I made a pledge to donate 5% of my proceeds to the causes I care about. Why I do this?
Ever since I was young I got really upset when someone was dishonest or when an injustice was done. It always made me so disproportionally mad. But I never did the soul-searching to find out why I react like that.
Surprisingly, starting this business has really been an eyeopener in that regard. All the marketing articles are talking about "why", why you do what you do. At first, I thought "Well, maybe because I like taking pictures 🤨". But then I did an online photography course and the instructor recommended the book Find Your Why from Simon Sinek. I started reading and now I understand the relevance of this "why". Reading the book and taking the marketing course of Kristie Marie Photography helped me narrowing it down and explain my reaction to injustice and dishonesty. And let's just say it was a very confronting process.
What my why comes down to is that I want to make REAL photographs. You are who you are. When you book a shoot with me, know that I am not going to photoshop you so you won't even recognize yourself. I want you to embrace who you are because you are enough. And you deserve to love yourself. I am hoping that with beautiful images on your walls or a lovely album to browse through, you will learn to see that you are gorgeous. I want the people in front of my lens to know that they are worth it.
I have learned a lot by being and interacting with my horses. And based on that experience I believe that people are the most honest when they are with their loved pet. That bond is also very real and will only enhance the message of my images.
So, what do I care about?
We need to be allies for those who are continuously being discriminated against, who don't get to be exactly who they are without being afraid of repercussions. Donating a percentage of my proceeds is part of my effort to be consciously unbiased.
There are so many organizations that are deserving but these are the ones I decided upon.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
A few times now, my daughter told me about non-straight friends who have no one to talk to, who are desperate because they don't know what they identify as or what it means but they sure as hell know their parents won't accept them.
Shelterhouse is a nonprofit organization committed to providing safety, shelter, advocacy and counseling to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The Midland County 4-H Exceptional Riders Program, Tall in the Saddle (TIS), is a 4-H Proud Equestrian Program. It is one of about 46 county programs in Michigan. It was started in the Spring of 1976 through the interest of local volunteers and parents. The initial purchase of equipment was made with donated funds. The program was then, and continues to be, entirely supported and run by volunteers.
Horseback riding, following lesson plans and direction from a trained instructor, builds concentration, muscle control, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Horseback riding is a therapeutic form of recreation for people with mental, emotional, learning, hearing, visual and physical impairments.
YPC serves our youth like no other organization does in the area:
Emergency shelter for runaway and homeless youth in Saginaw, Gratiot, Tuscola and Midland counties
Substance abuse prevention programs and Designated Youth Tobacco Act compliance provider for Saginaw County
Parenting program for teen and young parents, long term housing for homeless teenage parents and their children and rapid re-housing rental assistance