A photographer in North Sydney is opening her studio doors this week to help Thanksgiving Day flood victims create new memories.  

"It's one thing to throw away a washing machine or a dryer, but when it's a box of your life that has to go out it's very emotional," said Chrissie Green, who's part of the family owned business Creative Isle Graphic Design and Photography.

Flooded car St. Peters Road, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Thousands of Cape Breton residents are expected to file insurance claims for flood damage but many may not be covered. (Joan Weeks/CBC)

Green wanted to help after the flood, but couldn't afford to give much.

She saw a Facebook post from someone who helped empty out a basement. One of the boxes they put out on the curb had photo albums in it, she said.

"That's when I realized I could at least help that much," she said. "I could do that one little thing about getting a new portrait and helping them start the brand new photo album."

One family has taken her up on her offer so far.

They had to throw out storage in their basement.

"A lot of it was very personal, not replaceable things," Green said.

They were wonderful people, she said.

'Hopefully we're ending the year on a smile'

Green won't be asking a lot of questions when people drop into her studio. And her offer isn't restricted to those who lost photos and personal items.

"Some people just lost a freezer full of meat," she said.

That loss alone could put someone in a bad financial position at a difficult time of the year, she said.

Garbage cleanup after flood CBRM

After the flood, 4,000 tonnes of damaged goods went to the landfill. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

"If a portrait means that you can give some people on your Christmas list a really nice present that didn't cost anything, it eases things … the rest of the way around," she said.  

Green's been hearing from people on Facebook, and hopes a lot of people will take her up on the offer.

"They can have a picture of 2016, and hopefully we're ending the year on a smile."

Green's studio is open for free portraits this week from 4 to 6 p.m. until Saturday. She will print one photo, and send edited digital files to those who drop by.

With files from Mainstreet