SANTA ROSA, Calif. - The North Bay fires left many Californians without homes this holiday season, but various photographers and studios are giving them a new start. Recently, Art.com held a free two-day photoshoot for families.
Lee Decker, Social Media Coordinator for Art.com, told FOX 2, “How can we give people a sense of home when they don’t have a home, maybe, right now? A lot of people don't have anything personal right now, and they can choose the photo and pick out their frame and walk out of here with something that's theirs."
It’s an incredible gesture to those who have lost all of their photographs and mementos in the fires.
Thomas and Keri Spain were among those getting a free holiday photo.
"Starting new, that's what we're taking this as, like a phoenix rising," said Keri, clutching her framed portrait. "We're trying to move forward and make new memories."
The couple had time to grab few possessions as the Atlas fire advanced toward their Napa County home.
"This portrait is one of the few things we'll have to put in a new house, no matter where we end up going," said Thomas.
But despite losing their material possessions, the portraits reveal they still have what really matters.
“You just see in their eyes that they’re just happy to be with each other. They’re happy to be alive. This joy in their eyes was something I didn’t expect to see, and it’s just so beautiful to see people being able to start over,” said photographer Mario Elias.
Watch the video to see how the community is helping them smile despite their loss.