Today’s creativeLIVE Help-Portrait conversation has been rescheduled for 11am PST for a conversation with Jeremy-Cowart and creativeLIVE founder and photographer Chase Jarvis: click here to join the live video chat:

Posted on Nov 30, 2010  |  Category: H-P Organizers  |  3 Comments
  • dave dave

    I am wondering why Anchorage Alaska did not have the event this year! They did last year so I wonder what happened.
    dave | 30/11/2010 8:00 PM

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  • kuku666 kuku666

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    kuku666 | 07/09/2011 3:15 AM

Help-Portrait has teamed with creativeLIVE to broadcast this year’s event live online.

During November, creativeLIVE played host to a live weekly video chat with H-P founder Jeremy Cowart about preparing for Dec. 4th’s Help-Portrait global event from their studio in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. (The archived chats are available for viewing)

Throughout the year creativeLIVE offers free, live creative education on the web, including workshops in photography, video, web and graphic design, app development and a wide array of other creative topics.

What they’re doing Saturday for Help-Portrait is broadcasting live all day from Seattle and checking in with different cities that are hosting events. We’ll be chatting with H-P organizers in New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville and Atlanta – and we want to talk with you, too!

We’d like to showcase the diversity of events that day and hear about your experiences. It’s going to be an exciting day, but we need you to participate! If you’re interested in Skyping with us and being on the live webstream, email

Posted on Nov 30, 2010  |  Category: H-P Organizers  |  2 Comments
  • Zelda MacKenzie Zelda MacKenzie

    Hi, For us, it would mean chatting to you the day after the event as we're 13 hours ahead of GMT. Would this still work for you?
    Zelda MacKenzie | 01/12/2010 8:35 AM

  • Uriela Marie Uriela Marie

    Bridgeport, CT would love to be part of this!! This will be our 3rd Help Portrait event and we are so excited! Emailing you now!
    Uriela Marie | 02/12/2010 4:02 PM

Here are answers to several printing questions addressed in this week’s creativeLIVE video chat. Have more questions? Let us know in the comments!

What is the recommend size of prints?

5×7 and 8×10 are good sizes, as 4×6 might feel a little small. You might want to ask your subjects what they prefer and give them as much say in the process as possible.

Should we offer one than one size?

Try to at least offer 4×6, 5×7 and 8×10.

How many prints do you normally give people?

It’s up to what you’re able to do. Last year we gave some families several prints, and other times we were so busy we were only able to give some families one.

Do you give people multiple poses – i.e. family shot, just mom & kids, just dad & kids, etc.

Some families we were able to give multiple poses to – again it depends on how busy your event is and how many you’re able to print. You can also burn a CD if time and supplies allow with all the images.

Do we print as soon as the portrait is taken, or give them a time to come back?

Either way will work. Printing immediately will be more convenient but giving the subjects a time to come back creates yet another opportunity to connect. One person in the chat room said “We will be giving people a ticket stub that has a number on it so we can track the people and their prints.” Great idea!

Do you let the subjects choose which image they want?

We think this is a good idea. The more control you can give the subjects in this process the better.

Is it okay to create an online gallery for the participants who want to proof their photos?

Same answer as above. We think it’s a great idea if you’re able to offer this – so long as the gallery isn’t public.

In your experience, did people want the actual image files? i.e. on CD

Yes, we heard from several that they were able to offer the images on CD as well as prints, so that’s a great idea.

Do you have a sample of that photographer’s release for subjects to take to get their own prints made?

Yes. Download it here: Photo Release Form (PDF)

Are there resources (i.e blog, site, etc.) where people can share info on sponsors who are donating paper or printers in different cities?

Use the Help-Portrait forums to post information for cities other than your own:

Posted on Nov 30, 2010  |  Category: H-P Tips  |  2 Comments
  • Chris Dickinson Chris Dickinson

    Last year at our event in Salt Lake City we edited and burned a CD (with release) for each family that wanted one, along with an 8x10 of their choosing. The biggest issue we had was the larger retail chains wouldn't print the pictures without the release. It was truly a humbling experience and in some cases, this CD was all that the family had for Christmas. This year will be the same, and our count thus far has tripled that of last year!
    Chris Dickinson | 30/11/2010 3:27 AM

  • Colleen Smith Colleen Smith

    At our event in Baltimore we created a "lounge" downstairs for people to hang out while they waited. We had books, coloring sheets, games and cookie decorating for the kids, and tons and tons and tons of yummy baked goods and drinks for the families to enjoy.
    Colleen Smith | 06/12/2010 4:09 PM

Ritz/Wolf Camera has offered the Help-Portrait Community the opportunity to have a 50% discount on prints that are printed either through the online store or directly in the store. Ritz/Wolf does offer one hour printing and you can also have your photographs sent to you via mail. We will be sending out an email in the next few days with the coupon code as well as an actual PDF coupon that can be redeemed in-store.

Here are the different sizes and prices of each print with the 50% discount:

4×6 – $0.14
5×7 – $0.90
6×8 – $0.90

Ritz/Wolf Camera has also offered on-site printer options to H-P locations that have a Ritz/Camera retail store in the area. If there is store located near your event, email with the following information: details about your event including: location, distance to a Ritz Camera location, number of photographers planned to be at your venue, and contact information of the organizer.

If you do have an on-site printer, Ritz will also send a store associate with the printer to help with set up, take down, troubleshooting and any other issues. You will still have to pay for the prints that are printed on this on-site printer, but you will receive the 50%.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010  |  Category: H-P Organizers  |  4 Comments
  • Ron Ron

    I'm a bit confused... Our local Black's Photo much less than that normally for 5x7 prints.
    Ron | 29/11/2010 4:27 PM

  • Kyle Chowning Kyle Chowning

    Ron - Unfortunately, this is the best we can offer. If you have a local company that offers a more competitive price, by all means use them.
    Kyle Chowning | 30/11/2010 2:32 AM

  • Jeni Jeni

    Here's a lab willing to help:
    Jeni | 30/11/2010 2:57 AM

  • Sam Lee Sam Lee

    I have put together a pricing option comparison, with a scenario of having 120 subjects. It looks like Costco remains to be the lowest cost (due to their low 8x10 pricing):
    Sam Lee | 30/11/2010 5:50 AM

Ron Manke, a Help-Portrait organizer in Edmonton, AB, Canada, has shared his event signage and forms. We’ve added them to the downloads page and posted the links to the PDFs here as well. Feel free to use these or use these as guides to create your own.

Event Signage & Forms

Posted on Nov 29, 2010  |  Category: H-P Organizers, H-P Tips  |  4 Comments
  • Bill Tapp Bill Tapp

    Great signs. Is itpossible to have name tags for the volinteers? Possibley a" Help-Portrait" logo and a blanks space to write in the name.
    Bill Tapp | 30/11/2010 6:32 AM

  • donna donna

    I second the need for a name tag with logo
    donna | 01/12/2010 1:39 AM

  • Kristofor Jensen Kristofor Jensen

    +1 vote for stickers...preferably a big Avery standard size that anyone can get at an office supply shop.
    Kristofor Jensen | 02/12/2010 2:45 AM

  • Help-Portrait 2010 is tomorrow – Dec. 4th! | Shutter Mission Help-Portrait 2010 is tomorrow – Dec. 4th! | Shutter Mission

    [...] Event Signage & Forms [...]
    Help-Portrait 2010 is tomorrow – Dec. 4th! | Shutter Mission | 03/12/2010 10:50 PM

In Tuesday’s creativeLIVE chat, asked a question we thought deserved addressing in a blog post: “I attended a HP meeting last week, and basically they are going to setup all the stations (lights) and don’t want you to bring anything but your camera. Also didn’t want to really get into who’s taking the photos. My question is basically why do we need photographers then? Anyone can press a button. Hope this makes sense…”

It does make sense. Why do we need photographers if this isn’t about skill or art or ability? The answer is simple. This isn’t about photography. It’s about meeting the needs of our community. It’s about making individual connections with others who deserve it. It’s about really seeing people – the lens is just a tool to facilitate that connection. It’s about giving people a visual reminder of their beauty and dignity. As we’ve said before, it’s not about us.

It simply isn’t that important that you have lighting and high-tech gear. Don’t get us wrong – they are nice to have. Natural light or lighting kits, SLRs and point and shoot cameras, amateur and pro photographers – it’s all welcome at Help-Portrait events.

In Tuesday’s chat, shared: “I think that in our efforts to create the best event we can, there is a tendency to over complicate things. If we remember that the day is meant to create a sense of worth and pride in others, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Join us for the last creativeLIVE chat Tuesday at 11am ET. And remember to report your event details after your event as this helps us better share and spread the Help-Portrait story.

Posted on Nov 24, 2010  |  Category: H-P Tips  |  No Comments

Being an official non-profit has come with a lot of regulations and changes that we didn’t have to abide by in 2009. After all, in the beginning, we just thought we had a good idea. We never dreamed that it would become an official non-profit with a board, IRS and other government regulations. But, we’re here and we’re fully embracing where we’re at, because after all, you all are pretty amazing.

That being said, in the beginning a bunch of you registered domain names and activated social media profiles using Help-portrait, or a variation of it (help-portrait, helpportrait, hp, etc). If you are one of those people, we need you to add one or both of the following disclaimers on your site and profile in a place where people can see it easily.

Website Disclaimer

Help-Portrait {city, state/province, country – ( is an independent group of volunteers who are participating in the worldwide Help-Portrait, Inc. movement to give portraits away to the underprivileged. This is not an officially sponsored Help-Portrait, Inc site, and is not managed by Help-Portrait, Inc.  The opinions and views expressed on this website do not reflect those of Help-Portrait, Inc. ( HELP-PORTRAIT®  name and logo are registered trade marks of Help-Portrait, Inc. Used by permission only.

Social Media Disclaimer

Opinions & views expressed here do not reflect those of Help-Portrait, Inc.

Thanks for your help and cooperation.


Posted on Nov 23, 2010  |  Category: H-P Tips  |  No Comments

Jen May, a photographer and organizer of Help-Portrait Los Angeles, offers tips for using Google Docs to organize your event.

No one is a fan of disorganization, especially when you’re leading a team of volunteers during a busy holiday season. One way to save you time and energy is to take advantage of Google Docs, a free online tool that can help manage your event, specifically with recruiting volunteers and creating a master volunteer schedule.

First, let’s start with inviting volunteers to sign-up by creating an online form.

Step 1: Once in Google Docs, drop down to select “Form” under the tab “Create New.”

Step 2: Fill in your questions that you would like to get from volunteers. The form below is what I use for Help Portrait L.A. requesting basic information like their name, email address, and how they would like to help. You can add in other items such as, “What times can you help at our event?” and “What equipment and gear can you bring to the event?”

Step 3: Use the link at the bottom of the form to share with others in your emails, community group page, Facebook, Twitter, and other ways you’re  using to communicate with volunteers. Before you do that, double-check that you have all of the desired requests you need from them. You won’t be able to go back and edit the form after you publish it, and would instead need to create a new form.

Step 4: Google Docs then automatically creates a single spreadsheet for you listing the feedback that volunteers enter on the form. It will continue to update on its own every time a new person submits their information using your form. You’ll be able to refer to this document anytime you log into your account.

Next, let’s organize the volunteers into a easy-to-read schedule for your event.

Step 1: Select “spreadsheet” from where you last selected to create your form.

Step 2: On the top section categorize the timeline of your event from left to right starting from column “B”. Reserve column “A” for your stations or the different roles your event will have. You can use my schedule from last year’s event below as an example to build your own.

Step 3: Make use of the highlighter tool to break up the white space. By adding color you’ll help the viewer’s eye to locate details quicker. You can find the tool, also known as “Text Background Color”, in your control section above your spreadsheet. It almost looks like a Rubik’s cube with four different mini-squares.

Step 4: You can use the right side of your spreadsheet to list other details such as a list of volunteers who can help setup, which volunteers are bringing equipment, and volunteers who have yet to be assigned a role.

Step 5: Download your completed spreadsheet as a PDF over in the drop-down “File” option. You can then print it out and use it as a master volunteer schedule and share it with your team. It’s helpful to have a copy posted up at your event where volunteers can refer to throughout the day.

Organization comes with a dedication to management, and management is a lot easier to attain with these two documents.

Posted on Nov 19, 2010  |  Category: H-P Organizers, H-P Tips  |  7 Comments
  • Jen May Pastores Jen May Pastores

    hope it helps some folks out!
    Jen May Pastores | 20/11/2010 2:10 AM

  • Patrick Gooden Patrick Gooden

    Jen, This is well done and similar to my spreadsheet that I am developing. Very well thought out.
    Patrick Gooden | 20/11/2010 4:07 PM

  • mark. mark.

    Great idea! I love the use of the form, but I've never used it in Google Docs. I'm going to try that for next year. This year I've used Google Docs Spreadsheet to collaborate with the other leaders of our event. I made a sheet with items we were researching to purchase. I am able to add links, pricing and keep a running total of how much money we need. The other leaders can add items as well.
    mark. | 22/11/2010 5:56 AM

  • Tamara Okoti Tamara Okoti

    Like this. We've been using dropbox as a shared folder (which we will use to help with backing up photo files as we go), but volunteer spreadsheet would be easier using a form. Thanks!
    Tamara Okoti | 28/10/2011 4:18 PM

  • Barbara Barbara

    Would you be willing to share the form rather than us trying to re-create it? It would be a FABULOUS help and time saver :)
    Barbara | 30/11/2011 2:16 AM

  • Bill Bill

    This is great. Thank you!
    Bill | 27/06/2012 1:38 PM

  • Kris Dysert Kris Dysert

    The images aren't working.
    Kris Dysert | 11/11/2013 2:37 PM

One of the keys to creating the Help-Portrait story are the numbers that we have the privilege of reporting to the world.

After three years, the Help-Portrait community of 25,000+ photographers, in 56 countries, at over 700 events, have given away nearly 170,000 portraits to those who are less fortunate. Amazing huh!

These stats help us gain the interest of CNN, ABC, Today Show, plus over 100 more. This coverage helps us engage more photographers so that next year, we can do even more.

So this year, we need your help again.

During your event, be sure that you track the following:

  • Photographers
  • Volunteers
  • Portraits given to people and/or families (can be more than one per person/family)

At the end of the event, head over to and fill in the details.

That’s it.

Your contribution will help us tell an amazing story. We’re proud to have you as a part of it.

Don’t forget!

Posted on Nov 17, 2010  |  Category: H-P Tips, Updates  |  5 Comments
  • Maria Cecília Montenegro Tavares Maria Cecília Montenegro Tavares

    Entendo a fotografia como uma arte que é capaz de reproduzir e perpetuar a criação de Deus, captando momentos e lances exclusivos nas pessoas e na natureza.
    Maria Cecília Montenegro Tavares | 17/11/2010 3:22 PM

  • Jan Townshend Jan Townshend

    I did this last year but did not report any details. Gave 100 portraits to those who would not have had one. I will do it again this year. It is the "GIFT" I give to myself.
    Jan Townshend | 17/11/2010 4:06 PM

  • Why do we need photographers? | Help-Portrait | 04 Dec 2010 Why do we need photographers? | Help-Portrait | 04 Dec 2010

    [...] us for the last creativeLIVE chat Tuesday at 11am ET. And remember to report your event details after your event as this helps us better share and spread the Help-Portrait [...]
    Why do we need photographers? | Help-Portrait | 04 Dec 2010 | 24/11/2010 10:17 PM

  • 2 Days Until Help-Portrait 2010! | Help-Portrait | 04 Dec 2010 2 Days Until Help-Portrait 2010! | Help-Portrait | 04 Dec 2010

    [...] forget to track and report your numbers. We’re looking for the number of photographers, volunteers and portraits given. [...]
    2 Days Until Help-Portrait 2010! | Help-Portrait | 04 Dec 2010 | 02/12/2010 8:40 AM

  • xxxxxx xxxxxx

    I think this response from a Help_portrait recipient in Indianapolis, IN on 12/3/11 says it all. Thank you Help Portrait for allowing us to share our talents. I am just a lucky participant in this event. Please do not associate my name with this posting. "Thank you Thank you Thank you... I and so happy with these . I am going through a great transition in life. Starting over as a single woman after 13 years. sometimes your self -esteem is low and God has to work through diffresnt avenues to help you realize how beautiful you are as He sees you. I am getting there with His help and you have just helped Him in a wonderful way. Forgive any misspellings I am trying to type between tears. Teaching a charm and etiquette class about self esteem based on Psalms 139:14 and helping the girls believe in the word and themselves is going to be even greater and easier because I truly see what God has been telling me about me. thank you again and keep using your gift as led by God.. We are to touch ives as believers by our life and our gifts and you have truly touched mine. I will keep you in my prayers for a very Prosperous Year in the Lord... May God Bless you" Please do not use my identity in this posting.
    xxxxxx | 08/01/2012 4:05 AM

Many of you have asked about whether you’re allowed to print your own Help-Portrait t-shirts. If you live outside the United States, you are welcome to print Help-Portrait shirts. Please remember that the logo is trademark, and thus all uses must be approved by Help-Portrait.

You can download the art for our logo t-shirt here.

Please note: We do not allow unauthorized designs. If you would like to submit your design for authorization, send your design to Please allow 1-2 days for review.

—Updated: November 9, 2012

Posted on Nov 17, 2010  |  Category: H-P Tips, Updates  |  2 Comments
  • Jennifer Karon Jennifer Karon

    I'm curious why you aren't selling a shirt like the one displayed in the zip file? It has your logo with the red on a white (or light colored) t-shirt. You are only offering the black one with the logo. After sharing the red logo one with my crew, they were disappointed that they couldn't order it from you.
    Jennifer Karon | 17/11/2010 1:40 PM

  • Carissa Olson Carissa Olson

    I haven't been able to download the logos could someone email them to me? Also, I have been trying to contact people in my local group (Fargo, ND) to find out what events are taking place & what help is needed. I have not been able to get any responce from anyone.
    Carissa Olson | 18/11/2010 4:37 AM