Last year I had the privilege of photographing the Isabella Santos Foundation’s 5K for Kids Cancer. The organization was started by and now honors the memory of Isabella Santos, a seven year old who lost her 5 year battle with Neuroblastoma in June 2012.
Isabella was a little girl who had 3 big wishes: “beat cancer, grow hair, live my dreams”. Her story touched the hearts of many children and families in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. The goal of the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) reflects Isabella’s wishes by aiming to “raise money and awareness for Neuroblastoma research, provide financial assistance to families with children who are suffering from cancer, as well as provide financial support for organizations that support children with cancer.”
A good friend of mine is very close to Isabella’s family and is deeply involved with the foundation. I follow all her Facebook posts and updates and saw that the Isabella Santos Foundation was looking for local businesses to sponsor the 2012 5K for Kids Cancer. This time last year I had just started my photography business and was not in a position to do a full sponsorship, but I felt I could give back by volunteering to help cover the event. So I asked my friend about the possibility of photographing at the race. She initiated introductions to the appropriate board contacts. I assumed the foundation was already working with another photographer, so I was thrilled to find out they could use some additional help for the 5K event!
When I first started my photography business, I knew that at some point I wanted to take photographs for a non-profit organization or good cause but I also wanted to work with a group which I admired, supported and felt connected to. As a children’s photographer and the mom of 2 young boys myself, I could only imagine the struggle and hardship Isabella’s family went through as they battled with cancer. Yet, through their strength and with the support of others, Isabella’s foundation is growing strong and is determined to make Isabella’s wishes come true for other children out there!
During the 5K, I immediately gravitated towards the Kid’s Zone. I was surrounded by pure joy! Face painting, bounce houses, hula hoops, a picture booth and SO many more child-sized activities showed smiling faces everywhere, they even had a special 1 mile Fun Run designed just for the kids. My husband and boys participated with other friends in the race. It was awesome to see such a huge gathering of families with children supporting Isabella’s cause.
To me, photographing a good cause means that my work is 100% about supporting, promoting and generating awareness for the organization. I ended up with about 60-70 edited images from the race. None of the photos I gave them were watermarked with my name, and I insisted that all of the images I posted online have only the Isabella Santos Foundation’s logo. It was an honor to help cover such an incredible event, and I’m excited to be a part of it again this year!
If you live in the Charlotte, North Carolina metro-area and would like to register, sponsor or donate to the 2013 5K for Kids Cancer please visit the ISF website. You can learn more about them by following their Facebook page.
6TH ANNUAL 5K RACE FOR KIDS CANCER
SEPTEMBER 21ST, 2013
BALLANTYNE CORPORATE PARK