The Olivia Act | Giving Back


One of the things I’ve always wanted to do with this business is give back. One day I hope to be running a business successful enough to replace the two jobs I’m currently working (or at least one of them) and to have the opportunity to share all the things I will have learned along the way with others. I also want to be able to give back to my community by donating the gift of photography to those who otherwise might not be able to afford it. Day in and day out, I see horrible tragedies happening all over the world. I always want to do something, but I’m never sure what exactly that should be. On December 14th, 2012, I watched with the rest of the nation in horror as the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School unfolded. My heart hurt for the families of the babies that wouldn’t be returning home from the school that day. For the parents that would have to face Christmas presents hidden in the closet that would never be opened. I wanted to HELP, but I didn’t know HOW.

Until now.

I have heard tidbits about the Olivia Act here and there, but I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. Recently, some ladies were discussing the project in a photographer forum I am a part of, and felt something telling me that THIS is how I can help. The following is from the description of The Olivia Act’s Facebook page:

Dec. 14, 2012, is a date that will be etched in my memory forever. On that day, 26 people lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including 20 children, in what was one of our nations deadliest shootings. The images will haunt me for a long time. I cried and cried all weekend long, and I felt I should really do something. I had seen images of Olivia Engel and her family from a professional shoot they had done not that long before little Olivia was killed. I know how much that family must cherish these photos now; so, I thought it was so important to give back using my skill as a photographer. It started out with me just offering a free 30 min. family shoot to a family that might not otherwise have images made, but a lot of other photographers wanted to do the same. So, I created The Olivia Act. I challenge every photographer to do this for a family! You do NOT need to mention my name, just do this out of the goodness of your heart, no matter what city, state, or country you live in. It’s 30 min out of your life and can mean so much to a family.

I’m really excited to offer this to a family in need. Here’s what you need to do to nominate a family:

– Think about a family in your community who is experiencing a hard time that would really benefit from a family photo session. This can be financial difficulty, an illness in the family, anything really.

– Send an email to with “The Olivia Act Nomination” in the subject line. Tell me about the family you are nominating and why you think they deserve a free session.

Nominations will be accepted until Tuesday, January 31st. The winning family will be announced on Friday, February 8th. The session will take place in the Spring, taking into account availability of the family and myself.

Nominated families must live near Richmond, VA (within 1-2 hours) or be willing to travel to Richmond for their session.

The winning family will receive a one hour family photo session, free of charge. A disc of digital images will also be given.

If you are a photographer and are interested in participating in your own Olivia Act, you can check out their Facebook page by clicking here, or visit their blog by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.

I look forward to seeing your nominations!


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