From Brian Muir, Scotland:
We set up a team in Ayr, Scotland, two years ago and have some incredible volunteers on photography, process and printing, hair, makeup as well as folks who come along to help with catering, to chat and befriend; we even have teenagers and children volunteers who come along to play with the kids.
There is no limit to who can be a part of the Help-Portrait event (other than the fact that we are inundated with people wanting to do it). The only problem is, we’ve found we can’t limit ourselves to one event per year! Just last month we completed our second Easter Help-Portrait event.
On our first couple of events we hooked up with a charity providing care and support for families who were victims of domestic abuse.
We have now established a great connection with CLIC Sargent House in Prestwick, Scotland. They provide sea-side holidays for families where one of the children has cancer. Our first event for them was just before New Year and we were privileged to go back there at Easter and photograph 10 amazingly brave families. There were, of course, tears of joy but what struck me was the incredible amount of laughter from parents, children and all our volunteers.
For a short time, they were not “families with cancer,” they were just families. To me, as a professional photographer, it reinforces the power and invaluable importance of a photograph…but, I somehow feel that the prints are almost secondary; what was so much more important was the people, the connections and the care and love that was shown.
We, as human beings, have an incredible capacity to show love and compassion for each other. I feel thankful that yesterday we were able to demonstrate that. It was a special time and we are looking forward to our next one.
Someone once said, “If you want to feel good about yourself…try helping someone.” Never a truer word.