Darren Bowen Photography Blog

Getting Results to Beat Childhood Cancer

by | Oct 9, 2019

Getting Results to Beat Childhood Cancer

by | Oct 9, 2019 | Events, Philanthropy, Photography, Portrait Work

Photographer Darren Bowen and Santa Claus join FOX46 Good Day Charlotte Anchor Jason Harper to talk about how they’re joining forces to help get results and beat childhood cancer.

Interview Transcript

Jason

Oh, I am so excited about this interview right now. Look who is with us this morning. We are getting results for childhood cancer patients. One Santa picture at a time. We’ve got photographer Darren Bowen who’s here with us, and, how do you even introduce the one and only Santa Claus this morning. Guys, welcome.

Santa

Ho ho ho ho ho!

Jason

Oh there we go. I love it. We’re trying to get the temperature cooler for you.

Santa

Oh.

Jason

I hope the travel wasn’t too bad to West Charlotte without snow and everything else.

Santa

It’s a little warm.

Jason

It’s a little warm. I can understand. Thank you for being here. I appreciate it. Darren, welcome.

WATCH THE INTERVIEW

EVENT DATES

OCTOBER 26th 2019 – 11 AM to 3 PM

Bike Depot – Waxhaw
122 W North Main St,
Waxhaw, NC 28173

NOVEMBER 2nd 2019 – 11 AM to 3 PM

Emmets Social Table
401 E South Main St,
Waxhaw, NC 28173 

NOVEMBER 10th 2019 – 2 PM to 6 PM

Fior Charlotte
14825 Ballantyne Village,
Charlotte, NC 28277

NOVEMBER 30th 2019 – 12 PM to 3 PM

NoDa Brewery Company
2921 N Tryon St,
Charlotte, NC 28206

Darren

Hello.

Jason

You and I have become friends over the last couple of years because of a close family friend of ours, McKinsey Baron and her struggle with with brain cancer, and this is all in the Waxhaw area of North Carolina. And you and I ended up doing a couple of things together, and you came to me with this passionate idea of… What? Tell me about this connection with you and Santa Claus.

Darren

Well, it went back earlier this year. I was doing a shoot for a hospital, and I walked in, and I was talking to a lady there about my crazy idea about wanting to shoot Santa Claus urban, you know, to go with everything else I do.

Jason

Right.

Darren

Well, she happened to mention that she knew a center, and I just thought that was really bizarre. And so I’m …

Jason

She knows Santa, yeah.

Darren

Yeah. And so three weeks later or so, Santa and I are sitting having coffee together.

Jason

Because who doesn’t?

Darren

And then it really just … From that point, that was March or April of last year, we started building this. And so yeah, it’s been crazy.

Exclusive Christmas Portraits © 2019 Darren Bowen Photography
Exclusive Christmas Portraits © 2019 Darren Bowen Photography
Exclusive Christmas Portraits © 2019 Darren Bowen Photography

Jason

Okay, but where was the idea where you said, “I want to take pictures with other families and kids with Santa Claus, but I want to take the proceeds from that and I want to do something bigger than just photos.”

Darren

Well, that came from Mackenzie, late last … Middle of last year and the event that we did, and I was really touched by Lynn and Thomas.

Jason

Yeah.

Darren

And I will say I had a cousin at six years old who lost her life to cancer as well. And so it just started to build and then suddenly I realized, you know, this is all about the children anyway. Santa. Children. It just goes hand in hand.

Jason

Yeah.

Darren

It doesn’t matter what the photographer wants to do, right? And I just started to build and I thought, “We need to do something,” and then … It doesn’t get enough visibility. And then Lynn posted something on Facebook about how everything went from gold in September, to now it’s pink. And I was like, “No, that’s not right.” You know, we have to keep it gold, so …

Jason

It always should be gold.

Darren

Yeah. So a lot of it’s that, but it’s really just a passion, just wanting to make a difference. And I have the ability to do that and that I want to run with. So if I’ve got something I can give, I want to give it .

Exclusive Christmas Portraits © 2019 Darren Bowen Photography
Exclusive Christmas Portraits © 2019 Darren Bowen Photography
Exclusive Christmas Portraits © 2019 Darren Bowen Photography

Jason

Boy, and who doesn’t give more than Santa Claus. So when Darren came up to you in this coffee shop and presented this idea, because you’ve taken millions of photos for hundreds of years, Santa Claus, you thought, “Hey …” I mean, what came to your mind when you thought, “I could do this for kids?” Because they’re … I mean, that’s part of your heart.

Santa

Childhood cancer is not fun. It’s not fair. It’s a chance for me to try to make a difference, a chance for everybody else to try to help make a difference. And let’s get rid of this,

Jason

And I’m sure you’ve taken pictures over the years for hundreds of different reasons. Some just for fun, some for great causes. By the way, we’re looking at these photos Darren. They are … They’re remarkable. They really are. They’re incredible.

Darren

Thank you.

Jason

And so, Santa, for you, when you take pictures with a family or for a kid, even if they’re crying on your lap, which I can only imagine how many pictures of those turn out like that, but what does that feel like for you knowing that you’re a part of these memories that could last a lifetime?

Santa

It warms your heart to know that five years from now, 10 years, 20 years from now, when people are showing their Christmas or bringing out their Christmas of past or whatever, they’re going to have you as a part of that.

Jason

Oh my gosh.

Santa

You’re going to always be a part of their life for their Christmas forever.

Jason

Well, listen, I’ve been drinking coffee and water all morning long. I wanted to bring you something that you’re probably used to. So I went ahead and … Nadia, thank you very much. I can’t say these are homemade. Thank you. Thank you, QT at 2:30 in the morning. There’s you some milk and cookies. And what is this experience going to be like? Okay? Because this is the time where they can book various places around the Charlotte area where they can come in and experience these incredible Norman Rockwell type pictures that you’re creating. Right?

Darren

I know. So we have four events.

Jason

Okay.

Darren

It’s growing. We may have more, but we’ve going to be at Bike Depot in Waxhaw on October the 26th. And then Emmets restaurant will be on November the 2nd. And then November the 10th will be at Fior Charlotte in Ballantyne Village. And then November the 30th, we’ll be …

Jason

Oh, NoDa Brewing.

Darren

Yeah. NoDa Brewing.

Jason

Oh, they’re coming on later this morning.

Darren

Oh good.

Jason

Yeah. I’ll have to talk to them about that. But …

Darren

And so that …

Jason

So give me an idea of what does that experience going to be like?

Darren

I want to create some magic, you know, and a lot of people might walk in and the go, “It’s just going to be another shoot.” But when you look at what I’m seeing is what I want … So it was kind of like doing the shoot with Santa a few weeks ago, and some model children.

Jason

Yeah.

Darren

It was hard to say, you know, how are you going to … What are you going to get? So I wanted to show that. But with as much publicity and vision, people will see what they’re going to get, to meet Santa, and know that what they’re doing is for a good cause because I’m giving 100% of everything I get.

Jason

God, I love that you’re using your talents and skills for these kids, and I know your number one question is always asking kids, what do you want for Christmas? But I want to flip it around on you Santa. What is one wish? What is one thing that you’d like to see for Christmas?

Santa

I’d love to see all these people help us beat childhood cancer.

Jason

I love it. I love it. Thank you guys for getting results.

Darren

Thank you.

-Darren Bowen