Soulumination is a non-profit organization that provides life-affirming legacy photography to families facing serious medical conditions, completely free of charge. In addition to the services donated by photographers, community volunteers make handcrafted photo albums and other gifts for the families. This video was made by Soulumination photographer Carrie Yuan of Yi Li Photography in order to share the work of Soulumination.

Soulumination volunteers make hand-crafted photo albums and other gifts to give to the families (photo: Wenmei Hill)

Volunteer photographers for Soulumination are invited in as families face serious illness, difficult treatment, joyous recovery and sorrowful loss. The photographer is there to capture those raw moments at times that are often private and filled with emotion. They are doing the most fundamental job of a photographer – ensuring that the family has something they can look back on, hold in their hands, share with others, fill in gaps in memories – in what can be the most difficult of circumstances.

As a volunteer photographer for Soulumination, I am often asked, "How can you do it?" After years of being invited to witness these important, beautiful, and often painful moments, I can't think of a better answer than photographer Randell Walton's: "How can I not?"

Soulumination founder Lynette Huffman Johnson and one of the Soul kids show off their Wonder Woman skills (photo: Wenmei Hill)

Although Soulumination is Seattle-based, there are several organizations throughout the world (such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Shoots for a Cure, and Flashes of Hope) that offer similar services. There are also a multitude of other ways individuals and organizations use photography for charitable causes. What are some groups you know of or participate in?