A Decade of Giving: The History of My Christmas Minishoots

It’s that time of the year again – the season of giving, gratitude, and cheer. Personally, this time of year brings memories of the heartwarming tradition that began a decade ago: Christmas Mini Sessions. The History of My Christmas Minishoots isn’t just about capturing beautiful family moments. It is about making a difference in the lives of those who need it the most.

My motivation to start Christmas Mini Sessions comes from my experiences with the foster care system. This time of year reminds me of childhood filled with simplicity rather than abundance. 

But let me be clear- this isn’t a sob story! It’s about resilience and the desire to give back to a community that often goes unnoticed. I am a mother and in a completely different place in life. And now I want my work to benefit those who need it this holiday.

The Mission

In the early days of my Christmas minishoots, it was about hearing and meeting the wishes of children in our local foster care system. Their requests were all over the place. They ranged from high-tech gadgets like iPads and iPhones to the basic essentials we often take for granted – socks, blankets, and hairbrushes. It was a humbling experience and a great reminder in thankfulness.

As the years have gone by and my photography business flourished, the scope of my Christmas minishoots expanded. No longer limited to gift-giving, I started reaching out to schools, paying off overdue lunch accounts, and settling long-overdue utility bills for families struggling to make ends meet.

The Impact

The impact was something I could see- something that brought peace. From ensuring kids had a warm meal at school to guaranteeing families had heat and water at home.

Planning for these sessions starts well in advance. A month or so before the event, I envision the setup and begin the process of purchasing decorations and essentials. The costs vary, ranging from $100 to $600.

(This year’s setup leaned towards the more expensive side.) The actual setup takes a few hours, but there’s a big sluggishness during the tear-down, probably a result of sheer exhaustion mixed with the satisfaction of a job well done.

The Outcome

This year we raised just under $3000. Some generous families even went above and beyond, contributing an extra $10 or $20. That’s obviously not needed or expected, but these additional donations are always deeply appreciated and help extend our reach even further.

With the list of gift requests from KVC in hand, I’m gearing up for the next phase. The next step is shopping for the items that will bring joy to the children we aim to support.

December 8th is marked on my calendar. This is the day dedicated to making sure that each child’s wish is fulfilled. The gift will be delivered. It’s gift delivery day! Where these Christmas pictures turn into a positive impact on the lives of those who need it most.

So as we jump into the holiday season- I wanted to not only share my work but a bit of my mission. I’m grateful for the opportunity to blend my passion for photography with helping others. Christmas Mini Sessions are more than just a photo session; they are a celebration of compassion, community, and the spirit of the season.

I hope this gives you an understanding of why I do what I do. And I hope it inspires you to find a way to give this season. Here’s to another ten years of capturing moments! And here’s to spreading joy! Lastly, here’s to making a meaningful difference during the most wonderful time of the year.