Monday, September 20, 2010

I’m Dawn Lucrisia-Johnson, a volunteer photographer for Soulumination. I was honored when Lynette asked if I wouldn’t mind entering a blog post while she was traveling. My introduction to Lynette’s creative style and loving spirit took place nearly 17 years ago, when I asked an architect working on our building if I could see a photo of his daughter. I had no idea that his wallet sized photo would create such a fairy tale inside my head. Her candid approach and the sepia tone seemed to tell a deeper story than any photo I’d seen before. Lynette quickly became my photographer of choice.

I have always been a creative person, but part of the desire to be a photographer came from seeing Lynette’s work. It has a very beautiful and haunting quality, it stays with me. I attended Lynette’s first showing when Soulumination was just getting off the ground. It touched me enough to start donating, but somewhere deep within myself, I wanted to be a part of it and to give to the families the way that Lynette does.

I didn’t grow up with a camera in my hand nor was I a part of the yearbook staff in high school. I was a late bloomer. My passion for photography was a recent development that took place only 3 years ago and when I realized I had a gift I wanted to share it.

My son has acute asthma coupled with a severe egg allergy and he and I spent a lot of time in and out of doctor’s offices, emergency rooms along with two separate week long stays at Children’s Hospital. Watching him with labored breathing wasn’t easy, but when I would leave the room, I looked around and would see many children with their families and although what my son was going through was scary, it paled in comparison to what others were going through. But we all had something in common. The love for our children.

Each time I do a shoot, I look through my viewfinder and see amazing love, devotion, strength, courage, faith and hope. I am in awe of the strength of the families and children and I am deeply honored that they allow me into the most tender and private moments of their lives.

Although my children are now 23 and 17, I look back at the photos Lynette took as some of my most treasured memories. I hope that the photos I provide these precious families can do the same. As a wedding photographer, it inspires me to keep loving my husband and as a Soul photographer, it inspires me to be the best parent I can be because I have such true examples before me. Soul families have raised the bar for me and I can only hope that my arms are long enough to reach it.