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Keeper of the Stories

By Lou Drey & Summer Steele

We want to introduce you to a an awesome friend of ours. Her name is Madeline Ford. She embodies an awesome combination of creativity and business acumen. Here are a couple of the stories she captured recently.


I interviewed Maddie for my Bonding Time podcast last fall. She told me that she loves photography, but what really puts the fire in her heart was when she got to travel internationally and tell people's stories through photography. It shows. As I looked through photos of her recent trip to Uganda, Africa, I was drawn into the stories frozen in time.

There are pictures of people working with their hands creating food, art, tools, and clothes to sell and trade. There were also touching and beautiful photos of teams of people setting up medical aid stations to remove jiggers, a painful and sometimes paralyzing parasitic insect, out of the feet (and sometimes whole bodies) of the residents of Eastern Uganda. People would come on foot from miles around for this treatment. They would be given a place to stay while their feet healed, then given a new handmade pair of shoes to shield and protect their feet. These are such practical ways to help and engage and support. I would not have been able to feel the impact of this if it weren't for the clear and raw stories told in these photos.

But the story that stopped me in my tracks, made me smile, was this one...of my mom (age 59), apprehensive of change and the unknown, struggles with a bit of airplane/airport anxiety, had decided it was the right time for her to go be boots on the ground. Even though it is so far out of her cozy, cabin-in-the-woods, NCIS watching with my dad in the evenings comfort zone. However, my dad didn't feel the same call and didn't completely understand. He would miss her sorely. Nevertheless, he held her bags and walked her to the gate.

A Spirit of Determination


Maddie's determination to share her story with the world is born out of more than just a creative spirit. Although I've never met anyone so positive in all my life, she's more than just a beautiful smile. She is an intelligent and brave businesswoman who has been working diligently at her business for more than 8 years. With a degree in art from a local university, she has come by her business sense from the school of hard knocks.

We wanted to highlight Maddie and pause a moment to celebrate her. Even before the explosion of the CoronaVirus, Maddie had shown a patient perseverance and intelligence in the business world. Now, as she's facing the challenge of running an artistic business in this new economy, we want to give her an even bigger shout out and let her knew we're cheering her on. We are cheering all of you adventuresome, smart, creative spirits on as we figure out what life will look like moving forward.

Beautiful Stories & Beautiful Pictures

As we look for a way forward together, let's continue to look for the story of humanity. To do as Mr. Rogers said, and "Look for the helpers." Not only is it encouraging to look for them, but it is important to celebrate and remember them. Cultures throughout history have had the guardians of the stories. Without people like Maddie, the humanity of the stories, the looks in people's eyes, and the beauty of life being lived might be forgotten. It's an important and sacred calling.

Thank you, Maddie!

Scroll through to the end to get links to Maddie's information. Bonding Time podcast - Chasing Beauty #weddingportraits #pnwphotography #oregonphotography #washingtonphotography #entrepreneur

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