RareBirdPhoto1The young lady in these images is my 10 year old friend Anna. I really hope that you all have an Anna in your life. I have known Anna for a few years now and there are a lot of adjectives I could use to describe her. I think the best one, the all inclusive one, is kind. Her heart is kind, her actions are kind, and she emanates kindness, just having her around makes you feel good. Last year Anna was .diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia (FA), a rare and degenerative disorder. The news of such a diagnosis would bring anyone to their knees and pray for hope.

I wanted to help and provide hope for Anna and others suffering from FA and I wanted others to help too. I told people "Let’s do something good, together. I will provide the art, you can provide the kindness. If Anna can plant kindness into our world every day, so can we." 


RareBirdPhoto2On October 30th, Rare Bird Photography hosted a mini-shoot event where 100% of the proceeds were donated to FARA. Many of the researchers working on this disorder have stated that it is not an “if” but a “when” for a cure. With that in mind, I wanted to help speed up this process!!

The shoot was held at Anna’s beautiful 1920's house in historic Anneslie, MD. Anna’s mother, Kristin, is a well known event planner and has an amazing talent for creating spaces that are fun, creative and beautiful. The shoots were 20 minutes long, and for $75 each client would receive 20 edited images provided on USB. After the shoot, we invited people to please stop by the neighborhood FA bake sale!

RareBirdPhoto3On this one day, we were lucky enough to host 15 sessions. These sessions alone raised $1,125 and the bake sale raised $275!

In today's climate, I feel incredibly humbled by the fact that art, along with kindness, can really help change our world. This event, once again confirmed this notion for me

I would love to make this a yearly event. When I was 14 my Dad purchased my first camera, a Pentax K 1000 and with this new medium of expression, well, it literally changed my life. I found a passion for exploring the world and documenting the people and places that I interacted with. Photography helped me reconnect and build my confidence.

RareBirdPhoto4Do you know what is truly incredible? The human spirit. The ability to get together and do good for others. The strength to find the love in challenging situations. Rare Bird Photo, along with my amazing clients, friends, and neighbors raised money for FARA...Think about that for a minute, people coming together to do good, spread love, and create joy, and in some cases for someone they have never even met!

Photos courtesy of Kate Whalen, Rare Bird Photo