KINDNESS IN CREATIVITY
One of the most incredible things about photography is that the moment that is captured has the power to evoke genuine emotions for months, years and generations to come. I know the power of a photograph. When my wonderful dad passed away several years ago, we were packing up his home and suddenly the furniture, the trinkets, the stuff he’d collected over the years just didn’t matter. It was just stuff. The ONLY thing that held any value in those moments were the photographs. A photograph has immeasurable worth and truly is the greatest heirloom one can have. I believe it wholeheartedly.
Here at Style Pose Click, we have one primary core value that underpins all that we do. Kindness. To us, kindness can make a person’s day, can lift someone’s spirits and collectively, kindness has the potential to completely change the world. In fact, it trickles into my everyday life too. My two primary school aged boys know off by heart our household mantra of ‘It’s nice to be nice and it’s kind to be kind’ and I challenge them every day, asking them if their decisions have been in line with this. If it’s not nice, and it’s not kind, then it’s not an option. (It’s a work in progress though of course with my two rascals and isn’t all rainbows… we have our moments!)
Recently I have been overwhelmingly inspired by photographers in our community who are giving back. Photographers who are using their art and their talent to connect with the community in positive ways. Photographers who are capturing moments in time and who are making a difference for the greater good. Over the coming weeks we are going to be sharing and celebrating some of the inspirational stories of photographers who are doing just that in our ‘The Power of the Artists’ series, kicking off with Bernie Griffiths, founder of National Family Portrait Month.
NATIONAL FAMILY PORTRAIT MONTH- BERNIE GRIFFITHS
Bernie Griffiths had a dream to reignite the passion for traditional family portrait in the name of charity. With a phenomenal career in wedding and portrait photography that has spanned more than 40 years and a successful business coaching other photographers under his belt, Bernie took his idea and ran with it. A heartwarming plan that has grown into an incredible project that Bernie co-ordinates and that has just celebrated it’s 4th successful year. We chatted with Bernie about National Family Portrait month and how it is giving back to the community, both to charity and to the families who are having their photographs taken.
Tell us about your National Family Portrait Month project
Every year, we declare July as National Family Portrait Month across Australia and New Zealand. I work with professional photographers across these two countries, who offer their services free of charge for the project. These photographers photograph mothers with their children in portraits that feature in a book called “A Mother and her Children… A Loving Bond.” To be a part of this exciting fundraising initiative, families pay a $51 participation fee, all of which is donated to charity.
The book for 2018 was a fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish charity and is a celebration of motherhood and recognises the amazing contribution and loving bond that mothers have for their children. We are so excited that this years project has raised over $25,000 for the Make-a-Wish charity. (*Make-a-Wish are a wonderful charity that make the cherished wishes of children and teenagers battling life-threatening medical conditions come true.)
What inspired your project?
Over the course of my career as a wedding and portrait photographer I have done a number of fundraising projects over the last 40 years. I felt that by getting a group of photographers together for one month every year that I could raise even more money for charities
What are you hoping to achieve with your project?
The goal is to fundraise for various charities as well as encourage families to have their invaluable portraits taken. A family portrait is a cherished possession. We have achieved all our fundraising goals so far with National Family Portrait Month, raising over $100,000 in total.
Is there a particular charity you are supporting?
I actually choose a different charity each year to support. The charities we have raised funds for so far are The National Breast Cancer Foundation, The Women’s Cancer Foundation, Beyond Blue, and of course Make-a-Wish Australia.
Have you faced any challenges at all?
Really, the challenge was getting the project started 4 years ago.
What have been the highlights of running National Family Portrait Month?
There’s been several. Meeting all the tireless people that work for the charities. The outstanding support I have received from these charities. And of course the amazing photographs and support from the photographers who have joined this project.
What do you like most about being involved?
Seeing the smiles on the faces of the people from the charities I hand the cheques over to.
How can people support National Portrait Month?
Our portrait sessions have closed for 2018, and the book from this years family portrait sessions will be available for sale later this year. Visit the National Family Portrait Month website for more information. You can also check out previous years books here. And don’t forget to check back next June to get involved in the 2019 project!
You can email Bernie at email@example.com to find out more. And go and support the cause on Facebook too!
Check out Bernie donating an incredible cheque to Beyond Blue last year-
Here are just some of the many generous photographers who have been donating their talent, time and heart to this cause-