Monday, December 7, 2009

Giving is Awesome: Heidi Ryder Photography

One of my favorite parts about the holiday season is how we all take a step away from the rhythms of our everyday to celebrate family, friendship and giving. Although I run myself ragged running from Thanksgiving to New Years with all the traveling, holiday party obligations, gift shopping, and family craziness it's really the one month of the year that I really force myself to engage with ALL the people who matter.  It's the time of year when everyone seems to stretch a bit to give loved ones a meaningful holiday celebration.  Some of that's been subverted into a buybuybuy mentality, but most of it all stems from a true generosity of spirit that's enabled by holiday cheer, goodwill, and end-of-year contemplation.

One aspect of that generosity is a focus on meaningful giving and charity.  For me, that means allocating dollars to my favorite charities and volunteering.  For one photographer, that meant deciding to offer free photography and asking her photographer friends to do the same. That generosity snowballed into Giving is Awesome, a commitment from over 250 photographers worldwide to give free custom photography to people in need in order to give back to their communities.

Locally, Heidi Ryder is one of the talented photographers offering a giveaway this holiday season.  If you've seen her work from this Style Me Pretty feature you'll know that this giveaway is an incredible opportunity for one deserving person, couple, or family.  Below are some of my favorite portrait-style photos from her portfolio, to give you an idea of her style and range.

Courtesy of Heidi Ryder

In Heidi's own words, here are the details on her participation in Giving is Awesome:
"This year I am giving away a portrait session (a $450 value) to one deserving person, couple or family. At first I thought of limiting the contest to families only, but then I realized that whether or not a person has family should not make them less than deserving. Same goes for couples. The point is, no one is immune to hard times, so I’m not excluding anyone.

You likely know someone who’s experienced a tragedy, is struggling to stay afloat, is raising kids while holding down more than one job, or is volunteering selflessly despite extenuating personal circumstances. You know someone who can’t afford custom photography, but who would cherish it this holiday season. You know someone who deserves a year-round reminder of their family’s spirit, love and beauty.

I want to know who they are, and I want to give them the chance to experience complimentary custom photography.  It is in your power to give them the artwork they deserve this holiday season."
You can't nominate yourself, but please think about who in the Southern California area might appreciate this incredible gift after a difficult year, and nominate them here. The deadline is December 20 and Heidi will announce the winner on Christmas Eve.

For more information on Giving is Awesome or to find a photographer closer to you or a deserving loved one, please search this map.


  1. Love the photos and giveaway. What a wonderful thing to do!

  2. This really is a great giveaway! I hope it goes to a very deserving family/couple/person!

  3. That is such a lovely gift someone will receive.


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