HELENA — As many Montanans turn to non-profits to help feed their families, a Helena-based photographer recognized the need to give back.
Misty Boles used her artistic talents to help others, and turn a negative into a positive for her photography business, Misty Boles Intimate Photography.
Like other small businesses, the pandemic forced her to temporarily shut down her studio.
“It really was for me, a wake-up moment of, I could sit here and watch my business slowly deteriorate, and watch my savings just plunder,” she said. “Or I could do something better. I was taught that helping others is always going to make it better."
That shift in focus transformed into a way for her to give back in a major way, while guiding her business through a tough time.
Boles, who specializes in women’s portraiture and boudoir, posted an offer on social media. If someone donated $99 to Helena Food Share, they could schedule a complimentary boudoir session with her, complete with hair and makeup.
“My goal was $1,000,” she said.
But the women of Helena and beyond helped exceed every expectation.
56 women from across the state, and even someone living in Salt Lake City, booked a session with Misty.
“We were able to give $5,544 to Helena Food Share in three days,” Boles said. “Sometimes we look at our $100 donation and think that can’t really go very far. But to put all of those women’s money together and write a check to them, helps us be a part of something bigger.”
While they’re feeding others with their donation, Boles said it also provides hope for her business. She’ll hopefully start sessions back up in the middle of May.
Her calendar is now booked until September.