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Local Photographer Has Special Reason To Give

5:16 PM, Jun 7, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Being a firefighter or a police officer or a member of the military would be too tough for her, she says.

So Christy Whitehead is offering her talents and award-winning eye for wedding photography to Operation Thumbs Up.

Whitehead said her brother Dan served in the military as a firefighter in Kandahar and was deployed on 9/11. Although she worried about him constantly, he came back unharmed, she said.

Because she felt so blessed to have her brother home safe, Whitehead decided to help at no charge when she heard about Tyler Southern and his fiancee, Ashley Statti.

Southern is a marine and a triple amputee who stepped on an IED in Afghanistan last year. He and Satti plan to marry in July in a wedding donated by the community.

Dozens and dozens of photographers, even from as far away as California, volunteered their services. Two more will be announced soon, but Whitehead will lead the photography team in organizing the wedding day shoots.

To her, every wedding is unique, she said. Whitehead, whose background is in photojournalism, said she expects incredible moments of emotion at the wedding that she hopes to capture.

Tyler and Ashley's wedding will be at a private ceremony in Mandarin along the water on July 9.

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