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QOTD from Stephanie: "I am going to offer a free session to a military family in need in town and I was wondering if anyone has experience in deciding HOW a family is in need/how to choose? Any tips?"
Jael: I would like to know also. Would love to do this
Heather: Photos for solders is an organization that does that. Contact them and they will set you up as a photographer
Jennifer: Maybe ask for nominations? With a story about the families and ask people to vote on the stories via likes?
Addie: Hmm... you could turn it into a sort of contest. Ask for nominations from the community, narrow it down to a few finalists, and then ask your fans/previous customers (newsletter) to vote on the winning family's story. (Bonus for you: spreading PR via word-of-mouth excitement.)
Beth: in my opinion military families are all in need. A lot of them struggle. I would just do a drawing and choose a family that way. Because whos to say who is struggling more? Only speaking from experience. We've been active duty for many years.
Jennifer: I agree w/ Beth. Maybe nominate a "deserving" family?
Stephanie: Thanks for the help guys :-) I totally understand military families in need as we are one. There are two other people in the family who are photographers as well so we are blessed to be 'practice subjects' most of the time. I want to be able to pass on that help. It wasn't meant to be an offensive question... just need ideas on how to help
Emma: Stephanie...my family is a military family, my husband and brother are in the air force, my step brother is in the army and my mama works for the dod. there are so many ways that a family can be "in need". for most military families, especially the enlisted ranks, portraits are an extreme luxury. you may want to start with pre-deloyment portraits. I offer a $75 package for all pre-deployments and homecomings that include my time on location, editing and all images with a print release on a disc. These are extremely emotional times that no military member or their family wants to forget, but like a wedding or a birth it's all a blur soon after. Perhaps you could announce these new session options and kick it off with a free session giveaway to a nominated family. Most of these clients end up being return clients...for boudoir while their loved ones are deployed, for homecoming as well as family portraits later on. The military is the best referral network I've ever seen. If you have any other questions please let me know. Good luck and thank you for thinking of the military. Every "thank you" goes a long way and makes their day every time. :)
Emma: stephanie, i'm a dork...didn't read your comment just above my own. most of what i wrote you already know first hand, sorry. but...i hope my idea still helped. :)
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