Welcome to Healing Heroes Photography! Our mission is to offer no-charge photo sessions for veterans and first responders who live with the invisible challenges of Traumatic Brain Injuries or Post Traumatic Stress and their dedicated Service Dogs, capturing the essence of the special relationship these teams share.
My journey towards starting Healing Heroes Photography began with a desire to give back after an automobile accident in 2014 left me with the permanent, and is sometimes the case, invisible remnants of my own TBI. My search for ways to pay it forward had swirled around my love of dogs and my belief that they truly are healers, and my gratitude for our service members and first responders, especially those who struggle with invisible injuries like TBI and PTS as a result of their service. I remember how scrolling through pictures of my own sweet pups and ponies grounded me during my recovery, reminding me of all the reasons to get better so I could go home.
I believe all dogs are healers, and Service Dogs in particular change lives by reducing reliance on medications, providing a measure of independence, a sense of purpose, offering comfort and peace, all of which in turn help to restore relationships with those we hold dear. These positive changes have a magnificent ripple effect in our homes and communities - one person, one family, one connection at a time.
Like all good things in life, it took a while for my confidence to catch up with where my heart was leading me. For years, I've had a passion for taking pictures of my own dogs and horses in our beautiful Colorado backdrop. In early 2018, I was asked to take graduation pictures of a very dear young lady. The opportunity was a departure from my usual four-legged subjects, and as the day approached, I was more than a little nervous. When we gathered around my monitor to view the results of the day, I saw the emotion from our graduate's momma. It was then that I realized these pictures were more than just wardrobe changes and darling poses and the right light.
These pictures captured something more than I had anticipated. They revealed sacrifice, determination, accomplishment. They marked a passage, a transition, a moment along life's journey, a celebration, recognition of the challenges we face, the obstacles we overcome, and an opportunity to reflect with gratitude on all of the hands that lift us up along the way.
I had found the final ingredient of my passion project, and it had been in my hands all along: Photography.
Let's go someplace that has meaning for you, as part of a journey that is just starting, or a step along the path you are forging, to celebrate a milestone achieved, or to honor duties fulfilled, at a national park, the park down the street, or your own back yard, and capture some enduring memories.
It's my hope that the portraits of you and your Service Dog will serve as a touchstone for you to connect to all of the good and positive things you've accomplished together, no matter where life takes you, even when you have tough days.
Acknowledgements: To each and every person who has supported my recovery and my photography with your kind words and encouragement; you have brought my passion to life and helped to define my purpose. Thank you!