FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact & Inquires: Lori Mahon
firstname.lastname@example.org / 615-579-1266
NASHVILLE, TN –December 18, 2009 — Last Saturday, December 12th, the world stood still as photographers worldwide united in a photography movement called Help-Portrait, which gave more than 40,000 individuals portraits to treasure for a lifetime. On Saturday, more than 8300 photographers and volunteers participated in 715 locations in 42 countries.
Help-Portrait was founded by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart with his vision of the photography community and individuals giving back this holiday season. This event reached a magnitude that nobody saw coming.
“On December 12th, cultural borders were crossed on one side of the camera and competitive borders on the other,” reflects Cowart. “I honestly don’t know which side of the camera was blessed more. For many of our subjects across the world, Help-Portrait provided them with their first-ever family photo. However, we’re consistently hearing from many photographers worldwide that this is the greatest thing they’ve ever done with their cameras.”
Information about Help-Portrait has spread across the globe through the Social Media phenomena– Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Blogging. Cowart used his 10,000+ Twitter followers to help share information and vision about Help-Portrait, thus snowballing into this cultural event that gave back so much more than just a portrait to those in need.
In addition this movement has nabbed the attention of local, national and international media throughout the weekend and this week. Help-Portrait stories have been featured on CNN, CNN.com, CNN International, CBS Evening News, HLN Headline News, The ONE Campaign, AOL Philanthropy Project, Sears/GNN.com, BritneySpears.com blog, New York Daily News, CTV News (Canadian), Egyptian Satellite Channel and more. Those photographed all had a story – all unique and heartbreaking in its own way.
“Poverty steals a lot of things, like your home, car and food, but it also steals something on the inside. Help-Portrait feeds that something on the inside,” states Help-Portrait Event Coordinator Annie Downs.
Moved and inspired by the response from those who participated this weekend, the Help-Portrait team is thrilled to announce the 2010 date of December 4th. It is setting the precedent of future Help-Portrait events annually on the first Saturday of December.
Inspiring quotes from those impacted by Help-Portrait:
“The portrait,” he said, “Represented where I’m going, not where I’ve been.” – Phillip Jackovich, Help-Portrait subject, OC Register story
“One of the ladies at Help-Portrait today cried the entire time I took her photo. I said ‘Are those happy tears?’ She said, ‘Yes, very happy!'” – Millie Holloman – Help-Portrait Photographer, Wilmington, NY
“Giving a photo to a stranger gives you a unique opportunity to speak a kind word of encouragement, value, beauty and truth that isn’t quite as tangible without that photo to give your words context. It’s hard to argue with art when you give it positive meaning. It was profound how encouragement, value, self-esteem and worth were given through actions, words and the foundation? A photograph.” – Joel Mills -Help-Portrait volunteer, photo editor Charlottesville, VA
“Today was the one of the best days I have had as a photographer and as a human being.” Kwame Reed – Photographer, Brentwood, California
For more information on Help-Portrait: Visit the official website (www.help-portrait.com), follow the H-P team on Twitter @help_portrait (Hashtag #helpportrait), be a friend on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/helpportrait) and watch the official YouTube videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/helpportrait). Videos from around the world can be found on the YouTube tagged page here: (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Help-Portrait&search=tag). Photos from the events posted can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/help-portrait/.
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The goal of Help-Portrait was simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait. This movement began just over four months ago with the YouTube video launch from Cowart. Help-Portrait was formed by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart as he contemplated using his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity for a professional photo. The idea is that a photographer has the opportunity to help someone smile, laugh and to remember – it is a movement, a shift in photography.
About Jeremy Cowart:
Cowart began full-time photography in 2005 and has traveled to 6 continents with his talent. He’s photographed Imogen Heap, Sting, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood and more. He’s also worked with entertainment clients ABC, E!, Fox, A&E, FX, The Style Network, CMT and more. You can view his photos and learn more at: http://www.jeremycowart.com/ or read his blog: http://blog.jeremycowart.com/ and follow him on Twitter @jeremycowart .