Nonprofit offers wildfire victims free photo shoots to create new memories

A nonprofit is offering help to survivors of Northern California fires.

Often what's lost in the fires are irreplaceable photos. The nonprofit group is taking photos of families for free, to help them create new memories and rebuild their lives.

On Wednesday, a KTVU crew went to a photo shoot where the Deshayes family had their pictures taken at Highlands County Park in Ben Lomond where they enjoy spending time.

"It's nice to have something to reflect back on. It was a time we came through," said Jessica Deshayes, wife and mother of 4-year old son Luca and 2-year-old daughter Lola.

The family came through a difficult time.

In August, the CZU Lightning Complex Fire destroyed their home in Boulder Creek and all of their precious photos.

It's also a time of conflicting emotions for Jessica's husband Ludovic, a firefighter with Cal Fire.

He was out protecting homes while he lost his own.

"When I was with my family, I wanted to go back to work and when I was at work, I was thinking about my family," Ludovic said  

Now, the couple is receiving help in rebuilding their future with new photos taken by Kristina Claudio, a photographer who founded Highlights and Shadows, a nonprofit based in Vacaville.

"We have this photography skill. Why not use it to actually help others," said Claudio.  

She said she came up with the project when her church, San Francisco Zion, encouraged her to help others in creative ways. 

"Being able to see that there's hope and that's something that really encourages us to do this project," said Claudio. 

Where the photo shoot takes place is the family's choice.  Claudio and her volunteers said they're willing to go just about anywhere in the Bay Area.

In the past few weeks, Claudio has taken photos of families in Paradise, Santa Cruz and Vacaville.

"I'm really happy that they're able to smile again. Being able to start anew," said Claudio.

For the Deshayes, there is gratitude for this gift from Claudio.

"She's offered her services for our family, to help us start making new memories," said Jessica.

Photos that capture a moment in time as the family looks towards the future.

Northern California fire survivors who are interested in having their photos taken and anyone who wants to donate can go to the nonprofit's website