This summer my family and I have been working to better understand how to make wiser purchases by educating ourselves about fair/just trade, well-made, sustainable, eco-friendly products and producers. We are aiming to steer clear of purchasing items from companies that aren't benefiting anyone but themselves, and to, in turn, support those who are doing a great job. It sometimes means more expensive products (but not always, as I've discovered). It sometimes means less convenient (also, not always). This is a really hard thing to do- especially if you know me. I'm super-frugal. I am frugal to the point that sometimes I question my vocation as a photographer, because the essence of my job is to create something that someone merely enjoys, rather than needs. I am a "needs" person. Which, I guess makes our attempts a finding great companies a little easier, as I don't really buy anything very often, other than food. A nice mix of super-healthy and super-sweet. ... and about here my thoughts get muddled and incomplete, so I start over.
Through all those muddled thoughts, if you made it, I was basically trying to say that:
A) we want to be a financially responsible family that supports aiding in the elimination of unfair working conditions that lead to endless poverty and bring awareness to wasteful processes in product creation and elimination.
B) we are also a company. we desire to be a transparent company that can share what we are doing to aid blessings God's people and the earth he made in a biblical way- balancing transparency with humbleness, sharing what we're doing without allowing pride or arrogance to get in the way.
C) and we're trying our best.
Here's what's gone on this summer that is of note to how we're helping out and being recognized for excellence in photography and our community.
1. I was recognized for my efforts in photographing products for Partners for Just Trade, based here in St. Louis. They are a great company, that spurred some of our efforts on. Check them out! (I even got a certificate!)
2. I became a member of Professional Photographers of America, and have agreed to follow their code of ethics in the way I conduct my business affairs. I am excited to join this network of photographers!
3. As I mentioned before, I am a needs person. When we moved in March, I broke my kitchen timer. A bride and groom I photographed in April knew nothing of the sort, but their thank you to me was perfect. It was a "purple" lemon kitchen timer! Now I can think of them, and have an extra lemon in my kitchen. I was blessed by their thoughtfulness.
4. Last year, I photographed an event for the Bridge, where I am volunteer staff photographer. I am pleased to help them spread the word for their 2nd annual FunRaiser at the Triumph Grille Check it out!
Convoy of Hope with Relevant magazine to rebuild 3 schools in Haiti. Maybe you could do it, too.
All that said is to say that our lives are busy. But they aren't too busy to make a difference. We made vows on our wedding day that align with the "Honorable Order of the Mustard Seed" from way back in the 16th century. We promised to "Be true to Christ, kind to people, and to spread the gospel to the nations." So this weekend, as we celebrate our passionate, one-of-a-kind, delighting, gushy, married love story, we'll also work to serve our community, blessing those in St. Louis who need to have kindness shared to them. We're still debating exactly where that will be, but wherever it is, it'll be well worth it!