Lending her support to The Bookmobile, Lifesong Photography’s Sharon Fuente will donate the proceeds from her upcoming creative storytelling and traditional family sessions to the literacy organization.
“I am so excited to launch my new product line of creative children's storytelling portraits with a fundraiser to benefit The Bookmobile of Bartow County from Nov. 1-15,” she said. “I first heard about The Bookmobile in Bartow County last year at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Adairsville where Valerie Gilreath was speaking about raising money for a new bookmobile.
“I have always been an avid reader and book lover. One of my favorite childhood memories is my grandfather reading Winnie the Pooh to all the grandkids and my mother was the biggest supporter of my endless stream of creative ideas and endeavors. I believe that reading to your children and teaching children the love of books promotes greater success in school and a love for lifelong learning.”
Formed in July 2017, The Bookmobile first concentrated its efforts in south Bartow and later extended its service area. Last year, 152 new Bookmobile library cards were issued, 700 books were checked out and 3,610 books were distributed to families.
“Bookmobile operations are funded entirely through individual donations and business sponsorships,” said Gilreath, president of The Bookmobile's board of directors. “COVID-19 forced us to cancel fundraisers planned for May and August while also forcing us to change our service processes to protect our clients and ourselves.
“In response, we streamlined our budget and shifted fundraising focus to smaller campaigns that can be promoted virtually. We also increased our grant writing efforts.”
With this in mind, Gilreath was “delighted” with Fuente’s fundraising idea.
“Lifesong Photography’s benefit means a great deal to our organization and its operations,” Gilreath said. “October through December is historically a very busy time for The Bookmobile, and this year is no different.
“We participate in numerous Halloween events and Christmas events across Bartow County. We anticipate giving away 2,500 books between now and the end of the year. Proceeds from this fundraiser will enable us to replenish our giveaway book stock in preparation for spring operations.”
Fuente opened Lifesong Photography — 101 41st St. in Adairsville — in May 2018.
“Although I have loved photography for as long as I can remember — I got my first camera at age 10 — 2020 marks 10 years as a professional photographer,” she said. “I started my photography career as a hospital newborn photographer and still do many newborn sessions.
“I also do maternity, family, pet and seniors as well as product photography, headshots and commercial work. I am a certified professional photographer with Professional Photographers of America and have won multiple local, state and national awards for my work.”
For Fuente, storytelling portraits help boost a child’s confidence and can be tailored to their interests.
“Photography is a powerful medium, especially when it is displayed in the home,” she said. “When children see their images on the wall, it speaks to the love their parents have for them. It builds self-esteem in children and in general children with higher self-esteem are more successful.
“Children also have great imaginations and wonderful dreams. What a wonderful gift for a child to invest in their dreams? I wanted to make those dreams come to life through storytelling portraits.”
In creating a storytelling portrait, Fuente highlights a child’s aspirations and hobbies.
“I find out what a child loves, what they want to be or do and come up with a one-of-a-kind piece of art that showcases that dream,” she said. “Maybe they want to be an astronaut or ride a dinosaur. Maybe they want to be a princess, a superhero or fly an airplane — the possibilities are endless.
“The child is photographed on a plain backdrop and then a computer composite is created with the final product being beautiful wall art. A lot of planning is involved to make sure the story comes to life. Additionally, the photography, lighting and posing have to be spot on and the computer composite work takes time and skill."
For more details about Lifesong Photography and its Bookmobile fundraiser, call 678-800-7006, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lifesongphotography.net. Fuente and Gilreath also will be promoting the benefit at the Christmas Village — Booth No. 28 — at the Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville Nov. 6 and 7.