As the season of giving thanks approaches, one Wilton photographer wants to give a gift to deserving families that might need a little something extra. It’s her way of paying forward all she’s grateful for and helping spread that thankfulness around.

As a photographer, Nina Pomeroy feels her role is to give the people she photographs a record of where they are in time. Many times, people hire a photographer to capture the happy occasions and marker events–a wedding, a baby’s first birthday, a bar or bat mitzvah.

But for some people, the current moment they are in isn’t always a happy point in their lives. Pomeroy is hoping to bring a bit of happiness to a deserving family by gifting them with forever memories.

“For many, the holiday season is wonderful. However, for others it can be difficult. Whether it be personal losses, illness, unemployment or financial difficulties. A few years back I gifted a family a portrait session along with prints as part of a contest. The experience changed me profoundly. It made me realize that I just don’t take photographs. I feel true connections with many of my clients who have come to me over the years. I still remember small details from many of their sessions,” she says.

The family she photographed was nominated because the mother was dying of multiple types of cancer. Pomeroy photographed the mother and her husband and their two sons, both of whom were under the age of 10.

“It took months to schedule something because she was in and out of treatment and truly felt very, very sick. It broke my heart, but I somehow kept it together throughout the session. She was so proud in all the images. I’ll never forget her or her smile as she hugged her kids so so tight. It’s heart wrenching–she died just a few months later,” Pomeroy recalls.

Knowing that the woman’s sons would have the photos to cherish and remember their mother’s grace, strength and love for them made Pomeroy feel like what she does is more a gift than a job.

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For this current contest, she’s asking for nominees–an individual or family who is going through difficult times and would benefit from the gift of portrait session. It can be a family session, individual portrait, child or couple session. And even if someone is in the midst of difficulty, says Pomeroy, the photos can be a beautiful reminder of what is truly important–the binding ties we have to family.

“Everyone’s life is important, and I want to help people realize the importance of life. It’s your own personal history, as inconsequential as you may feel your life is at the moment. Whether you’re a busy mom, a working parent….it’s part of who you are and the life you share with your family. I hope that people look at their photos in time and realize just where they were at that point in their life. the stages of childhood, or even sadly, sometimes an illness. All these experiences, good and bad, make us stronger and smarter,” Pomeroy says.

She also feels that sometimes when people are going through a hardship, they may be embarrassed or too proud to show their vulnerabilities. As a photographer, she sees the beauty in it, and believes finding those moments to capture are just as important.

“No one should feel shame for a hardship — we’ve all had them one time or another,” she says, noting that even having a record of what you’ve been through can be monumental.

“Having a tangible portrait to have. to pass down. is something that you can’t re-create. it sounds old fashioned but I can’t impress enough to people how important portraits are,” Pomeroy adds.

To learn more about nominating a family, visit Pomeroy’s website blog, where she explains the necessary steps. Every nomination is kept confidential. Entries will be accepted until Wednesday Nov. 25 at 6 p.m., and on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, two winners will be picked. One nominee will be picked at random, and another will be picked by Pomeroy. The winners will receive a full portrait session and five 8×10 prints of their choice.