Riley Children’s Foundation “Be The Hope” Campaign

I have truly enjoyed the work I have done with the Riley Children’s Foundation over the past few years. The interaction with the children, and knowing I am contributing to the success of this important organization, add meaning to my work as a professional photographer. My most recent time with them involved creating imagery for their “Be The Hope” campaign, which hopes to raise $175,000 by 2020. Ed Carpenter Racing has stepped up to be a major partner for this new fundraising initiative. Imagery of the kids Riley Children’s Hospital serves and Ed was central to spreading the campaign message.

Professional portrait by Paul D'Andrea

We went out to the Ed Carpenter Racing on the East side of Indianapolis and took studio-style portraits of Ed and the children. A simple backdrop was essential to what they planned to do with the images. Part of the marketing campaign was to announce the newly designated Riley Children’s Foundation Turn Two Suites at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The pictures were blown up to over 20ft tall and placed on the building, which made for an impactful unveiling event.    

Professional event photo by Paul D'Andrea

The event was also an opportunity to capture more marketing imagery. I took pictures of Ed and the kids under their huge selves. It was fun. Ed also went to the hospital to hand out Riley superhero capes to the kids who were there. All of these images provided rich content for the social media aspect of the “Be the Hope” marketing campaign.

Professional portrait by Paul D'Andrea

As a non-profit organization that directly helps people, the Riley Children’s Foundation is much more able to tell their brand story using their own imagery. Stock photography of children would have never worked. My long-standing relationship with Riley meant I already understood the tenor of their messaging, making it easier for me to capture what they were looking for. And, I have experience working with their constituents – kids. Having the patience to wait for the possibly fidgety or uncomfortable child to relax and therefore offer the perfect authentic facial expression is the key. It takes time for the children to get comfortable with all the strange adults in the room, as well as the camera. During one of these photoshoots, one child decided he did not want to participate. We just hung out in the room until he relaxed and he eventually started enjoying himself and allowed the photographs to be taken. His mom even sent her thanks to me via Riley for my patience with her child. For me, that patience comes naturally, especially with this particular group of kids.

Riley does good work and I am proud to be affiliated with them. If you would like to support the “Be The Hope” campaign, click here.