By RYLIE YOUNG
On November 22nd, 2015, at 6 o’clock in the morning, 60,000 feet in the air, Kylie Cole was on the way to meet the cast of the TV show, “Arrow”, when she had the idea to create the Capes & Crowns Foundation. On the plane, she dreamt up the entire business in an hour and a half, it all materialized quite quickly.
The Capes & Crowns Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides “custom themed photography experiences to children and families battling cancer, serious illness, and living with special needs with the purpose of bringing joy, empowerment, uniting families, all while providing a healthy distraction, allowing these kids to just be kids as their imaginations come to life all at no cost to qualifying families.” says Kylie Cole, CEO and founder.
There are two types of photo sessions, the INSPIRE and Embrace sessions. Including Neonatal Intensive, hospice and memorial service coverage, the Embrace sessions capture images of tough but monumental moments in families’ lives. To preserve memories for the families, the photos are meant to help with the grieving process the child’s family is going through whilst saying goodbye to their loved one.
On a cheerier note, the custom INSPIRE sessions built around the child’s biggest inspiration—superheroes, princesses, mermaids, zombies, Jedis, anything they desire. Costumes, props, and hair and makeup, are all provided by the foundation itself, which zero cost to the families. Kylie says, “The shoots are so much more than just posing for pictures, they include sword fighting, dancing, jumping into foam pits dressed like ninjas, and much more.” All of the photoshoots are completely customized to each kid’s mobility, communication, medical, and behavioral needs as well as others, and at the end of each session, each child is given poster size prints of the session for a keepsake.
They offer their services to “Any child that is carrying a “heavy burden” whether that is serious illness (terminal or not) chronic illness, extreme grief, trauma, etc. We also offer our services to children with special needs.” says Kylie. Capes & Crowns originally started as a birthday party photography company, but turned shifted its focus when Kylie photographed a little boy who, unbeknownst to her, had recently battled cancer. After Kylie saw the impact the photo had on families she felt it was meant for more and invented “Capes & Crowns Foundation”. “It absolutely blows my mind that the foundation has turned into a full-fledged organization and has served over 100 families in our short life-span. This year, we are on track to triple our current service count as we’re in the process of introducing our National Tour to take our services nationwide.” says Kylie on what they’ve accomplished.
Praise for Capes & Crowns:
An anonymous source, “How do I put into words what Capes and Crowns means to my family? In August they did a photo shoot for my Stepdaughter. She was going through a really hard time adjusting to a recent custody change and with her ADHD and Anxiety she was having a hard time expressing her feelings.”
Cole, Kylie. Online Interview. April 25th, 2018.
Anonymous, Source. Online source. April 27th, 2018.
Young, Stephanie. In-person Interview. April 24, 2018.