Special Olympics volunteers may need to re-take hundreds of pictures after thieves made off with a photographer's equipment.
Saturday, the “Kent Storm” Special Olympics team hosted an event that allowed families with special needs children to take portraits.
For many of these families, photographs are a challenge, but volunteers spent hours working with everyone to capture smiles and special moments.
Thursday, the photographer’s car was broken into while she was taking pictures at Seattle’s Kubota Gardens. The memory cards and a laptop containing the images from Saturday’s shoot were stolen.
Photographer Heather Trusty said she was devastated.
“Pictures are sometimes irreplaceable, you'll never get that snapshot again,” she explained.
The loss was heartbreaking news for families like the Skogens. With two special needs children in the family, getting everyone in front of the camera and smiling is tough.
“We have to chase after my daughter because she's a runner and doesn't always look (at the camera) but we got some good beautiful photos,” Amy Skogen explained.
Many families say the photos are the only professional pictures they have.
“Something I can show my family and display on my wall, just like anybody else,” Skogen said.
On Friday, they called families offering a refund. So far, everyone says they just want to try and re-shoot, although they realize that will not be easy.
“It's hard to get the kids to be still or to make them smile,” volunteer Stephanie Lisser said.
Lisser helped capture those smiles during the last photo shoot and says she will try again.
They're still hopeful thieves might at least return the memory cards and the hundreds of irreplaceable photos they contain.