Giving Back as a Business

One of my favorite things to do as a small business owner is give back to my community through volunteering my skills and talents. These days, showing you are community-minded is not only the right thing to do, but it’s good for business. It provides publicity and exposure for your brand, and can also help connect you with other “doers” in your area that you can partner with in the future. It’s a win-win!

As a photography studio with a background in marketing and public relations, we often volunteer our photography services to non-profits who otherwise might not be able to afford professional images. We have photographed events, produced head shots and even been a part of advertising campaigns for local non-profits that are doing amazing work in the community. Through this, we have met some amazing people and our brand name recognition has skyrocketed! In fact, we launched August Light Studio on the heals of our First Fridays Show, which benefited refugees abroad and those who have been placed right here in Kansas City. Giving back is a important facet of our business that we’re extremely proud of.

How can you give back to your community through your business? Do you have a skill or product line that you could use to help a non-profit that is serving people in your area? Can you reach out to others in your circle to find out if there is a project you could all work on together? The possibilities are endless!

First Fridays Photo Exhibition in the Crossroads Arts District

This past Friday I was so excited to introduce August Light Studio to the world through a photo exhibition at First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District. Now that August Light Studio has joined the Crossroads community, it felt even more wonderful to be celebrating this milestone right down the street from the studio, in the Helix Architecture + Design building. This photo exhibition was a culmination of a year of work, which began when I visited Greece last October to photograph a Syrian refugee camp. The photos were to be used in academia only, but after speaking with the volunteers at the camp, the refugees themselves and organizations here in Kansas City, we had the idea to host an event where the photos would be on display and we could raise some money. The photos were of Bê Sînor – Sinatex Cultural Center, an informal school for children and adults at Camp Sinatex, a small family camp in the Greek countryside. The proceeds from the First Fridays exhibition were donated to Bê Sînor and to KC for Refugees, a local organization that works with refugees who are resettled in the Kansas City area. The show was an absolute success! We were expecting around 60 people, but over 200 joined us and we raised over $1400 for these worthy causes! The generosity of everyone who attended was just incredible!

There are so many people to thank who helped make this show a reality. First, the team from Helix Architecture + Design, specifically Kate Hulsen, who donated their space to this cause and let us take over their building for an evening. I am so incredibly grateful for the beautiful space where we were able to host these images!

Yellow Daisies Kitchen provided baked goods for this event, including their famous sugar cookies! They also set up an incredible cupcake bar, where children who attended the show could frost and decorate their own cupcake. This was a hit for parents and for kids!

J. Lynn Designery created an incredible poster for the show that was so visually stunning, it really sold the event! I am so thankful to have had the gorgeous posters to hang up all over town and to garner interest in the event.

Kymberly Janelle Photography took beautiful images of the event. I’m so grateful to have these photos and she did a wonderful job!

Afentra at 96.5 The Buzz donated concert tickets that we were able to auction off to raise more funds! What a thoughtful surprise!

KC for Refugees, Catholic Charities and the ONE organization came out and shared how their work helps refugees in our community. I’m so glad they were able to attend and share their work with everyone!

Finally, I have to thank my family, specifically my mother-in-law who was my go-to for almost everything regarding this event. I couldn’t have done this without her! We also had help from aunts, uncles and friends who worked the donation tables, filled drinks and made the whole thing run so smoothly. My husband and kids were there through it all, moving tables, hanging banners and making me laugh the entire time. I’m so lucky to have such giving, awesome people in my life!

If you are interested in reading more about this show in detail, you can do so here. If you would like to chat about hosting these images in your space or in a gallery show, please contact

First Friday Art Show on September 1st, 2017!

I am so thrilled to announce that images I photographed at a Syrian refugee camp in Greece in 2016 are going to be featured in an exhibition for First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District! The show will be at Helix Architecture (who graciously donated their space for this event) – 1629 Walnut, Kansas City, Missouri – from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on September 1st.  We can’t believe it, and feel honored and humbled by this opportunity. The proceeds from the show will benefit the Bê Sînor – Sinatex Cultural Center and the local group KC for Refugees, which does wonderful work in the Kansas City community connecting people who want to help with refugees who have been resettled in our area.

You can find the event page on Facebook in order to RSVP to this event, however, you don’t need to RSVP to attend. There will be food, drinks, activities and treats for the kids and more! I would love to see you there! I am also actively looking for sponsors to help this event come to life! If you own a business (or know someone who does) that is civically-minded, I would love to chat with you about sponsorship. There are many different ways to help, and no act is too small. Please send me an email at if you are interested!