For one afternoon every month, a group of photographers transforms an examination room at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center into a photography studio for children.
“I think you're a natural,” photographer Amanda Cawdrey told Zion Coleman as he posed enthusiastically for the photos.
Cawdrey volunteers for Flashes of Hope, an organization that photographs children who are battling life threatening illnesses.
On Valentine’s Day, Zion Coleman and his younger sister, Zhania, mugged for the camera as Cawdrey took photos.
"You just fall in love with each one of them a little bit when you do it. It's fun," Cawdrey said after photographing the children.
Zion and Zhania were born with Sickle cell disease and Restrictive Cardiomyopathy which required them to have heart transplants last summer.
"Their disease is so unpredictable at any point in time they could have just dropped and there was nothing anyone could do," said Demetria Coleman, Zion and Zhania’s mother. The children take pain medication for pain crises but otherwise are doing well.
"My favorite part of today was getting my pictures taken. Because it was fun doing all of those poses and stuff," Zion Coleman said. His mother said she was looking forward to seeing the photos.
"I can't wait to put them in our little album that we have and share them with our family. They're hams they love getting their pictures taken," Demetria Coleman said.
Allison Clarke of Cleveland founded Flashes of Hope in 2001 after her son was hospitalized and treated for cancer. One of her son’s playmates in the hospital passed away and she wished she’d had a photo of him. The organization took off with chapters opening in several U.S. cities including Cincinnati. In 2012, Cincinnati-area photographers Vickie Daniels, Mark Bealer and Helen Adams formed the Cincinnati chapter. Since July 2012, more than 250 children have been photographed.
"We wanted to bring a gift to families to offer them something that most families don't even think about at this time in their lives," said Vickie Daniels.