Giving Back; Photography Sessions in RI, CT and MA

 

Family, Maternity, newborn and wedding photographers in RI give back

With a healthy son, each other, and a business that we love, we are too lucky in life to not try to pay it forward as much as we can.  Each year, we donate to dozens of charities but it’s always important that we make time for a more “hands on” project.  Our first project, the surprise princess shoot, (A Surprise Princess Tea Party) will stay in our hearts forever so we decided to make it an annual project. Here you will see some photos and excerpts from each project we have been involved in since. If you know of anyone who deserves to be part of our next project or you simply have ideas you wish to share with us, feel free to contact us! For more information about remembrance baby photography head to: Now I Law Me Down To Sleep

2017 UPDATE: Because we are running out of room on this page, we will now be referencing stories by providing you with a link to their corresponding blog posts.

New this Spring:

Tara’s Story: click HERE
Clark’s Rainbow Session: click HERE
Ashley Fights Back: click HERE

Check back soon to hear about our new partnership with Early Intervention!

 

Past projects:

Mackenzie’s Story:

We first heard about Mackenzie and her courageous battle with cancer through an amazing organization called The Front Row Foundation who takes terminally ill people and puts them in the front row of their favorite event; A true once in a lifetime opportunity! Mackenzie is now 22 months and in October of 2013 at only 14 months old, she was diagnosed with Horner System Drive, which is a rare eye disease, AND Neuroblastoma, which is a form of cancer found mostly in children. During her 6 months of treatment, Mackenzie really wasn’t able to live like a “normal” child. Due to her immune system being so weak, normals things like going out to the store or playing with other children were out of the question. However, after finishing her last cycle of chemotherapy in April, she was able to experience Disney Princess on Ice in the front row! This is where she fell more in love with the magical world of fairy tales.
We at Massart Photography always try our best to give back to the community since we feel that we have been overly blessed in our lives. When we heard about Mackenzie’s story, we immediately knew we wanted to be part of putting a smile on her face. We got in touch with Mackenzie’s mom and told her we would like to offer her a photography session to capture her daughter’s innocence. She graciously agreed to the two hour drive and the planning started. We got in touch with Isabelle’s Princess Parties for real live princesses, Personal Touch Florist for a wand and a crown, and Mike’s Estate Services for vintage teacups. They all loved the idea and were quick to generously offer their services to help Mackenzie’s dreams come true! To top it all off, Everything Sweet Cakes even stepped in and offered to make this little girl a dress fit for a princess.
Shortly after we contacted Mackenzie’s mom about the session, her family got some great news…..on May 6, 2014, after undergoing EIGHT cycles of chemotherapy, Mackenzie and her family were told that the cancer was no longer showing up in the scans!!!!! Just like in the fairy tales that Mackenzie loves, this story has a happy ending 🙂
Mackenzie, you were an absolute joy and we were honored to be able to do this for you. Keep smiling princess <3
Update: Winter 2016-Mackenzie continues to have clear scans!

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Last but not least: Here is our first attempt at a short video!  PLEASE note that we are, in no way shape or form, calling ourselves videographers!!!!!  😉

 

 

A Valentine’s Day Love Story

I really wanted to do this justice and writing’s really not my thing so I asked Tara to write it for me but I’ll just give a little bit of background information. You might remember her from her blog post which was shared on our page a little while back. If you haven’t read it and want to spread awareness on fertility issues and miscarriages, you might want to head there but grab some tissues…  (Tara’s Blog)

It all started over a couple glasses of wine on a Friday night when she, nonchalantly, told me her plans to create special dates for couples in the memory care unit at St. Elizabeth’s where she is the activities coordinator. With tears in her eyes, she went on to tell me all of the details of her plans, which you will read in her blurb, and how these couples deserve to have real, alone dates. I looked at her and told her there was no way I was not going to come capture this; due to her nature, I had to keep insisting relentlessly and tell her that I really didn’t mind, in fact I WANTED to do this. She is so thick headed sometimes 🙂

Despite all of my insisting, I know she still felt like she was imposing so yesterday, she sends me this casual text around 2pm and says “Date is at 5 but NO pressure”. Shaking my head at her, we packed the bags and off we went. What I witnessed yesterday is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life… Roger and Terri are such an inspiration and they have taught me so much in the short time that I was in their presence. With everything going on in the world, I think we all deserve to hear and see their story straight from Tara’s mouth…

“Everyone at St. Elizabeth’s knows Terri and Roger and you will no doubt hear an “awww” when they are mentioned, as people think of the different times they have seen them together, always looking desperately in love.
I started working on St. E’s Memory Care unit in late December and will never forget meeting Roger for the fist time…I saw a couple sitting together alone at a table holding hands, whispering to each other, giggling and stealing kisses… I thought “this must be the Terri and Roger I keep hearing about”. I wasn’t sure what to do, I was new so I wanted to introduce myself but did not want to interrupt this lovely moment. Luckily Roger took care of it… he welcomed me, grabbed my arm, introduced me to Terri and told me their love story, about how they met at a carnival when they were 13, how Terri had wanted to become a nun but he (the devil as he referred to himself with a smirk) had stopped her before she had taken her final vows because he had fallen in love. He spoke of their life together, how they had raised a wonderful family, how blessed he felt to have her in his life, and how even now how lucky he feels, that though Terri can no longer live at home, she always remembers who he is and how in love they are. He spoke of their six children individually and how amazing they each are, how they take Terri home for holidays and it is as if nothing has changed.  After we talked for a while, he hugged me and said “welcome to the family.” Terri said the same with a bright smile and quick laugh and they went back to holding hands and giggling together.
Well, the time came to make the February activities calendar and that means Valentine’s Day!  Normally we would do a group social, but ours is a unique unit, we have 4 Residents who are married and their spouses all come to visit so often (some daily) that they are part of our St. E’s family. We came up with a plan for four individual dates. Everyone was so happy to help, nursing, food service, IT, activities, family members… we all became detectives to find out what their song was, what food was served at their wedding, what movie they saw on their first date, anything we might be able to use for these special nights…. for Terry and Roger we planned a romantic dinner for 2 with candles, rose petals, champagne and set up a private showing of their first date movie “From here to Eternity” on the projector screen.
I called Roger to confirm his date night with Terri.  He answered the phone breathless and went on to tell me how excited he was to have this special dinner alone with his wife. He had purchased a new outfit for her with shoes and jewelry to match (I couldn’t help but think how many husbands would do this for their wife?). He planned to drop her outfit off and go back home himself to get ready and put on his suit (newly purchased for the occasion ). He asked if we could help curl her hair so she would feel beautiful…I stifled my tears and said not to worry, we would take care of “his girl”, he then sent my tears over the edge with an “I just love her so much”
A few hours later, their daughter came in to help Terri with her makeup (they truly have raised a wonderful family). A staff member who had worked all day happily volunteered to come back on her time off to help Terri get dressed. She looked gorgeous and when Roger showed up looking handsome in his suit, holding a bouquet of roses, their faces lit up and they embraced one another.  He was so proud of his beautiful wife that he escorted her around the unit to show her off to staff and Residents.
While preparing the food and drinks, we left them alone in the candlelit room with the music on (a CD Roger had brought in to play their song “If”). When we came back to serve their dinner, we stopped outside the door as we saw them embraced, Terri’s head on Roger’s shoulder, dancing to their song. They danced for so long that we had to hold off on the food!
It is truly amazing to see the love these two have for each other. After 60 years together their faces still light up when one walks in the room, they run to each other with an embrace, dance together, gaze at each other like no one else is in the room, hold hands and laugh and play. In the only 2 months I have known them, they have taught me so much about life, family and love. They are a true example of love conquering all.”

As you can see, humble as she always is, Tara can’t take credit for anything 🙂 I’m pretty sure this was completely all her idea and she went as far as having menus printed with their photo on it and a special message that left Roger and Terri visibly moved. Roger asked me who wrote this and when I whispered “Tara did” he questioned her but of course she blushed and said “Well I wrote it but it’s from all of us”. The reason I tell you this is because I believe this story should honor Roger and Terri’s love but also Tara’s dedication to her job, the kind of dedication that you don’t often see. I swear she is an elderly woman trapped in a thirty-something body (I mean 29!) and this job is her true calling. I am someone who lives and breathes her job and I’m so thrilled to see the same flame in her eyes.

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St. Baldrick’s and Lynne Peters

   
It’s a good thing I’m a photographer and not a writer because I’m sitting here filled with anxiety, wondering how I will EVER come up with text to do this post justice!  

    Everyone knows that last year Seth and I ran around like chickens with our heads cut off because we took on so much work.  While we loved every minute of it, we have decided that we needed to make changes, especially now that we have our little bundle of joy 🙂  This was the best decision we ever made, not only for ourselves but for our business.  We now have more time to dedicate on each session that we shoot AND we get to do things like what you will see in this post which means the world to us.  I’m so excited that I think I might have gone a little overboard when donating six different sessions this month!  Please don’t ask for donations, I might not say no!!!!  🙂  

     Anywho, enough about us, this is about an AMAZING event that I am thrilled we were able to attend.  I met Lynn when I first started out in photography and she was just starting out in shaving her head for cancer solidarity.  Lynn is loved by everyone she meets, her personality is infectious; because of this, I have to admit that I expected a slightly bigger turn out at last night’s event so can we all join in giving her the credit she deserves and share this on her behalf?  (Even though I KNOW she isn’t looking for it because that’s just the type of person she is)  

     Please excuse me if I get any facts wrong, I will do my best!  From what I know, Lynn does tons of work for the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, Bark for Life, and in this case the St.Baldrick’s Foundation.  This specific organization means so much to her because it focuses on raising funds for childhood cancer which is severely under funded.  One of the people who touched her heart was a high school boy who was adored by his community; I believe that the woman shaving Lynn’s head is that young man’s mother.  

   Enough talking, I hope that these photos tug at your heart like they have at mine and that they raise awareness and maybe even entice you to donate to this cause.  

You can do so here:   http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/720345/2014  

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Wyatt Meets Mickey
 
“On December 5th, 2014, Wyatt was sent to Hasbro Children’s Hospital for a mysterious lump in his abdomen.  After having a ct scan, a 6cm by 7cm mass was discovered in his liver.  After further testing, it was officially confirmed Stage III Hepatoblastoma; a rare form of liver cancer that affects .9% in every 1 million children in the U.S every year.  Wyatt was only 9 months old when this was found.  Since his diagnosis, Wyatt has endured SEVEN rounds of chemotherapy.  He has been in and out of surgeries and due to transplant complications, has been flying to Pittsburgh frequently.  At this point, Wyatt continues to suffer from fevers of unknown origin which require hospitalization.  Wyatt’s PTC drain is not yet able to be removed due to the risk of needing another liver transplant.”
It’s safe to say that this sweet angel has had it rough and we can’t even imagine how his family feels.  Aside from the emotional aspect, there’s the dreaded financial factors which inevitably come into play; The inability to work, the medical bills, the trips to Pittsburgh, the list goes on.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could help somehow?  Well we can…  Let’s chip in and give this family some relief.  Kind words of support and encouragement are welcome through Facebook on the page listed above and monetary donations can be made through https://www.gofundme.com/il5yzs
Meanwhile, we hope we were able to brighten Wyatt’s day with snuggles from his favorite, Mickey Mouse 🙂   He sure brightened ours!
Huge thanks to RI Birthday Parties for joining us in this project!   
Update: Winter 2016-Wyatt is cancer free! 

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This one’s more of a personal story than a project… This beautiful girl made such an impact on my life and the roads that I chose to take. She is the reason I became a teacher and even though I left that field to become a photographer, there isn’t an ounce of regret in the decisions that I have made. Teaching was so valuable and taught me so much about myself as well as children in general; a valuable tool in a photography business. I worked with Maisie since she was born but life separated us for more than a decade and these photos are a record of our reunion. family photographers RI, family photographers CT, family photographers MAfamily photographers RI, family photographers CT, family photographers MAfamily photographers RI, family photographers CT, family photographers MAfamily photographers RI, family photographers CT, family photographers MA

I also believe that it is our duty to capture those who couldn’t stay with us. It’s a heart wrenching job but its value is incomparable. For more information contact us or research NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep)
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