Posts tagged #SpreadKindness
#GivingTuesday - Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

(#GivingTuesday is part of a weekly series of blog posts highlight Birmingham wedding vendors that use their time and talents to serve others. Those that go over and beyond so that #GivingTuesday becomes #GivingEveryday.)

"My Child Existed"

There are many photographers, nationwide, that volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. NILMDTS offers "the gift of remembrance" to parents who have just recently lost their newborn baby.  The photographers are contacted by the hospital so that they can serve a family in the most difficult time. 

In the Birmingham area, we have (at least) two photographers that give so selflessly of themselves that they have been volunteering with NILMDTS for 7 years.  Butch and Joy Oglesby (Blue Moon Studios), not only are fantastic wedding photographers, but they also make beautiful images of recently passed infants so that the parents can have priceless professional pictures of their baby forever - pictures without tubes or wires or anything like that - just pictures of the parents loving their baby.    

"It is a hard thing to do sometimes, but always rewarding because we can give the family something to remember their child. One mother told me it says "my child existed."  We were photographing an event downtown and a young woman approached us and said "you don't remember me but, you photographed by child that passed away two years ago, and as she cried she told us how much the photos we took meant to her and her family......that makes it worthwhile." - Joy Oglesby

NOTE: Butch and Joy will be hosting Artists on the Bluff from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon TODAY!!!!! Go check out what they have plus the other artists in the old Bluff Park Elementary School.

Main Street Productions will become Cinepear in January 2016.

#GivingTuesday - Help Portrait

So today is the official day!  We start with Thanksgiving, then Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and then we all get to reflect back on our blessings and promote giving for #GivingTuesday.  If you have read the previous posts about this topic, you understand my frustration with a once a year trend on something that needs to be a daily occurrence - thinking of others.  But I'm still going to take advantage of people's kindness on this day.  'merica

I thought about doing a blog post about all of the difference corporations that are matching donations or if you tweet a selfie about whatever, then someone will do something amazing.  Great.  Perfect. Keep it coming.  Since this post is not covering all of those many items, please refer to our Twitter account as I'm trying to keep the ideas following over there (@mainstreetav). I just encourage you to do something. Anything.

This week's feature is Help Portrait. "Each December, photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists all around the world will find people in need, take their picture, print their picture and then deliver it—free of charge."  (taken from their website) The organization was started in 2008 and is has grown considerably, even including a Birmingham branch.  

This Saturday, December 5 starting at 9:30 a.m. Help Portrait project will start to benefit Birmingham's YWCA.  Butch and Joy Oglesby (Blue Moon Studios), Gretchen Birdwell (Gretchen B Photography), Amber Ford (Amber Ford Photography), Juan Rodriguez (Juan Rodriguez Photography), Keith Rogers (Keith Rogers Photographer) and Barry Altmark (Photographer turned Deep South Rabbi) will team up with makeup artists Laura Eason and Jackie Robinson (Rawwbeauty) to "gift" the perfect gift for those less fortunate.  They are using their time and talents to make a difference in someone's life.  

If you have a way that can benefit this great organization, contact Barry at

You can even read an article that did of last year's event.  

Main Street Productions will become Cinepear in January 2016.

#GivingTuesday - Compassion International

I was so excited to start this blog series highlighting Birmingham wedding professionals that I have found with these amazing, giving hearts. I want to surround myself with them.  I’ve loved researching and talking about their passions.  Each #GivingTuesday, I can’t wait to be able to post what I have found.  You guys all know, that I want everyday to be a “giving day” - why does it just have to be once a year.  You can read my previous post for that rant.  But for now….

Meet Allison Lewis. I want to be her BFF.  She is the kind of person that everyone wants to be around.  She makes you feel good about yourself.  And she is changing the world for the better.  Since 2012, every wedding client that has hired Allison Lewis Photography has actually had a portion of their fee donated to Compassion International on their behalf, specifically, the women and children of Sadamo Genet, Ethiopia. You should read her blog post about the two trips she and her husband, Josh, took during the adoption of their son, Micah.  Extraordinary.  But get this. To date, over $15,000 has been donated.   Wowzeers!!!!!  $15,000!!!! She tells me, "I love that my clients help serve in such an incredible and tangible way!!!!"

This week, Allison and her family will be welcoming a new addition to the Lewis clan.  Boy or girl, they don’t know. They don't know any details.  They just love the child and can’t wait for the birth mom to go into labor. As you would expect, there is a sweet story associated with this adoption, so be on the lookout for it in the coming weeks.  I’m sure it will be accompanied with a TON of pictures!  #SpreadKindness people. We are all capable, sometimes we (me too) just need to be reminded.  I love this family, especially their hearts.