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Special snapshots

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then B & P Photography hopes to write a book that will give smiles to severely ill children in Covington County.

B & P Photography, owned by Billy and Pam Doster, is offering free portrait packages to families with children who suffer from “life threatening and crippling diseases,” Billy Doster said.

“We want to bring some joy to kids who are suffering from these diseases,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is lift everybody’s self-esteem.”

Doster said the photography studio started the program two weeks ago, and has already done a free photo shoot for 3-year-old Dylon Smith, who has life-threatening heart problems that will require special surgery in Houston, Texas.

“I was sitting there taking his pictures, and he was running around playing,” Doster said. “And I couldn’t help but think, ‘this poor baby doesn’t even know what’s ahead of him.’

“Well, if something like that doesn’t touch your heart and make you want to help somebody, then you might need to be checked to see if you have a heart.”

Shelley Smith, Dylon’s mom, said Doster’s program is a wonderful one.

“Dylon really loved looking at the photos and taking the photos,” she said. “Every time we drive by the park now, Dylon is like, ‘Is Mr. Billy going to take my photos again?’ I just think the world of Billy (Doster) and his wife. You can tell that they are doing this from the goodness of their hearts.

“He really captured who my child is, and that is so special to us. He really did a great job.”

Doster said the children’s families will receive two 8-by-10 prints and two 5-by-7 prints, free of charge.

“We just want to bring what joy we can to the kids somehow,” he said. “It makes them feel really special, even it’s just for an hour or so, and it gives some memories for the family later on.”

Doster said the studio would try schedule the shoot at a time that is convenient for the family, even if it is outside B & P’s normal working hours.

“We’re going to do every thing in our power to make it easy on them,” he said. “Especially when you’re dealing with sick children and all. It won’t be on B & P time, it will be on the best time for the parents or guardians.”

Doster reiterated that the program is for children who suffer from dangerous or debilitating diseases only.

“We’re going to have to look at each one and decide if what (the child) has will qualify for the program,” he said. “Unfortunately, we can’t just take every kid who has the flu and go take pictures of them. It has to be a life-threatening disease, or a seriously crippling one.”

Families who have children who may be eligible for the program can call B & P Photography at 222-9731, or Meredith’s Miracles at 222-3265.