A group of photographers quit their jobs to travel the country and bring smiles to families dealing with severe illnesses. They're in Seattle this weekend, photographing a group of kids trying to overcome sicknesses and disabilities.
One of them is Skyler Longaker, 7, who has endured 13 surgeries.
“He's our rock star,” said his mom Trine Longaker.
Birth defects hinder his development, but the photoshoot was all about his inner strength.
The Capes and Crowns Foundation, a Portland non-profit, dresses kids up in costumes, photographs them, and then photo-shops them into a universe of their choosing, a fantasy-land they've only dreamed of.
Longaker appeared as a superhero flying over a city. Other kids dressed as police officers and princesses.
“It's whatever the kids want to be,” said Halsey Hendrickson, one of the group’s volunteer photographers.
Capes and Crowns spent $1,700 buying costumes for the Seattle visit, said founder Kylie Cole.
“We have 58 shoots in three days and two photographers; that's a lot,” she said.
Cole was a professional photographer until she saw how this creativity impacted a family with a sick child during a photo shoot three years ago.
“I had an idea on the airplane to turn it into a non-profit. I created my business plan in about an hour and a half on the airplane,” she said.
She quit her job. So did Hendrickson. They're now full-time volunteers.
“It's definitely a struggle, but it's one that we're willing to take,” Cole said.
They travel the country, helping families escape what sometimes feels like a never-ending burden of illness, with a journey to a place where all you see is their courage.
“Seeing the effect it has on the kids, it makes every single second so worth it,” she said.
More info on Capes and Crowns here.