Astonishing Fairy Tale Photos Help Sick Kids Enjoy Magic Moments
Through her photography business, Fairyography, Heather Larkin dresses children in beautiful, make-believe costumes and photographs them playing pretend in fairy tale scenes, dressed up as fairy princesses or storybook characters.
But after two of her clients later died — one of pediatric brain cancer and one of a heart condition — the Georgia-based photographer realized that the greatest gift she could give families struggling with childhood illness or trauma was a set of photos that captured their child’s beauty and innocence.
So Larkin created the Sabina Hartley-Burke and Ava Jane Gibson Memorial Princess Sessions, a yearly contest she holds to find families to gift with her images. Each August, friends and family members nominate children who have a medical or genetic condition, or have suffered trauma or abuse, to win a photo session, print package and photo book, donated by Larkin in memory of her former clients.
“When Sabina died, it was heartbreaking for me. I attended her funeral and sent images (of my shoot with her) for her parents to use in the service. They sent me a note later on that said, ‘You will never know how much these images mean to us — they’re all we have left of her,'” Larkin told TODAY Parents. “As heartbreaking as it was for me — it was worse for her parents. And, I realized it’s worse for those people who go through all of this and have nothing to remember from the happy times with their child.”