First Byte: It's just a fun experiment. First Bytes are 1-2 minute summaries and suggestions that tie directly to a specific blog post. I'm hoping they're helpful in expanding the topic of the post itself.
Technically, recruitment month for NILMDTS is over, but the response to all of these guest posts has been incredible. So, I've told the NILMDTS team as long as they keep sending SCU great content, we'll share a new guest post each week. (For those of you involved with NILMDTS, please contact Tiffany Kapler if you've got an interest in sharing your story on the SCU blog.)
This guest post from Christine Tripp, a NILMDTS Affiliated Photographer in Ottawa, Canada really hits some great points we don't always think about. While the core reason to be involved in NILMDTS is simply giving back, there are some terrific benefits. My personal favorite is Christine's first point about "education and training." NILMDTS is one of the industry's biggest supporters of education and helping you build a stronger skill set.
Interested in finding out more about NILMDTS? Just click the banner below.
I’ll never forget my first session with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS). Even though I was properly trained and educated before starting, I remember how terrified I was. I remember asking myself how was I going to make it through without crying. I was about to see a baby who had died and meet a devastated family.
I remember walking down the hospital hallway, camera bag in hand, motivation in my mind, and out of nowhere I just broke down and started crying. I was all alone and ducked off to a small hallway beside the main one. I had not yet met the family, but I truly felt their loss. I took a few seconds to catch my breath and regroup and then with tears wiped, I continued toward the nurses’ station. Somehow I managed to stay professional throughout the session and didn’t cry again until later. To this date, it was the most emotionally challenging of sessions I have ever done, and yet one I felt so passionate about.
Over the years, I have continued to offer my services to NILMDTS and have documented numerous babies whom had either already passed or who were about to. After receiving many notes of thank you, I realize how important these sessions are to help families heal after such a loss.
- Training and Education: NILMDTS makes sure all volunteers have the appropriate education and training needed to make every session go well. In addition to offering training and education prior to volunteering, they also offer members continued education online, through webcasts as well as through professional videos.
- Support Services: In addition to support from the NILMDTS headquarters, there is also an online support forum as well as grief support videos and online private member area, all of which are designed to support volunteers on an ongoing basis.
- Helping others: There is no greater feeling than knowing you are helping people. Photographing parents and their terminally ill or deceased baby may be difficult, but it is a gift the parents will cherish forever, and is something that would not be possible if it were not for professional photographers donating their time and skill.
- Sense of community: For a nominal fee, NILMDTS volunteers become NILMDTS members, so they essentially become a part of a community. They have access to all support and training services as well as a community of like-minded people.
- Member benefits: Because volunteers become members, they have access to a variety of services, including marketing and promotion opportunities as well as liability coverage and vendor discounts.
If you are looking to volunteer your time with an organization that will forever help people, then please look into Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. For more information, please visit their website.