The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary hit me hard.  I was down in my art room at the elementary where I teach, when I saw the headlines on MSN. My immediate feeling was to run upstairs and get my son out of his first grade class. It was an irrational thought, there was no shooter in our school, but it was just so horrific. I had many irrational thoughts on that day.

I had the conversation with my 6 year old on what he should do if there was a crazy person in our school.
Our childrens' innocence is being ripped away from them and it pisses me off.

The Olivia Act, named after one of the children killed in Newtown, was started by by Leslie Spurlock Photography. Olivia’s family had family pictures taken a short time before she was killed. Those pictures are precious and now priceless to them. Upon hearing this, Leslie was moved to give away a family photo shoot and challenged other photographers to do the same.

It was so little in comparison to what happened, but it was something.

When I received the nomination for Marcy Rowley, I had chills. It was one of those moments where I felt like it was meant to be.  It turned out I knew Marcy from when she and her husband Michael opened a coffee shop down at Creekside by our house. The friend that nominated her was a total stranger to me.

I had only spoken to Marcy and her husband a few times in the coffee shop, but when I showed up at their door, I remembered their kind faces.  When the coffee shop closed due to some very unfair acts by the building owner, Eric and I were really sad for them. We didn't know them well at the time, but we knew that they had poured their hearts into the business.

I didn't know what to expect when I walked into their home. They have three beautiful children Isaac, Olivia and Asher. All three are on the spectrum for autism. Having worked with many autistic children in my nine years of teaching, I had some insight on autism. I honestly expected it to be a crazy house, like my house with three boys, but not so much. They could not have been more calm and sweet. I felt a connection to the Rowleys as soon as I walked in the door. It was comfortable and I was really happy to be there to tell their story.

This family is in need of some serious prayers right now.  They have some tough and heartbreaking challenges ahead of them.
I hope my images can bring a little joy to their beautiful family.


Meet the Rowleys

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