NOMINATIONS FOR DOLL AMBASSADORS HAVE OFFICIALLY ENDED! IF YOU’RE READING THIS… YOU WERE CHOSEN TO BE ONE
There is LOTS of Info here so please be sure to read it all.
By now, most of you know my story, and those who don’t can easily find it in various news media HERE. While our story was tragic, God took our misfortune and turned it into a miracle giving me a platform to advocate for those the world view as, ‘the least of these’. I’ve single handedly been trying to pursue this mission alone for over the past two years- but, I need help because mine and my daughters story is just ONE of thousands, however there are so many various stories out there and not every single family will be able to relate to mine for that hope they are looking for- BUT, those who can’t relate to mine, will be able to relate to someone else’s, and thats where you come in. I believe that if someone would have shared their beautiful images with my husband after our daughter was born, that Hannah would still have a Daddy today, but unfortunately that was not the case and all he saw was the negativity on the internet, and he called her “defective” leaving us when she was only 5 days old; long before our wonderful Down Syndrome Association even knew we existed, AND I didn’t even know they existed until they found me. Time is of the essence, and the truth about our children’s abilities need to be heard BEFORE that parent chooses to abort or leave their precious child (abortion happens in 67-90% of cases of babies with a prenatal Down Syndrome diagnosis in the U.S.). Those numbers are staggering and MUST be changed. We all have things we want changed for our children’s futures who have various special needs, and down syndrome is just ONE of dozens, but the other voices need to be heard too.
There are SO MANY diverse abilities out there and so many warriors who need help fighting and need their voices to be heard. Most of the time that voice of advocacy falls on us the parents because our children often are non-verbal or too young to advocate for themselves. Pictures however, can be understood in every language and they tell a story of that very moment in time, but when we also add the beautiful stories behind those images telling of the joys our children bring to this world…they add a whole new dimension of hope to those who read it. Your child will be a beacon for those searching for the truth. There are people who have chosen not to abort their child or walk away from their marriages because of mine and my daughters story and the beautiful images they’ve seen of my daughter and many other faces in my portfolio of miracles. Images full of joy, love, worth, capabilities, and truth. REAL moments, and REAL families who are more than proud to shout the worth of their child. If we don’t believe in them and fight for them…who will?
No matter what your child’s diagnosis is or isn’t, you can advocate and become that lighthouse of hope to the world of parents who think they are facing a diagnosis alone. When the world shows them a ‘label’, you can show them a miracle.
And those of you who have children who are typically developing with no special needs to speak of are SO IMPORTANT, I can’t stress that enough. INCLUSION is key here. We need to see typical children interacting with those who are ‘different’ than them instead of the world being segregated into labeled boxes. Your typical children will be amazing examples of how unconditional love is supposed to look. Children do not naturally bully other children with disabilities unless they have seen someone else do it, or have been taught that they are ‘different’ or ‘weird’. And sadly, a lot of grown adults are the worst culprits when they use the “R” word and other immature and uneducated speech. Kids aren’t born hating others…it’s learned. So our job is to UN-teach it and raise children who will stand up for those who are ‘different’ and who will have their backs and educate others in the process. And any parent reading this right now who has a typical developing child already has the heart to be exactly what this generation is needing or else you would not have applied to be a Doll Ambassador. So on behalf of everyone here who has a child with special needs, I want to thank you for raising your typical child to be a friend to differently abled children. It means more than you could ever know to us mama’s who’ve had heart wrenching experiences of rejection.
SO LET’S DO THIS!
We will advocate through portraiture and through our stories. Each Doll Ambassador will receive a free 10 minute studio session here at the Doll House. These pictures will be used to introduce your child and their unique ability/s (2 digital images included). You’ll have the choice of the all white studio, OR a backdrop of your choice in Studio #2. Doll Ambassadors will be privy to special advantages as you help promote the mission of PDP which are listed below.
- Beginning this September, you’ll get early booking privileges for new collections before they are released to the public before they book up (this is especially beneficial when Spring, Summer, Fall and Christmas Collections are released)
- Print products in your gallery will be marked down 15% off the regular price
- You’ll get 25% off of a la carte’ digital images. Digitals are typically $20 each a la carte’ so yours will only be $15/image for any additional a la carte’ images you want outside of whats included in your package, in addition to full digital gallery discounts
- You’ll get an Ambassador gift certificate of $50 to use towards any one session fee up to 3 times per calendar year for your immediate family ONLY (i.e. mom, dad, & children only). Must be used at least once in the calendar year to be eligible for renewal again the following year, and cannot be rolled over to the next year. (*Excludes Model Call Sessions, and Fundraiser Sessions-Cannot be used in conjunction with other certificates- Cannot be used for sessions already booked prior to this Ambassador announcement). This certificate will be given to you at your free studio session mentioned above. It will be in YOUR name ONLY and is NOT transferable to anyone else nor can it be used to book a session for anyone aside from your immediate family as mentioned above). It must be mentioned at time of booking and MUST be shown when you come in for sessions for my signature so records can be kept for the amount of times its been used for the calendar year. The calendar year will begin Jan. 1 of each new year, however if you schedule your free studio session between now and Sept 30th of THIS year, you will have your certificate that you can use ONCE for the remainder of 2018, then it will be renewed for 2019 for up to 3 uses. If you live out of state and will be traveling here as many do, we will schedule your free studio session and any other session/s you want back to back because of your special travel circumstances. Travel expenses are of course always the responsibility of the client.
- You get 50% off of group sessions for advocacy. Periodically I will do group session Projects that will promote inclusion for varying abilities. I will post in the Doll Ambassador FB Group that you will be added to. Those who are interested can sign up for the sessions at half off and have the chance to book before it is released to the public at full price.
- Advocating for your child and others through beautiful Portraiture from your sessions with Paperdolls Photography by sharing the images on social media along with the link to my website that will have all Ambassadors featured with a short story written about each one by the parents describing their diagnosis, journey, and the joy your child has brought to your life (this is similar to the book project I released info on last year, but in digital/blog form). Please Note* Images that are shared on social media in regards to being a Doll Ambassador can ONLY be images I myself have taken that have my watermark on them and represent Paperdolls Photography and our mission. My website, pages, or name cannot be represented with images from 3rd party sources that I did not produce myself due to copyright laws. So links to my website/blog that are shared by Ambassadors cannot be paired with images that I myself did not take, nor can third party images be displayed on my website/blog. For example, you could not post something that says, ‘We are so excited our amazing Lily is a Doll Ambassador!.. check out her feature in this link!’ and have a picture I didn’t take attached to it. The text is fine, but the image would have to be one that I myself had taken. Someone else’s images cannot be represented under my brand name. Parents of children who are typically developing will write about what your child has learned from being friends or siblings of someone who has special needs and how that has benefited their lives. By sharing our images and stories, when others click the link, they will not only see YOUR child and their uniqueness, but other children of varying abilities as well. This will open up a whole new world to different diagnosis that someone otherwise wouldn’t have known about. I feel like we get so caught up in the diagnosis we are most familiar with, that others are often looked over who’s diagnosis aren’t as well known. So this will open up doors and hearts so that a voice is given to these children and families as well.
- When a Doll Ambassador shares a fundraiser in our Ambassador group that I’ll be setting up soon, help them get the word out by sharing it with your friends as well. Doll Ambassadors are from all over the US, and some diagnosis are so incredibly rare that there is little research or funding for help. This is one small way we can all help each other and raise awareness and connect others. You never know who’s in your news feed that could help make a difference in someones life.
- Be a friend and pray for each other. We all have various struggles in our daily lives and a lot of times we just need a place to vent, ask for help, or get information on things we don’t know the answers to, and even though some of us may not share the same diagnosis stories, we can still relate on levels that most cannot while also making our hearts aware to the Ambassadors who are raising typical children, and in doing so, it helps those parents know how to approach various questions their children may ask about different diagnosis. It’s a great way for education all across the board.
- Send families my way. There are SO MANY parents out there who would love to have there children shown in the same beautiful ways they see others in my portfolio of Dolls…not simple snap shots, but true and timeless Portraiture. Many have had bad experiences with other photographers because of the lack of education on various diagnosis; causing the inability to understand and connect with those children. Some have just been completely refused service altogether because they didn’t want a ‘child like THAT’ in their portfolio. There was a whole news story about that a couple of years ago. I can’t even image someone saying that to me. What an awful feeling to be turned down for pictures because the photographer didn’t like how the child looked. Other parents have told me that they would love to have pictures done, but just don’t see how their child would be able to take a ‘good’ picture based on the stigma of the negative experiences they’ve had or heard of in the past that make them think that way. But with other parents telling about their experiences here at Paperdolls, we’ve broken those stigmas down, and they now have beautiful Portraiture of their children hanging on their walls when they thought they never would. Everyone deserves to have that, period. Anyone who has ever had a session with me knows they will get beautiful, timeless images every.single.time. I pray before my sessions and ask the Lord to let the beauty He sees shine through in the images I take-to let me see what HE sees. Then I prepare, build, compose, and edit beautiful artwork for your walls that will one day be cherished heirlooms of your EXTRAordinary children. It’s not that I’m some magician or tech savvy photographer (in fact, me and most technology don’t get along anyways lol) but rather I’m just a Mama who was given the gift of my extraordinary daughter who God created just for me. He not only gave me Hannah Grace, but along with her He gave me a testimony, a compassion, and a lens to see others the way He does and I work very hard to be a good steward of the mission He has entrusted me with, and I feel more than blessed that you have joined me.
Beautiful images seem like such a simple concept but it goes so much deeper than that. Sometimes we can talk to people till we are blue in the face and they will never ‘get it’ BUT show a new mama of a child with down syndrome an image of little girls who also have down syndrome having a slumber party and its like their entire outlook on their life changes. If you haven’t noticed, my custom set designed sessions are created to show that children with special needs can enjoy the same things any other kids can do too. Its a game changer for new parents with children of varying abilities and anyone who sees the images in general. Because after reading so much junk on the internet and being told by doctors about what their kids CANT do, they are pretty conditioned to believe all the negativity surrounding them with little expectation, so when they see images like the ones I’ve mentioned, it literally changes their entire world and perspective. I’ve had so many families who showed up to their session and looked at the set I’d created for their child and immediately they burst into tears. It’s the most amazing experience to cry right along with them and then to tell them my story and introduce them to a world of people who ‘get it’ and who care for them and their child. And then of course when they see the finished images-oh my goodness the emotions that flood them. Its like a light of hope just jumps out of the pictures and grabs their hearts. Images are so very powerful, so lets use them to our children’s advantage and work together towards a future in which they can thrive.
Please respond to this email to book your free studio session. You will be notified once the Ambassador Facebook group is up and running.