March 01, 2010 — Photolanthropy
(noun. the desire to promote the welfare of others through photography)
Photographer: Molly Grosse (www.mollygrossephotography.com)
Charity: Syrian Shrine Circus Clowns (www.syrianclowns.com)
The Syrian Shrine (www.syrianshrine.net) is an organization that raises money to benefit burn hospitals for children. When a child is in the care of one of these hospitals, all expenses are paid for by the Shrine, from medical care to room and board for the parents. The Syrian Shrine Clowns are just one unit within the Shrine that helps to raise money for this cause. The clowns help by putting on an annual circus as well as visiting the children in the hospital. One of the fundraisers the clowns have is a Sneaker Fund, where they buy new shoes for all the patients.
How did you get involved?
My father has been a friend of one of the clowns for many years. One day a clown asked if he could come to my studio for a photography session in his clown costume. After the sessio n he asked if I would be interested in doing the photography for all the clowns in his clown unit. My relationship with the clowns has just grown from there. I have been helping the clowns by updating their photography, taking pictures at the circus. When I take pictures of the clowns all the proceeds are given back to them. I'm putting together a calendar. The calendar is a new idea for them where they will also receive all proceeds to help benefit their cause.
How can other photographers get involved in your charity?
I have only been involved with The Syrian Shrine Clowns for about a year and the idea of bringing other photographers aboard has been discussed.
What has this project given back to you?
This project has brought me a lot of joy. The clowns are so much fun and I enjoy working with them. When I photograph them I can't help but laugh. No matter what mood I'm in when the clowns come in I am happy.