Yes, photos are that important to Make-A-Wish. They are the cornerstone of sharing the essence of wish experiences with you. Often, we rely on volunteer photographers to give you the chance to stand by a wish kid’s side during the experience of a lifetime.
Trevor Stolebarger is one of these photographers – and his skills more than match his generosity. He’s photographed 43 wishes and events for Make-A-Wish San Diego since 2011. His work appears in the 2014 Make-A-Wish calendar. This Q & A session will give you a glimpse into the world of a prolific volunteer photographer - and you can see a photo of Trevor with his daughter at the end of this post (he could definitely give me a lesson on how to smile for the camera).
How did you get started with Make-A-Wish?
I got involved with Make-A-Wish through Amanda Andrejewski, who was a wish granter that worked with me as a second shooter for a few weddings that I shot. Make-A-Wish was always an organization I wanted to volunteer for. So when she referred me, I was so excited. I met with your volunteer coordinator at the earliest date she was available and learned that no one was really doing any photography for the Make-A-Wish San Diego. I expressed that I would love to provide that service.
What inspires you to volunteer your time and talent?
To fight evil! Ha ha. So much in the world of photography from my perspective focuses on the darkness in this world. Photography is defined as the study of light, and I want my photography to show the light and beauty and good in this world. I don't think photography should just be about "taking" photographs, I feel it should also be about giving back. Make-A-Wish has given me the greatest opportunity to give back and has become my greatest passion in photography.
What’s your favorite wish you’ve captured?
This is a tough question, I've photographed mermaids and pirates, for crying out loud! My favorite wish so far, however, was Dalton's wish to be a Marine. From the moment Dalton's eyes teared up when putting on his Marine uniform, I knew this one was going to be special. Dalton has wanted his whole life to be a Marine. He showed everyone on that base his fighter's heart as he worked as hard as anyone else did on that base that day. He showed his strength to his fellow Marines who were by his side the entire day encouraging him to be the best. This wish was truly a special experience.
What’s your favorite thing about being a volunteer with Make-A-Wish?
Getting to meet so many amazing people! The wish kids, families, volunteers and Make-A-Wish staff are simply some of the greatest people I've met. The San Diego staff is so amazing at making people feel so incredibly appreciated.
You can find an outlet for your skills and enthusiasm, just as Trevor has. Find your local chapter to see how you can help, from sharing images of wishes to planning events, providing IT support, helping with clerical tasks and much more.