This year at Prairie Creative (the yearly conference of the Professional Photographers of Canada - Manitoba) Banquet Night I did a fundraiser for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada. The event took place a couple of weeks ago. It raised over $500, and the amount is still climbing!
Being the defending Photographer of the Year, PPOC-MB asked me if I was willing to create portraits for fellow photographers at the Banquet Night of the conference. I agreed...with one condition. The portraits would not be free, but would be sold for a token donation of only $20. That money would go to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada - a charity that I work with. I've had Crohn's Disease since before I was a teenager. My Mom had it her entire life that i was around for (sadly she passed away a few years ago). My brother was diagnosed with it as an adult. I have twin friends that both have it. It's all around my family, city, province...country. The Canadian Prairie Provinces seem to be ground zero for this disease, as the world's most concentrated area of infliction is right where I live.
Crohn's and Colitis are slightly different, but very similar diseases of the gut. Traditionally people just don't want to talk about intestine issues, so in the past people who have suffering from them have done so in private. Myself I've had two surgeries in my life because of Crohn's Disease, the last one nearly killing me in 2011 because of a ruptured bowl. While this disease has drastically effected my life, I know I have it easy compared to how some people have suffered. These diseases effect every person a little differently.
Thanks to The Lab Works, (a great lab and a PPOC Trade Member!) each portrait was printed with a white boarder as an Black and White 11x14 print. Each person also received a small version of the file to be used for social media. For only $20 it was a "screaming deal! lol In addition, the digital file of these portraits were made available for the people to purchase so they could be used for PR purposes. I photographed them any way I wanted as well as selected my favourite image of each person/couple and then finished it to my taste. The images were revealed last night and I've already been contacted by people wanting to donate further $60-$120 to obtain the high resolution file (depending on what version of the file they wish) so they can use these portraits as their new business photographs. So far (less than 24 hours after the reveal) the total is over $500 raised...and is still climbing!
This is a very worthy charity. While these diseases are very difficult to live with as an adult, imagine how devastating it is for children to cope with. I know because I was one of them. Even though you could not take part in this fundraiser, you can still help out by donating directly to the charity HERE.
Here are the portraits that I created: