giving back just a little bit…part 1

I’m a former Social Worker; I worked in the field for seventeen years. I left that field at the height of my career as the Director of an Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center to return to school for photography, but you can’t take the social worker out of the photographer!  I’ve never stopped thinking, ‘How can I continue to be of service to people?’
The answer to that question came to me last month when I saw a report on the National News where many soldiers enduring tours in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering with relationship problems, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), morale issues, severe depression and heartbreaking record numbers of suicide.  I can’t even begin to express how that news report affected me…I felt that I needed to reach out to help in some small way.
So, I took my desire to reach out to help and put it into action.  My thought process was, that I personally know and understand he power of a photograph; I’ve witnessed it in my own life and through the eyes of my clients as I make countless couples happy through my wedding photography all through the year, so I knew I had to reach out to our military personnel and their families to try to make a small difference for them.  And, so my idea and desire to help is coming to life!
Whether or not you or I agree with the war, or the policies of our government, all of which are neither here nor there, these brave men and women are the people who have to endure the hardship of their service in a thankless job meant to make a difference for so many at their expense, sacrifice and detriment. Yes, they signed up for the job, but these are not just soldiers, they are human beings; people with feelings and struggles just like you and I and they deserve HOPE.  I say if “hope” is the latest buzz-word in our nation, how about we all “put our money where our mouths are” and make a difference by reaching out to others and by DOING ANYTHING that might make a difference for one person or for many!

Click on the photo to read the story on this little gift I couldn’t resist giving:

Joanne Bartone Photographer Photo: Andrew Russell/Tribune-Review
I would encourage everyone, from all walks of life, to reach out to help those in need no matter who they are, no matter who you are.  Find a situation that speaks to your heart, as I did in this one small instance, and MAKE the time to do something about it. It might be as simple as reaching out to a neighbor in need, or to a cause or a charity; anything will do.  Imagine how much better the world would be if we all could spread a little more love and compassion – after all, we really do get back what we give.
I will post more about my experience and the interesting things I learned about reaching out to soldiers with my gift in my next post after the event!  Look for part 2 next week!

BIG love, Joanne Bartone Photographer |

What: A free one-day portrait session for military personnel and or loved ones dealing with current military deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.

When: Sunday, March 15, 2009, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum, 4141 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213 – parking available in the garage beneath Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum and on the street. GRACIOUS DONATION OF SPACE for the session donated by Marjorie Henderson, Director of Sales at S+S – Thank you Marjorie!!!

More information: Reservations are recommended, but walk-ups will be taken first-come, first -served. E-mail or call 412.418.8075.

  • Mandi Nikole on Apr 21, 2009 Reply

    Precious children. Great session

  • Katherine on Apr 02, 2009 Reply

    Joanne – thanks so much for the free sitting. What a very generous gift. My hubby in Iraq is going to be so delighted and surprised!! Can’t wait to see the pictures.

  • Elizabeth Craig on Mar 18, 2009 Reply

    Hi Joanne,
    Awesome idea! Can’t wait to see the pics from this. Big fan!

  • Kim on Mar 12, 2009 Reply

    Hi Joanne!!
    I met you at David Burke’s Shoot N Learn last month. I knew from the moment I met you that I liked you – and this just makes me trust my instincts that much more! 🙂 I just wanted to tell you how amazing I think your idea is – what a true gift. 🙂