Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Slowly but surely working toward finding the balance I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. I am not sure how to get there exactly but through a disappointment I have come to realize a few things about working with the goals of Soulumination.

When I was young we had lots of land and animals and space to live but not a lot of money. I worked hard one year and was able to afford an instamatic camera that was the newest thing in a "point and shoot" camera. I loved that camera, I had to buy my own film and figure out how to pay for processing but I really loved that camera.

Years later my love for photography stayed strong and after a couple of sad starts with pregnancies I was thrilled to be delivering a beautiful baby girl, followed by a second lovely one 21 one months later and I was driven to record them. All I wanted to do with Doug's old Nikon was to take photos that would capture the times of our girls' lives. That is still all I want to do for my family and my clients- capture their lives in a straight forward and meaningful way. And that is what Soulumination is trying to do, capture the beauty and love and grace and sometimes the sorrow in the lives of special human beings. I am blessed to have the support of staff and volunteer photographers and family and friends to move forward with this simple but special mission.

A month ago Soulumination had hopes of receiving funding that wouldn't involve a lot more than just continuing to do the best job we could for our families. Sadly this did not happen as it was decided that our mission did not target the people they wanted to benefit, we actually target a broader range of diseases and life threatening issues then they want to fund. In a second try it was decided that we were not large enough. I have mulled that over and cried a bit and tried to figure out a better approach next time we have a similar opportunity and many good ideas have come from the loss. I have realized something very important---if you give money to an organization, whether big or small, that money will only go so far. It won't be able to serve more people because the organization is bigger. It will serve more only if your costs of operating are less and if you work hard to keep overhead low. Since I give all my time to Soulumination and all the photographers give theirs and countless volunteers and board members and our bookkeeper and accountant give theirs, we may actually stretch dollars further than in a big organization.

Also, I cried a bit more thinking about the statement that we were not big enough when reading an email brought the news of the death of a beautiful young mother that we had worked with recently. We were just the right size to serve that family and we do our best to be there for every family that requests our photography services.

I would like anyone who wonders about the amount of work accomplished by Soul to come and just look at the file folders hanging in our drawers, each week they grow. I remember Anne Cunningham arriving in a visible state of sorrow when she delivered the beautiful banners for our 5th Anniversary that held the first name of every person photographed by Soul. If you take time to just read each name it hits you that its a lot of people, each one special, each one recorded for their families to remember their spark, their unique and beloved faces.

So once again we are hard at work making things for next years Artist Sale, designing new products and hoping that we continue to have the support of loyal donors. We are also blessed to have the new tee shirt just in time for Valentine's Day, we sold out of some sizes in the first days and a new order is on the way. We are so thankful to Gina Sook for taking lovely photos and for our first models, Austen and Matt (Austen is out of the hospital after her second round of chemo and doing really well) and we are so excited that Emily and her sister are going to be our next models. We have 6 more groups of models after Emily and we will be excited to share them all. We will work hard and keep our sights on serving as needed, being large enough and broad enough in scope to answer each request.

I share today the beautiful mom that passed away recently. She was photographed by our new photographer Tonya and we are so thankful that her two darling children have recent images of their mom.

Now off the the yearly mammogram. A little reminder that I am a lucky woman to have health and support to move forward at the size and rate appropriate to the task. In love and peace, Lynette

*** you can now order your tee on the opening page of this website thru paypal***