From Help-Portrait 2014 in Basel, Switzerland:
People with disabilities had the opportunity to be photographed professionally in Basel, Switzerland, during a 2014 Help-Portrait event. It was held on the first Sunday in Advent 2014 and brought a special occasion to the halls of the Unser Bier (our beer) brewery. Around 80 people with disabilities had the opportunity to receive a professional make-up and have their pictures taken under the slogan “Help-Portrait — A picture is worth.”
For the third time in a row project manager Jens Winkler organized this photo shoot of a special kind, and he is pleased with the great response. His experience in his every day professional life as a family therapist and supervisor is that people with disabilities don’t often go to photographers and have difficulties accepting themselves and sometimes lack self-esteem. “And we want to reinforce them by showing them that they too can be nicely made-up and portrayed.”
The main premiss of the day is self-determination. The goal is, that those who finally get handed out their picture are very proud and will happily present it.
Winkler explains their process:
“First, everyone receives an individual make-up and hairstyling if so wished. Then they can pose for their portrait. The memory cards are then transferred to the retouchers, who let the model select their favorite picture, retouch it and start the 10×15 printing process. We wish to print white backgrounds to reduce the costs, if we can. In the end, the models get a CD with all the photos and the selected one printed and framed in front of them, so they can overlook the whole process and the pictures are protected.”
The atmosphere in the brewery is good, the models clearly enjoy their special treatments and being in the center of attention. Although photographers and stylists are very focused on their work, the fun does not run short. The models joyfully take part and beside classical portraits they also have funny or even crazy pictures made and laughter is often heard.