Every now and then, you find yourself lucky enough to participate in something that can really make a difference. On July 8, 2014, I’ll have just such an opportunity.
As many of you already know, I’ve been with the Professional Photographers of Canada for a few years now. Because my industry is an unregulated one – literally anyone can simply call themselves a “photographer” – genuine professional organisations like the PPOC (and CAPIC) provide the people who are serious about the craft a means to demonstrate their commitment to continually improving their abilities and knowledge through accreditation and achieving designations (such as the Master of Photographic Arts, which I earned earlier this year).
Ultimately, while clients can find this reassuring, knowing they’re not just getting a hobbyist, it’s really a personal benefit. There is, however, the odd occasion where membership can afford us a chance to do something that benefits others … and not just other photographers.
On August 24, 2013, Shannon Moore and Adam Snook took their vows before friends and family. They hired a professional photographer to capture their memories (always recommended), but then the unthinkable happened: shortly after the big day, their photographer was the victim of a theft and lost all of her equipment … including the hard drives containing Shannon and Adam’s wedding images! All they were left with were some snapshots from their guests.
Well, when we (and by ‘we’ I mean the Western Ontario Branch executive) heard about this, there was only one course of action: gather as many industry people as we could and do what we could to replace what was lost. The call went out in southwestern Ontario and the response was simply amazing!
The list of volunteers filled up quickly: Kurt Brown of Guelph’s Two Tone Studios handling the photography, London’s Melanie Richards Hair and Makeup Artistry and Mallory Antone of Beauty by Mallory, Luca Ragogna of PicFoundry in Barrie, Mary Faustino from The Cake Engineer, Katherine Seiggel and Sarah Tomlin from A Petal or Two – all also from Guelph, and Reverend Micol Cottrell of Allenford and Park Head United Churches, with our branch executive (Julie, John, Brad, Kim and myself) handling the organisation, catering and educational aspect of the event.
Each person has generously donated their time to recreating Shannon and Adam’s wedding memories, specifically the ceremony and formals. The flowers, cake, the music, hair and makeup, even the minister – all put together in a show of support to replace at least a small portion of what our young couple had taken from them. When all is said and done, every newlywed couple has two things at the end of the day: each other and their photographs. We want to make sure that that’s true for them, too.
“But, wait … educational aspect”, you ask? Exactly right. The PPOC is, after all, focused on educating photographers, thus making for a stronger industry. So, we’re also allowing a limited number of photographers to attend, learn and sharpen their skills, all the while seeing how they can help the people in their communities (in addition to providing a superior service to their clients, which should be the goal of any professional … in any industry).
I’ll keep you posted. Here comes the bride!