Sunday, December 19, 2010

2011 Help Portrait

This year I participated in the nationwide event called the Help Portrait Project. For years I had heard about the annual event where photographers give back to people in need. For a day, volunteer photographers set up studios at charities and churches that help the poor, the sick and the homeless. Here is the promo video below.

We spent time with the families, take their portrait and give them each a framed 8x10 photo before Christmas. It may not sound like much to give someone a portrait of themselves, but many of the participating families do not have any pictures of themselves. I am told that some of the people never had photos taken before and it can have a powerful effect.

One the surface, this might sound like a lot of sad people showed up to get their photo taken, but that is not what I experienced. The people that I met were warm and friendly... even fun. Some of the children were the cutest hams and had us all laughing.

I will not be showing any of the photos we took that day since there are confidentiality promises in place, and the event was not about any particular photographer getting a great portrait for his portfolio. It was about connecting with everyday people and giving them a simple gift of compassion.

As a side note, Chik-Fila was kind enough to supply the Atlanta area locations with lunch. Here is a photo of me in front of a mountain of chicken sandwiches before they were distributed. I am glad they did not fall on me... I would have had to eat my way to the surface. Darn!