Designed to help bring a piece of home to soldiers around the world, the project is utilizing the talents of volunteer photographers across the country who are opening their studios, as well as a team of pros who will go on base at Ft Hood (Kileen, TX) and Ft. Lewis (Tacoma, WA), this September to offer free family portraits to military family members who have a soldier deployed overseas. Over 275 photographers have joined the program so far. The portraits will be uploaded to a website, www.pmdaportraitsoflove.com, and a print will be sent, free of charge, directly to the soldier in Iraq, Afghanistan, or wherever they are deployed around the world. The goal of the project is to send 10,000 free family portraits during the month of September.
“This project is the photo industry’s way of giving back to our soldiers, and thanking them for the sacrifices they have made for our country,” said Jerry Grossman, the president of the PMDA who has spearheaded the effort. “Our industry is uniquely qualified to bring an important piece of home to our soldiers, and we’re pleased to be able to organize this effort.”
“It’s incredible how motivating a simple family photograph can be to a soldier who is far from home,” said Sergeant First Class Toby Nunn, who has served two tours in Iraq and has worked with Soldiers’ Angels on a number of projects. “This volunteer effort is one more way that we can help our soldiers cope with their situation,” he said.
The PMDA has asked photographers nationwide to volunteer their time and talent to take professional family portraits during the month of September. Military family members can find participating photographers living in their areas on a special website, www.pmdaportraitsoflove.com. Photographers are listed by state, and in order for family members to participate they will have to show a proper military ID to the photographer. The website was developed by Fujifilm, a PMDA member who has underwritten this effort; and SeeHere.com from Fujifilm is supplying the free prints to the soldiers and their families.
Those photographers interested in volunteering their time to shoot locally in their studio can sign up online at www.pmdaportraitsoflove.com. Pros interested in going on base can contact Stacie Errera, PMDA Board Member and committee member, at [email protected] or 631-858-8408.
Founded in 1939, the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) has promoted the photo industry for over 70 years with an emphasis on photo imaging manufacturers and distributors. PMDA provides an open forum for its members to exchange ideas and learn new technologies and business trends, in addition to administering programs that promote photography to the general public. The member companies of PMDA have a box seat on the changing product and business developments of the photo industry and a unique opportunity to network with other industry principals and managers in the receptions preceding each meeting and special event. PMDA has also teamed up with the Photo Marketing Association to create the Photographic Information Council (PIC) to promote photography to the general public. PIC’s website (www.takegreatpictures.com) provides great photo tips and techniques, celebrity photographers, contests, new product releases and projects. See PMDA’s site, www.pmda.com, for more information.