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Santa Barbara Non Profits: Portraits for Causes

Ali Azarvan volunteered for 25 local non profits in May and shares his chronicles:

As any of my Facebook friends will tell you, I LOVE pictures. I especially love taking pics of my family. They are fun reminders of great times. Well, once my wife, Nicole, and I had our baby about 10 months ago, I reached out on Facebook and asked for input regarding the best local photographer. Many mentioned Kacie Jean Fowle and after seeing some of her work, we had to give her a call.

Needless to say, she did an amazing job and took some awesome shots. More importantly, we had an absolute blast with her. She had a killer sense of humor and we immediately became buddies. Over the past few months as I’ve been growing Just a Little Push, Kacie has been arguably my most supportive friend – she has a huge heart and she just “gets it”. She had reached out to me to discuss a brilliant idea she had to donate photo sessions to those who are terminally ill or to other local non-profits. You see, Kacie had been donating photo sessions for those in need for over 6 years – but to make a bigger impact and help more families in need (she is, after all, only 1 person), she wanted to scale this concept quickly.


I couldn’t have been more excited or more proud of her. . . I immediately understood the value and need for a charity like this. Imagine that your wife is battling stage 4 breast cancer – the doctors are giving her a timetable of weeks, not months, to live. Your financial situation is a mess thanks to 3 years of outrageous hospital bills. You want to capture one last moment with your entire family – something that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Portraits for Causes is here for this exact situation. Not only does she provide the images to the family, but, she also creates a gorgeous album for them to hold onto. I’m convinced that the most brilliant ideas are those that elicit the “why didn’t I think of that?” reaction. This is one of those ideas.

Kacie asked me to be on her board of directors and I gladly accepted. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this awesome nonprofit and hopefully help her grow it quickly. The sad truth is that there are a lot of people who can use her services. I was clueless before May Days – but now my eyes are open. . . there are so many people suffering with life threatening illnesses who can use a nonprofit like this. In fact, Kacie is teaming up with some locally-based charities like The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and Dream Foundation in order to find deserving families!

I wouldn’t normally just cut and paste testimonials – but I think these quotes do a much better job of summarizing this beautiful charity than my mediocre writing can:

The Strong Family ( “when I realized we didn’t have a family photo of all four of us yet, I lost it — unsure if we’d ever have the chance to take some. But… Now we have these and they mean the world. I cherish photos of Gwendolyn and professional photos are extra special. I remember each shoot, what Gwendolyn was wearing, how I felt that day, where we were on our journey with SMA at that exact moment. Maybe it is silly that photos mean so much to me. Trivial. But they feel tangible and help me hold onto so much that can feel so fleeting”.

Breast Cancer Survivor- “Going through cancer shreds your life into pieces. Kacie’s pictures though reminded me how alive I still was, despite what I was going through. It reminded me that my family was still intact, strong and beautiful. This gave me some added strength at one of the lowest times in my life. Thank you for your gift of photography.”

Last week I was lucky enough to help her with a photoshoot for a beautiful young girl named Eliana – at 4 months old she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and she recently got some bad news. But she is a fighter- and she could NOT be any cuter. I can honestly say that had to be one of the easiest shoots Kacie has ever done – she may be the most photogenic little girl ever! Eliana’s mother, Samantha, has become a friend and is now focused on finding a cure for children’s cancer – in fact she is very active in the CureSearch walk here in Santa Barbara.

In addition to Kacie’s award-winning photography business, she has been spending countless hours over the last 6 years donating her amazing work to these beautiful families. Every donated photo session costs her approximately $1,000 in total production costs. Her biggest need as she awaits her 501(c)(3) approval (hopefully any day now) is money – the more money she has, the more families she can help. Please help her in her quest to create lasting memories for those in need by visiting her page here. Trust me when I say that you will feel a certain pride years down the road when you can look back and know that you helped a huge charity get off the ground!

2 Responses to “Santa Barbara Non Profits: Portraits for Causes”

  1. There are some really amazing people doing some incredible work in SB.

  2. Givers get thanks

    Santa Barbara has always been an exceptionally generous community.