My name is Aloma.

I am not a professional photographer. I don’t own a fancy camera or special equipment.

But, I am someone that wanted to find a way to give back at a moment in my life when I felt I had the least to give.

The Free Photo Project was born November 2008, from the appreciation of having my own photographs and the deepest desire to give that precious gift to those who may not have access to those resources.

I remember looking through some professional photographs of my children that we had had the privilege to have taken through a Trade for Print arrangement. I felt so grateful to have these beautiful pictures of my children. I thought to myself, “Everyone should have the opportunity to have great photographs taken!” Then it occurred to me that some people don’t get to have any photographs taken!

I thought of mothers who missed out on preserving the preciousness of their young child. Or the families who never had a family portrait.

I started the Free Photo Project with a small point and shoot digital camera. I didn’t own a printer. I didn’t have a backdrop or lighting. I was so nervous when I called the first place to offer my idea. I was worried they would be disappointed because I was not a professional, or because I didn’t have a fancy camera.

I was so wrong! People are so happy to have the gift of a photograph. I have heard stories that bring tears to my eyes. A homeless woman who wants to have her photo taken to send home to the family she hasn’t seen in years… The dad and his baby girl, their first photo together… A couple, living on the streets, glowing to have their photograph taken together… I have been at several events that offer free haircuts and people are so excited to get a photograph to show off their new do!

It has been an amazing journey.

The most beautiful thing about this idea is anyone who has access to a camera can do it! It is a simple, yet powerful way to give back. It doesn’t cost very much, but it means a lot.

It is an amazing feeling when you turn that plain piece of paper into a precious photograph. I truly believe in the power of a photograph to bring hope and inspiration in our most desperate of times. I know it has for me.

There are many ways to do this. I have found the best way for me is to connect with events that are already happening. This Thanksgiving I will have a table at an event that serves over 2500 people a warm nutritious meal for the holiday. They provide food, music, clothing, blankets, even massage! Its amazing to be a part of these great events that serve the community.

So, if this inspires you, get in touch with some organizations in your area, see whats happening and offer to come and take pictures! Be sincere and have fun.

And always, feel free to connect and ask any questions you might have, share your ideas and stories and lets continue to create more smiles on both sides of the camera!

Many blessings,
Aloma Loren