Utah’s Adoption Exchange had it’s Heart Gallery opening Wednesday night at the Utah State Capitol. I wasn’t going to post about it publicly, but since it was on KSL News and people have been messaging me about it, I’ll mention it briefly here and then let you read more about it on KSL if you’d like.
For the last few months, some professional photographers including myself have been photographing kids in the Utah foster care program who tend to be older and often overlooked for adoption. It is a wonderful cause and especially good for the kids.
Having been a portrait photographer for so many years, I really believe in the power of a great portrait. People need great portraits of themselves, and it’s not about ego or esteem or being in love with yourself, but instead it’s about seeing your self-worth.
It is good to regularly see a great portrait of yourself, something that isn’t overly retouched or covered in effects, but instead is real and honest. A great portrait should capture the sparkle and light in you and make you feel good about who you are when you see it. That’s why I said yes to this program. I especially love to photograph children, and this was a great opportunity to share with some specific kids at a very formable age, a new perspective as to who they are inside.
There are many ways to help, and I think this is a powerful one. Imagine a child for instance that usually avoids eye contact and rarely smiles, but then is given a powerful photograph of themselves that they see every day. And in that photograph they see a different perspective of themselves and they know on some level is a true version of who they are. They know nothing is fake about the photo, and looking at it they see a version of themselves looking confident, have unwavering eye contact, and smiling with a glow and sparkle in their eye.
I know seeing an image like that speaks volumes to the subconscious and helps with identity and self-worth. I’ve had past clients tell me this very thing for years, sharing stories about their child I photographed, sometimes a high school senior who came out of his/her shell after our photo shoot, or of girls who had gotten married or their dating life surged because of the new-found confidence and new way of seeing themselves after our shoot.
I hope that that these kids we photographed for this adoption project will see themselves in a new light too, and that the families looking to adopt can see them in a brighter light as well.
I’m grateful to have been able to help with this project. If you’d like to see more about it, here is a link to the KSL news story, and here are links to the Utah Adoption Exchange and specifically the Heart Gallery photographs. (And above is the video clip from KSL’s news broadcast that should play by clicking on it.)
Until next time, America.