"Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change."  ~ Barbara Januszkiewicz 
Harvey

Harvey

As a photographer, I am inspired by the visual. I see potential beauty in almost every single scenario, vignette, occasion, moment or space. 
As the first photos of Hurricane Harvey began making their way through social media and the news, there was no beauty to be found, just devastation. Heartbreak. Loss. Destruction.  

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

David J. Phillip / AP

David J. Phillip / AP

170828064026-62-hurricane-harvey-0826-super-169.jpg

This photo below was what really did me in. 

Trudy Lampson

Trudy Lampson

I wanted to jump on a plane to Texas, find a boat and help get people out. I wanted to go and hug people, give them blankets and dry clothes. Sitting at my desk in the comfort of my warm, dry and unaffected home, I felt helpless and guilty for not being able to do more than donate money. 

As this country proves time and time again, though, slowly a small sliver of beauty did make its way through the photos and stories being shared. I was far from alone in feeling like I needed to help somehow, and so many amazing heroes were, and are currently still doing everything in their power to help those in need.
Makeshift forces like the 'Cayun Navy' made their way to Houston and surrounding areas, teenage boys took their fishing boat and spent days rescuing people, bonafide cowboys were saving livestock, people formed a human chain to save a driver, people tried saving a colony of bats, a couple was rescued from their home by Chick-Fil-A employees, and so many more beautiful stories of humanity coming together to help one another. 

And of course, the photos. 

Alexendre Jorge evacuated Ethan Colman, 4, from a Houston neighborhood inundated by floodwaters on Monday. CreditCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

Alexendre Jorge evacuated Ethan Colman, 4, from a Houston neighborhood inundated by floodwaters on Monday. CreditCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

DIQlv8pUQAIPFgX.jpg
David J. Phillip/AP

David J. Phillip/AP

And this one, the ladies from the retirement home, all safe and warm, and sound. ♥

Every little bit helps, so from today on, in an effort to try to get more people to donate whatever they can spare, I'll match every donation you guys make to one of the many amazing charities currently helping out with Hurricane Harvey, up to $750. Email a confirmation of your donation (up to $100 - feel free to black out any personal information, I just need to see a confirmation for the amount and the charity) to hello@inspirephotoretreats.com (RE: Harvey) and I will match it to the same charity (please make sure it is a 'legit' charity, sadly, there have been a lot of scams going around!). 
If you are weary of larger charities like the Red Cross (plagued by failed efforts during past disasters), here is a quick list of smaller charities eager and in need of your kindness:

Experts say the best way for us to help right now is with cash donations, so let's all do our best to help in any way we can. :) 

My thoughts, good wishes and all the positive energy I can think of are with the people in the Houston area right now. #standingwithHouston

Much love,
xo-Laura Dee

helping-harvey-supplies.jpg
Our host hotel!

Our host hotel!

5 Tips for killer photos

5 Tips for killer photos