, 2018
All images used in this blog post are from Little Gasparilla island, Florida, where I am currently vacationing with my wife and kids.