Some people say a picture paints a thousand words, and this Wokingham creative is proving just that by taking photos to raise money for the NHS.
Marla White – from the borough’s St Crispin’s area – has joined the national Photographers Without Frontiers initiative to express her gratitude to the NHS and their work throughout the pandemic.
Launched by Ronan Ryle and internationally renowned photographer, Damian McGillicuddy, Photographers without Frontiers sees more than 100 photographers from all over the UK come together to offer families a chance to capture a precious image of their loved ones while raising funds for the NHS.
Marla will start her quest next month, as more lockdown restrictions are eased.
She said: “With everything that has been going on over the last few months I wanted to give something back to the NHS and show my appreciation to them.
“I sometimes feel they do not get the recognition they truly deserve for what they do for us.”
Photographers Without Frontiers is run from a webpage featuring the contact details of participating photographers.
Those interested in the photoshoots can visit the site and choose from photographers in their area.
Customers are asked to donate a minimum of £10 to the scheme’s Just Giving page which is raising funds for the organisation NHS Charities Together.
In return, a voucher for a free portrait session is provided as well as a web image declaring their support of the charitable initiative.
NHS Charities Together is a collective voice and support network for NHS charities. It offers advice, guidance, training and representative for organistions across the country as well as providing a forum for nationwide fundraising and advocacy campaigns.
Marla added: “People really recognise the importance of capturing special moments of our loved ones, children, family and pets, which is why we thought as photographers we should all come together in what is a very competitive industry and make a difference to a special charity.
“We want to give something back to the communities in which we live and work, along with raising these vital funds for the wonderful work that NHS Charities Together carries out.”
And as one of the many professionals whose industry has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Marla has been thinking outside the box to stay connected with her customers.
She said: “I specialise in images of families, children, sports games and headshots so the lockdown measures have put my usual work on hold.
“To keep my followers engaged I’ve been running contests such as one calling for customers to send in their own photos of their kids during lockdown.
“I was able to offer some great prizes to the winners thanks to the help of small businesses such as Antique Rose, Tinkers, Usborne Books and Masters Sweet Treats.
“I’ve also shared photography tips via my Instagram story.”
Marla, who has spent five years in the photography industry, added: “The one thing I’m looking forward to the most when this is all over is seeing people.
“Being in isolation has taught us how important face to face contact is for our mental health and relationships and I can’t wait to be able to chat with friends, family and customers again.”
“For now, I hope my involvement in this initiative will show the power of a portrait in bridging the distance and time until we are able to see and spend time with our loved ones.”
For more information about the Photography without Frontiers initiative or to donate log on to donate.photographywithoutfrontiers.co.uk/supporting-our-nhs-heroes1590011591170. You can also contact Marla at firstname.lastname@example.org.