Charity Model Search: Cute kids benefit charity

The 2013 International Charity Model Search is already in full swing at Photography by Tina in Merrill, and children from newborns all the way up to age 18 are being photographed and entered into the competition to be named “North America’s Cutest Kid” and win some incredible prize packages that include cash, cameras, gift cards, and more.
Local photographer, Tina L. Scott, owner of Photography by Tina, is participating in the event for the third consecutive year to select North America’s Cutest Kid and to raise funds for a charity that is very near to her heart, a non-profit organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS). NILMDTS connects families who experience the tragedy of an early infant loss with professional photographers who volunteer to go into the hospital to create professional portraits of the baby at no cost to the family. Scott has been a volunteer photographer for the organization since 2008 and has personally photographed nearly 40 babies, who were either born still or died shortly after birth, for grieving families in North Central Wisconsin.
“Until I started volunteering with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, I had no idea the number of families who suffer an infant loss and how tragically often it happens,” Scott says. “The death of a child is the most heartbreaking thing a parent will ever endure.”
Scott says professional images of their baby mean so much to the parents. “Imagine if you had a child and had nothing to remember that child by. Nothing to prove to the world that this baby existed,” she says. “Now imagine that a professional photographer is willing to drop whatever they are doing and come to the hospital to create beautiful images of your child and give them to you, no strings attached, at no cost whatsoever, so that you will have memories of your baby forever. That’s what it is like for these families. They invite me into their lives to share the precious few moments they have with this child for whom they had such wonderful hopes and dreams, in the midst of their incredible heartbreak, and to share this personal time with them. I consider it a huge honor.”
This is the third year Photography by Tina has participated in the Charity Model Search.
“It’s a great opportunity to have your child photographed at a reduced rate and help raise money for a really important charity at the same time,” Scott says.
In addition to the prizes offered at the international level, Scott and Photography by Tina up the ante for local families by offering a huge prize of their own. “Any family whose child’s image makes it to the finals will receive a 16×20-inch canvas gallery wrap of their child’s image as my gift to them,” Scott says. This is an item that retails in her studio for $379. “I know that because this is a fundraising event, the families do a lot of promotion and contribute their own dollars to helping their child raise money for this cause,” she says, “and I want to recognize that contribution with a prize of my own.”
For each of the last two years, one of Photography by Tina’s images have gone on to the finals, and Scott has gifted those families with a canvas gallery wrap of their child’s image. In 2012, Cutler Nowak, son of Corey and Jenell Nowak of Merrill, was one of just 10 finalists selected from our multi-state region.
Contact Photography by Tina at 715-212-0767 to set up a time for your child’s Charity Model Search session at the special session fee of just $25 plus tax. Scott will select the cutest image from your child’s session and submit it to the online web gallery and notify you when it is online. Then share that link with family and friends and ask them to vote for your child with their dollars. Each vote is $1, and all proceeds go directly to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep ( The top ten vote-getters in each age category will be named finalists and move to an independent judging round where professional photographers and editors from Professional Photographer magazine will determine the winners in each category.
For more information, call Photography by Tina at 715-212-0767. You can also see complete contest rules and information online at:
Cutler Nowak was a finalist in the 2012 International Charity Model Search. Here, he and his dad, Corey Nowak, display the 16×20″ canvas gallery wrap they won from Photography by Tina in Merrill for making it to the finals.

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