Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: As the owner of Little Earthling Photography, which specializes in birth and newborn photos, what inspired your passion for photography?
Renee Bergeron: I can't really say what inspired my passion for photography. I have always loved pouring over photos. I am one of those people who could walk into a complete stranger's house and spend the afternoon looking at their photo albums. I suppose I am fascinated by the moments in time that are captured.
BD: In addition to your work with Little Earthling, you are the founder behind The Superhero Project, which “helps special needs children to show off their inner strength while offering the gift of professional photography to their families.” How did this venture begin?
RB: The Superhero Project began with my own son. Apollo was diagnosed with a rare heart defect at the age of 18 months. He has struggled with eating and breathing since birth. 2012 was a rough year for us all. Apollo was diagnosed with a double aortic arch in January, had heart surgery in March, and a feeding tube placed in his stomach in May. That summer we learned of complications from his first heart surgery and flew from Washington to Texas for a second heart surgery. Sometime that fall, I was inspired to take pictures of him dressed as a superhero. I wanted him to see himself as strong and capable. When I saw how much he loved the images, I decided to offer them to other kids with special needs.
BD: What have been the most challenging and rewarding aspects of The Superhero Project for you?
RB: The most challenging part has been scheduling the sessions. I do them all outdoors, so we are dependent on the weather. Because all of the kid have special needs, we have had to reschedule some sessions many times due to sickness or hospitalizations. The most rewarding part has been getting to know the children themselves! I have a ton of fun during each session and enjoy spending the time with each child.
BD: Is it possible for more families to participate in The Superhero Project, and, if so, what is the best way for them to get involved?
RB: Well, I am only one person. I do all Superhero Project sessions for free to local families. (I live in Northwest WA.)
BD: Are there any upcoming events or activities that you are currently working on that you would like to share with our readers?
RB: No, other than I am still doing sessions.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work with The Superhero Project?
RB: I hope that readers will see the inner beauty of these children. I hope it will open their eyes and hearts to maybe put in that extra bit of effort when they see someone different. To take a moment to smile, to chat, to get to know them.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about your work or who may want to donate their time and/or resources?
RB: You can see my work at littleearthlingphotography.com. I have had companies donate capes and clothing for shoots. I am always happy to accept those. If someone is a photographer interested in doing something similar, they are welcome to contact me.
If you have a volunteer opportunity or an important cause that could use the assistance of a few geeks, please email the details to barbra (at) fanboycomics.net.