From Paige Sayles, Louisburg, North Carolina:

Help-Portrait of Franklin County, North Carolina, targeted families who previously had requested assistance in obtaining student school supplies through our local United Way. Our target families were not obviously poor, but because of the local economy were having a hard time affording the “beginning of school year” supplies many families take for granted.

Many (most) of our families had never had a family portrait taken. One family came in and then called their cousins to join them. Both families went home with portraits of the extended family, their individual family and group photos of the kids. Throughout the day we heard comments like “I look beautiful!”, “I have never looked this way!”, and “This is my first portrait.” were heard.

On a lighter note, we used a room in the building that houses the town’s police and fire station. The police station was empty but we invited the two men on duty at the fire department (we live in a small town) for portraits. As our fireman was photographed (looking very official in his turn-out gear), a professional studio strobe chose that moment to burn up and smoke up the room. How ironic to have that happen while photographing a fireman.

This year I partnered with several groups that volunteered because it sounded like a good thing to do and by the end of the day those volunteers were already talking and planning for next year; how to give out more photographs and get other groups involved. Best of all, one volunteer asked if it was too late to add another venue this holidays project.

Posted on Jan 24, 2012  |  Category: Story of the Day  |  1 Comment
  • Taygoara Martins Taygoara Martins

    THE FIRST EXHIBITION OF THE HELP PORTRAIT IN THE WORLD ! An event happened on the neighborhood of Itaquera, placed on the extreme East of the city of Sao Paulo - Brazil, one of the poorest areas of the city, will be presented at one of the most traditional museums of the city. On 25th January, anniversary of Sao Paulo, the MIS - SP - Museu da Imagem e do Som de São Paulo (Image and Sound Museum of Sao Paulo), will present the exhibition Help Portrait - Invisible Paulistanos*. Composed by portraits of families residing at the periphery of the East zone of Sao Paulo, the images were captured by 30 photographers, in an action with the objective of register who has never been the focus of professional lenses. In an initiative of the USINA – 21, Ideas and Social transformation and the NGO Fundação Comunidade da Graça, the event happened on the date on which celebrates World Day of Human Rights. http://www.mis-sp.org.br/icox/icox.php?mdl=mis&op=programacao_interna&id_event=904 The photographers will not be credited. This exhibition is for those in need, all around the world. Taygoara Martins Help Portrait Ambassador on Portuguese Language *Paulistanos - Those who born on city of Sao Paulo.
    Taygoara Martins | 24/01/2012 8:35 PM