It has been exciting and, at times, challenging, to have two businesses. There are wonderful attributes to both endeavors, and, every once in a while, I get to experience the benefits of both at the same time. Back in May, my photography business and travel business overlapped when a family from Charlotte traveled down to see a festival I was promoting on travelingink.com. Their young son, Will, was partial to the Old Crow Medicine Show, who headlined the First Flush Festeaval at the Charleston Tea Plantation. When the Curtis family saw the concert posted on the Traveling Ink facebook page, they decided to plan a trip down to Charleston. When they arrived, they also decided to book a photography session.
A couple of shots from the Curtis family photo session:
We started the morning off with an early photo session in the park, and then I got to share the day with them as we shopped downtown, took a carriage tour of the historic district, enjoyed lunch with a great view of Charleston Harbor, and even a quick run through the fountain at Waterfront Park. It was so wonderful to not only be able to deliver updated portaits of their family, but also to share insight about this city of Charleston I have come to love so. I love it when two great things combine!
This week, there is another fantastic opportunity for my two worlds to collide. There is a giving back section on this website, and on it are a few organizations, ministries, and nonprofits that Traveling Ink is proud to support and raise awareness for. Camp Happy Days is one such organization. A friend who I have an abundance of admiration for, Teresa Bishop, has served as the Programs Director at CHD for a number of years, so I have heard a good deal about it. I knew I wanted to share this great nonprofit on the website almost as soon as I decided there would be a giving back section.
Camp Happy Days exists to support and encourage children who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families. They believe that "every child battling cancer in South Carolina should have the opportunity to benefit from a summer camp experience and other life-changing programs regardless of family income or economic status". Therefore, every program they offer is free to the families that they serve. This week they hold their summer camp for kids from all over the state. It is the pinnacle of their planning, fund raising, and programming for the year, and I have the opportunity to help photograph it along with my friend and fellow photographer, Hannah Farmer.
One camper's take on Camp Happy Days:
Though I've heard a lot about camp, I've never been out to Camp Bob Cooper in Manning, SC where Camp Happy Days is held. I can't wait to make the 90 minute drive. From the schedule I've seen, it doesn't look like there will be a dull moment. Each day there is a theme with programs and events that coincide. All week kids have the opportunity to focus on being kids instead of patients as they swim, play field games, do arts and crafts, watch movies on the big screen underneath the stars, participate in a camp talent show, watch fireworks, and go to a camp prom near the end of the week. Someone also told me yesterday to make sure I get blobbed before I leave camp. I'm pretty sure that involves me flying through the air toward a body of water at a somewhat rapid rate, so I might wait until the end of the week to participate in that adventure. All in all, I am so looking forward to being a part of this experience and, moreover, having the privilege of photographing the kids as they get to enjoy all that the amazing Camp Happy Days staff and volunteers have prepared for them.
Please take a moment to check out Camp Happy Days, either on this site or theirs. They are an organization worth supporting both with time and resources. On a personal note, I'd ask for readers' thoughts and/or prayers throughout the week for myself and all the volunteers, that we would have strength, energy, and compassion to support and serve these kids well.
Audra Gibson is a Christian, photographer, surfer, and a lover of music and teriyaki steak bites. She doesn't like to be cold, and she's a bit of a cheese snob, but that's not her fault (she was raised in a gourmet cheese shop). Traveling Ink was her little brain child and she's very happy that you're here. She'd be oh so happy to recommend her favorite restaurant in town, take pictures of your family, or organize a night (or weekend) of fun for you.Website: www.audragibson.com