We were honored to be invited there to take photographs of many of the couples and families attending. As you can see, the AFSC set up a backdrop to go along with their theme of a "Garden Paradise." We brought in our lights and camera equipment and went to work (or should I say, "Play!")!
One of the beautiful folks we were honored to photograph was Dr. Cordula Dick-Muehlke, Executive Director of the center. She is undeniably dedicated to the well-being of her participants, helping them to age successfully in the context of Alzheimer's Disease and other dementia. She is such an extraordinary person and has touched countless lives doing what she does. What a beautiful soul!
Our team was fantastic - thank you, Hayley, Adam and Dave! They were also excited to be there, helping others, and helping everything to run smoothly. We could not have done it without them. We photographed over 60 groups of people during the two hour cocktail hour. So many warm, friendly and simply wonderful people - what a joy!
A little bit about the organization: Alzheimer’s Family Services Center is one of the most inspiring nonprofit organizations we love to support. AFSC is located in Huntington Beach, California and offers a warm and welcoming environment where people living with Alzheimer's and other dementia are able to spend each day. The people who run this organization (many of which are volunteers!) are absolutely phenomenal. They are gracious and so devoted to helping make their participants' lives as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. It truly brought me to tears, seeing how dedicated they are to their members.
Here's Prasad working with several of the AFSC staff:
After cocktail hour was over and our job was finished, we attended the elegant dinner where the organization honored their "Participant of the Year," honoring her with a slideshow and her beautiful story. We were all brought to tears, it was such a lovely and moving story. It really brought home the fact that most people with Alzheimer's and other such illnesses are normal, often brilliant people who can no longer function as they once did. AFSC is the only Alzheimer's Day Care Resource Center in Orange County, and many people we've spoken to about this have expressed their wish that they had such a place in their area, with its state-of-the art facility, expert staff, and programs based on the latest research.
Everyone we met was just phenomenal and we are honored to have worked with them!
Our sincere thanks goes out to everyone that participated in our fundraising event last weekend! We were able to contribute greatly to the relief efforts in Japan thanks to all!
We adore each of the families that we worked with last weekend. One family, in particular, stands out when we think about how narrowly they escaped tragedy.
The Galvin family came to us on Saturday after just picking their Obachan ("grandmother"), Junkosan, from the airport. Her family had been in Sendai, Japan, just hours before the tsunami hit! They happened to leave scarcely one hour before the tsunami ravaged the city. We get chills thinking about how close they came to such calamity and we are so grateful they are all okay.
To the Galvin family and all of the other wonderful families that participated last weekend we say THANK YOU SO MUCH for being a part of this fun and successful event. We hope you will each treasure the photos that came from this session, and every time you look at the portrait you can be reminded of the wonderful deed you did, helping those in Japan that have undergone such tragedy and turmoil.
We are grateful to have had the opportunity to do our part to help with the relief efforts in Japan and we are so appreciative of our clients that participated with us. We had such a wonderful time and can't wait to see the photos!
We truly enjoyed spending our weekend photographing beautiful families, darling little children, lovely grandparents, hunky guys....(you know who you are!)
The news of the tragedy in Japan has really been on our minds. It is heart-breaking and devastating to think about each individual that has been affected - those that were lucky enough to survive. We have been longing to do something to help but we are not in a position to fly over there and assist in relief efforts.
So we came up with a plan.
On Saturday, April 9th and Sunday, April 10th we are donating as much time as is necessary for a series of $50 mini portrait sessions to photograph you and your immediate family! These 30-minute in-studio sessions will provide you with an everlasting gift for the one you love, however, even more exciting, is that the entire session fee will be donated to the victims of the recent Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami!
If you are interested in participating in this event, please contact us right away and we will set up your 30-minute session for Saturday, April 9th or Sunday, April 10th. This is a gift that will touch countless lives. There are only a few spots left! Don't miss out!
Her bat mitzvah is one of the most auspicious events of a young Jewish girl's life. It is always an honor to photograph this very special coming-of-age ceremony, and none more so than our dear friend Lurae's. Lurae came into our lives when she was just two. As the years passed, watching her lead the charge around the cul-de-sac, bouncing blonde curls flying, was always a joy to watch.
Lurae's mom (Randi) was a single mother who had fostered ten other children. When Lurae came into her life, it was love at first sight, and she formally adopted the child. What a wonderful life changing occurrence for both of them! In fact, Randi's experiences as a foster mom inspired her to found a nonprofit organization, Education for Successful Parenting (www.eduparents.org<http://www.eduparents.org/> ).
Look at Lurae now! A young woman, surrounded by love, dancing with joy!
Lurae's bat mitzvah ceremony took place at the Temple Shir Ha-Ma’alot in Irvine where she read the Torah and led part of the prayer service. Her grandparents came all the way from the east coast to witness the event, and many friends and family members attended - including Lurae's foster brothers and sisters - most of whom are grown now! How wonderful to see everyone together, celebrating this wonderful occasion.
After completion of the ceremony, it was time to hoist Lurae into a chair and take her into the reception room which was decorated as a jungle, wild animals and all (well, stuffed ones anyway)!
The food and decorating was provided by Solomon’s Bakery who kept that jungle theme going, including making a wild jungle cake!
The festivities were emceed by Chris Ledezma, a fantastic DJ from CD Players Entertainment. He came up with so many crazy and fun games, we secretly think he must be a kid himself! He even got the adults into the mood, playing games, joining the conga lines, and dancing along with the kids. Super entertainment by an amazing pro!
After the bat mitzvah, we invited mother and daughter to come to our studio to view a slideshow of their event set to music. They were both brought to tears and told us we had “...given [her] a gift [she] could never repay." In truth, it is our clients who give us the gift - the opportunity of being a part of their lives and sharing their special moments. That is exactly why we do what we do. And we love every minute of it.