When I pick up my camera and look through the viewfinder, I pause and ask myself how I can tell the story of what I see, I do not pick up my camera to simply document what is happening. When I am going through my photographs from a wedding, there are many well composed and perfectly exposed photographs that do make it to the final album. The reason they do not make the cut is that they just simple do not help tell the story. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but very few tell a story.

I really shy away from political statements in my blog or on Facebook, as I have found it to be a venue where you tend be more judged by the words on a computer screen than by the content of your heart. It is just too easy to label someone based on a fragment of a sentence. However, I am completely unashamed to make it clear that the people who are serving our country and by their own choice placing themselves in harms way, have my complete and unwavering support. I have a deep respect for anyone who chooses to put their personal needs above the needs of the many. Day in and day out this current generation, a generation that has received many less than flattering labels, makes a conscience choice to put their lives and sometimes their families, second to needs of a country.

We all have something that strikes a chord in our heart.

The things that stop your thoughts and make you think about the things that truly matter in life.

The things that in the midst of our Ipods, cable TV, Facebook, school, work, bars and Nintendo’s make us slow down and realize how few things we place such tremendous value on really mean nothing.

Those things that until you truly experience or deeply understand, you will never grasp the depth of.

Today is one of my weak spots. Veteran’s Day.

Let me introduce you to a family who I could not say enough about and whom I spent a couple of hours with this afternoon. Kris and Renee’s family.

Kris could not make it in person as he is currently in Kuwait. And has been there for the past 10+ months. And yes, that cute little boy Easton, is only 4 months old. Do the math. Kris has seen his son all of 3 days.

This is the story of so many families who serve the people of the United States, people like Kris who is a 3rd generation military personnel. A person who has a wall of medals and memorials that Renee has gone out of her way to show off. Not just Kris’ either but Kris’ father. And Kris’ father’s father. People who as I am looking at an older uniform of Kris’, Renee makes it a point to say that she is happy that the newer uniform needs much less starching than the one displayed. These are the families who just know what it means to serve their country.

Meanwhile Kris and Renee’s 3 other children are playing the game “Life” and have a slight disagreement over whether one of them has to pay taxes.

Really? We are about to go into the holidays and Renee and her children will spend it without Kris, and they are arguing about taxes in a board game and thanking the fact she does not have to use as much starch in her husband’s uniform. I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me, but they have a dog. That was rescued from the shelter.

I spent part of this afternoon with them as part of a project I am starting to offer for the Christmas season. Project Message from Home. It is just a small way I can give back to those who so selflessly give so much. For those of you of there who have a loved one who is currently active in the military and in harm’s way, I want to tell a little of your story and also give a little hope to the person who is fighting overseas for what we hold dear at home.

I will come to your home, your work or anyplace that you choose and spend some time hearing your story and capturing photographs that will tell the story of you. I do not want to come take the typical portraits, I want to capture you in a way that will tell the story what is happening while your soldier is away. Please do not feel everyone has to have their hair freshly cut and everyone wearing their Easter outfits 🙂 I would love to show your soldier and those who see my blog, just a snapshot of your everyday life. Those photographs will be available online in your personal album for a full resolution download at zero cost to you. If you would like to use my lab to print from, I will gratefully give any print you would like at my cost.

I also would like you record a short video, so you can directly tell the person who is serving in our military, what they mean to you. Whatever you would like to say and show, I am up for anything. I will take that video, transfer it to a DVD, print all the pictures from your gallery that I have taken and make sure it gets put in the hands of you loved one at a complete zero cost to you.

More than anything, I want to know that your soldier knows how much they have at home waiting for them and I want them not only see and hear you, I want them to have photographs that they can carry with them. In this small way I want to give back this Christmas season, in this small way I want to show my appreciation for the sacrifices that are made every day by those serving our country.

But I need your help. Do you have a loved one serving overseas and currently in harm’s way? Do you know someone who is? Please have them contact me here or through facebook and I would love to help give back to those families who are missing their loved ones during this time. So help me spread the word and let’s show the brave soldiers out there how much they truly mean to us!

Christopher Tyson

Thank you for sharing!

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