We have received so much AMAZING feedback from the TODAY Show airing. It’s so great to see and hear the passion is shared by so many that I have in my heart for this organization and our Military. I really appreciate every email and comment that is coming in! I’m so touched. OpLove is the ONLY (that we know of) organization that has had our policies reviewed and approved by the Department of Defense. We respectfully follow all DoD Regulations and Rules as well as OPSEC.
Here’s some tips on getting into contact to become a photographer, get a session, or donate.
To participate with our organization you or your loved one must be deploying over 4 months (typically). The deployment must be out of the country and cannot be to a location where family COULD go. Korea is one of those locations, and unfortunately does not qualify at this time. You must have orders in hand, expected orders will not work.
Participants may partake in 2 of 4 sessions. The sessions must follow a patriotic theme and the military member should be in uniform for a portion if not all of the session, unless prohibited for traveling or safety purposes. Sessions are FREE, 100%. If you are asked to pay anything you MUST report this to Admin. The sessions provided are: a pre-deployment with the military member prior to deploying, Saying Goodbye (at the deployment) or While Away – Deployment session following patriotic theme without the military member who is deployed. Secondly, you may participate in a Homecoming session. So, one of the first three options, and the homecoming. Please know that not every photographer offers all the sessions. Some don’t do homecomings, and vise verse’. You do not have to use the same photographer.
You will contact a photographer directly from our OpLove Finder (http://www.oplove.org/oplovefinder)
IMPORTANT: The albums are sent overseas by the photographer and are NOT GIVEN to the family member still in the States, unless the session is a homecoming and the service member is obviously now home.
Because our ENTIRE organization is ran on 100% volunteer work, we cannot answer every email personally, or call unless it’s a specific matter. So, we do have an auto response set up that answers nearly every question you may have. Sometimes the auto response will hit your junk box, so if you do not hear from us, check that out and see if it was filtered.
To be a photographer in our organization, you must apply and be approved. To apply you MUST HAVE a professional website; Facebook, MySpace, etc will not work. We prefer a real .com, .net, .tv, .info, etc. site. Usually Wix and Weebly free sites are not developed enough to show a solid portfolio. We LOVE blogs because we can see how active you are with your online community and it’s a constant update to your work. The main reason we require a website is so clients can see your work before contacting you. You must also be acting as a legal business and paying taxes. We prefer 3 years of business, but if you have a portfolio and haven’t been in business that long, still apply because we do make exceptions. EVERY application is looked at by a panel of individuals. Not just one person is approving the applications.
We are volunteer work. We do ask for donations from our photographers to help with all the behind the scene stuff to make this organization run. If you are not a photographer and just want to donate, please go to our splash page at http://www.oplove.org and click on the DONATE link. We appreciate VERY MUCH all the help and support we get.
Sometimes funds are used to provide images for funerals. Funds are also used to provide prints and albums to families who photographers do not, for whatever reason, fulfill their obligations. Funds are used to maintain the website, blog, and event site for mass uploading from large events. We do have a Board Administration, and in respect of our 501c3 we follow ALL LEGALITIES and DoD regulations. If you cannot donate, that’s OKAY! Just let us know, and try not to send hateful emails.
Photographers that do not fulfill their obligations to the families are removed from the organization. In retrospect, families that abuse the opportunity to use our organization are also no longer able to participate. Respect goes 2 ways… it’s given and received. Please remember this.
If you need a photographer or are a photographer, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or from our website. We DO NOT reply to blog comments.
Again, thank you so much for the overwhelming amount of simply touching comments. I am just in awe. <3