Volunteer to Take Photos For Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

 (Warning, video above may be too graphic or intense for some, viewer discretion is advised)

This is a touchy and difficult subject; if you or someone close to you have suffered through the loss of a child, you may want to avoid this article and the video above.

Now I Lay Me down to Sleep is a national organization that helps document the loss of an infant. As someone who has witnessed both sides of this organization I can say that for me, personally, the service has a lot of merits. That doesn't mean it's going to be for everyone. In fact, even though I believe in the company and what it does I have no desire to look at the images my relatives had taken of their full-term still-born child. Why? Because they're not for me. They're for the family. That's the lesson here. Whether you want to look at them or not shouldn't impact your decision on whether they should be allowed to exist in the first place.

A photographer friend of mine was a volunteer for the service and did one session with a newly grieving family and it was too hard for her to do again. Granted, she herself was trying to get pregnant at the time and those factors played into her choice not to continue. That's the main issue here, emotion. 

If we can remove our own emotion long enough to see the needs of other people's emotions, beautiful things can happen. Photographs can truly help a grieving family move on because they can see what they lost. They can see what they almost had, and it's not just an invisible memory.

So, why would anyone want to volunteer to do this? Because it's a gift you can give someone that they can't get elsewhere and you'll learn things. Being able to have a doctors bedside manner as an artist can greatly enhance your work. If you can put aside your differences and emotions, you might be able to help heal people with your art. 

Here's what they're looking for directly from their website:

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS) remembrance photography volunteers capture special moments of love for parents experiencing the loss of an infant. This precious gift helps provide healing for a family while honoring the baby's legacy.
Our organization continues to expand our reach and strengthen our existing volunteer teams across the US, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.
Whether you are a skilled photographer, professional photo editor, a parent who has suffered a loss, or you have a heart for our mission, there are many ways to be a part of supporting our mission!

To learn more about the various volunteer roles, and to apply online, please visit their website.