Although Apex business owner and photographer Aimee Bickers can’t do anything about bringing troops back home, she does have a way of sending a little bit of home to the troops.
Bickers’ studio, Pure Expressions Photography, is participating in the Portraits of Love Project that is aiming to send 10,000 free family portraits to those serving overseas.
Throughout the month of September military families that have someone deployed can receive family portraits free of charge.
The portraits, which normally cost a couple of hundred dollars to purchase, will be uploaded to www.pmdaportraitsoflove.com and a print will be sent to the family member in uniform.
Bickers already sent a free family portrait to an Apex soldier back in June before even hearing about the Portraits of Love project.
Knowing that Maj. Mark Almond of the NC National Guard had been deployed to Iraq, she took photos of his wife, Holly, and their two young daughters Faith and Hope. She then put the photos in a small pocket-sized album and sent it to Almond.
Almond carries the album in his pocket every day.
“The response to our gift was beyond compare,” said Bickers. “We only expected to surprise him, not to feel, via words in a thank you note, how truly happy it made him.”
Just a few weeks later, Bickers heard about the Portraits of Love Project and quickly volunteered. “We jumped on the opportunity to provide something so small yet so meaningful to as many of our troops as we can,” said Bickers.
The Photolmaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association along with the volunteer organization Soldiers Angels began the project as a way to send family photos overseas in time for the holiday season. A total of 150 photographers nationwide volunteered for the project. Fujifilm is supplying the free prints to the soldiers and their families.
“This project is the photo industry’s way of giving back to our soldiers, and thanking them for the sacrifices they have made for our country,” said PMDA President Jerry Grossman in a written statement. “Our industry is uniquely qualified to bring an important piece of home to our soldiers, and were pleased to be able to organize this effort.”
Bickers said she is excited about the opportunity to participate in the project.
“This is our own little mission – to bring a smile to a soldier’s face, joy to their heart and to give them a gift they can literally keep with them forever,” said Bickers.
Any military families interested in receiving a free portrait can contact Bickers at 362-9039 to make an appointment. A valid military ID is required.
For more information visit www.pureexpressionsphotography.com.