Kyle's Family {An Olivia Act Session}

What is The Olivia Act? It's kindness.  It's a smile on a deserving family's face.  It's capturing a moment that wouldn't otherwise be captured.  It's a rapidly growing "pay-it-forward" movement of photographers all around the world giving away a free session and the photos to so many wonderful families.

The Olivia Act, named after one of the children killed in Newtown, was started by a photographer who wishes to remain anonymous. Olivia’s family had pictures taken a short time before she was killed, which are now priceless to them. Upon hearing this, one photographer was moved to give away a 30 minute family photo shoot and has challenged other photographers to do the same.  As a first grade teacher AND a photographer, this proposal hit me double time.  We all go about our daily lives, day in and day out, and we often don't take the time to enjoy the small things and soak up a moment.  Many families don't have the time or the resources to have their children's photos taken professionally.  I chose to give away a session and capture one family's moments in time for that reason, to pay it forward and put a smile on one family's face.

It started with a proposition in mid-December.  I asked for nominations, and was pleased that there are so many kind people out there generously nominating their friends, family members, and neighbors.  The kind letters came flowing in, each story touching and moving in it's own way.  One that really struck a chord was written by Christine about Kyle's family.  A short excerpt:

The world is blessed with many beautiful and happy babies, but Kyle is special because he is a blessing. He is a constant reminder of faith, family and love. His positive attitude is remarkable and he's such a joy for anyone to be around; he loves his cat Stitch, his family and practices his pitching arm any chance he gets! The most infectious thing about Kyle is his laughter. Whenever Kyle laughs everyone knows that to be truly happy is to be grateful and to live in the moment because for someone so young he's been through quite a bit.

Kyle has been in and out of hospitals since he was one month old due to a congenital heart defect and a slew of other side effects associated with this complication.  His family has shown such resilience and love, and I was honored to be able to capture that for them.

kyle (26 of 29)

His mom had the perfect idea to incorporate hearts in his shoot, not just for Valentine's Day but because February 7-14 is also Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.  I couldn't be more pleased with the way his photos turned out!

kyle (24 of 29)


How do you keep an 18-month old still?  Give him his dad's iPhone with the Gangnam Style song playing.  Apparently it's his favorite!  He definitely started bopping around to that one!


kyle (17 of 29)

And finally, this strong little guy is so close to walking!  Such a huge milestone.  :o)


To Kyle, Laura, and Greg: Thank you for welcoming me into your lives for the afternoon and allowing me to capture these beautiful moments for your family.

To Christine: Thank you for such a beautiful nomination letter.  Kyle and his family are lucky to have you!


To learn more about The Oliva Act, please visit the website at or the Facebook page at

Fellow Photographers, please consider taking part in The Olivia Act!