I often get asked, "Why did you start Click for Hope? Why do it for free? How do you find your stories?" Well before I can answer those questions, I have to share Sally with you! She was my very first CLICK FOR HOPE story back in 2011 before it ever existed. While at church one day, she shared her story with us and I was so moved by it. This crazy idea came to my head....what would it look like if I partnered with a makeup artist, photographed her, and shared her story on my website?!? So after the gathering, I approached her and shared this idea, in which she said yes! A few months later, she was sitting in my studio and as she was getting makeup done...she just started talking. The more she shared, the more she glistened. She saw her #cancer as a way to start fresh and to restore relationships. At the end of the session, I asked her if she would be willing to take off her head scarf. She paused for a moment, and then softly nodded. I knew this was a moment of freedom for her and I had to capture it in the most authentic way possible. You see she had never publicly showed her bare head. It was an area of insecurity for her. But by the end of the session she had a fearless confidence. I left that day knowing THIS is exactly what I wanted to be doing. That everyone who gets in front of my camera would know their story matters, that they would know they are beautiful, and that they aren't alone!
Why did you start CLICK FOR HOPE?
After Sally's shoot, I continued to focus on my photography business Jazi Photo. But the Lord kept pressing my heart, asking me why do stories mattter. You see, then, Jazi Photo's tag line was, "What will be Your Story," but I wasn't doing anything to actually know my clients on a deeper level. I felt empty as I didn't feel I was living to my fullest potential. I walked through a journey with the Lord searching and gaining understanding on what scripture says about our stories! In which, the Bible says a lot about why our stories matter, but James 5:16-17 stuck out the most to me! As I dug deeper into this verse here's 4 things I discovered:
1. Make it your common practice to confess to one another- We are called to share with one another. There's a vulnerability that comes in sharing pieces of who we are with someone we trust!
2. So we can live together Whole and healed.- God doesn't want for us to walk in brokenness. The more we share, the more we allow Him to make us whole and healed from the inside out!
3. The prayers of a righteous person is powerful...- You guys it doesn't just end at sharing. When we share our struggles, all that we are going through with someone who also loves Jesus, it creates accountability. This person will now check in with you, see how your doing and will also pray for you!!! 4. And effective.- there's power in our prayers. When we pray, it creates opportunities for God to be who He says he is, and then brings it back to being made whole and healed.
Isn't this beautiful?!? I could go on and on about these 2 verses, but I'll do that another day!
Why do I do it for free?
As I studied scripture on the power of our stories, I also quickly learned He has a lot to say about how we run our businesses. I long to live the God Dream versus the American Dream. My bottom line is not what fuels me, but rather living in my purpose and calling! I have seen God move and has always been faithful. The more I focus on CLICK FOR HOPE the more He has blessed the works of my hands and expanded my territory.
Now CLICK FOR HOPE started off as a give back initiative that was connected to Jazi Photo. It allowed my clients to partner with me and for every session/wedding I booked, I'd give one back to someone with an inspiring story. As the years passed by, my heart grew more and more passionate for sharing more stories. In 2015, I built a separate website, and madeCLICK FOR HOPEits own entity, and just recently rebranded it so it can have its own identity. My businesses still give and help support CLICK FOR HOPE which is how I'm able to continue to do it for free.
How do I find the stories?
Believe it or not it's all been through word of mouth. Also social media has been wonderful too! It's been amazing meeting and sharing the stories of those all over the country!
What's been really helpful has been having the topics I want to share ready ahead of time. That way I schedule all the storytellers in one day! We've turned them into these amazing events where makeup artists, stylists and more partner with me in creating a beautiful experience. It's amazing what happens when you gather a group of women who share a similar story.