Now Hiring: Project Manager

Help-Portrait is looking to hire someone who has a passion for giving back, the arts, and thrives on organizing people, project and details. Applicant must have prior professional experience in project management or related roles.

We are looking for a high-caliber person to work alongside the co-founders to ensure the annual success of Help-Portrait. This person will be an international representative for our movement and must have an established work track record and an outstanding reputation online through his/her blog and social media channels. Experience in the photography industry is not required but appreciated.

Full job description can be reviewed here.

  • Hourly Rate: $12-15/hour, depending on experience—this will grow when we grow our donation base
  • Weekly Hours: 10-30 (depending on time of year)
  • Applicant will work primarily work remotely. Applicants don’t have to live in the Nashville area, but it is preferred.

 If this is you, please submit your application here

Intern Program – Now Available

Help-Portrait is looking for seasonal interns to help us prep for the 2014 annual event in December. Applications are being accepted in the following departments:

  • Marketing
  • Design (Print and/or Web)
  • Video Production (“Preditor” preferred)
  • Operations

Internship starts in September/October and runs through December 19, 2014. Positions are unpaid. Applicants can be anywhere around the world.

If you are interested in being considered as a Help-Portrait intern, please submit your application here

Posted on Aug 25, 2014  |  Category: Updates  |  No Comments

Dear Help-Portrait Community,

Kyle Chowning, co-founder and executive director of Help-Portrait here.

The 2014 season is coming upon us and I have some good news to report to you.

Before I get started, if you’re new to this movement, you may want to skim through this as it won’t make any sense. However, if you’ve been around awhile, then please take a minute to read through. You’re gonna like what I’ve got to say.

As the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the organization, I have largely sat back and let Help-Portrait community exist and function organically. This has been an intentional decision on my behalf mainly because even after 5 years, we’re still a volunteer organization with only one person working about 5-10 hours a week. We simply haven’t had the financial resources to change our situation.

New Website Sneak Peek

I’m thrilled to report that because of your generous and continuous merchandise purchases, we have accumulated enough funds to  start making some long-awaited—significant—changes. Here’s a quick list of what you can expect over the next couple of months:

  • Help-Portrait website is getting a complete overhaul and redesign thanks to the fine folks and long-time supporters at Flosites.
  • Community Site Revamp – The community site will be going away at the end of this year as we will finally be implementing an all-in-one website solution. We’ll be setting up membership website that will help us keep the entire community on our own site.
  • Location & Event Finder – Also coming with the new site is an integrated event calendar and location search. No more endless web searches, looking for a location near you. With this feature, you’ll be able to find one quickly and easily.
  • Support – Currently, we process hundreds, if not thousands of support requests a year. This is too much on our small team, so we’re going to turn support over to the community with some integrated message boards.
  • Marketing & Communication Automation – One of the biggest investments and changes is that we will be implementing Infusionsoft to help us track everything. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. But, beyond that, we will be able to communicate proactively with the community based on your interest. No more generic emails and asking for the same information multiple times.

Finally, last year, we launched a fundraising campaign to help us raise some money to keep the movement headquarters in operation. We’ve been doing this long enough to know that a lot of you are confused on why we need to raise money, especially because we ask you to underwrite your own events. Truth is, we have accounting, legal and monthly expenses to keep the business of Help-Portrait afloat (hosting, software, staff, etc.).

Today, I’d like to ask you to please donate $6 to the general operating fund to help us reach more photographers, hairstylist and makeup artists and compel them to jump into the movement that’s impacted well over 300,000 people in the past 5 years. Many of you can afford to donate more, and I believe that many of you will.

I’ve said it a thousand times in the past 5 years, and I’ll continue to say it a thousand more—Help-Portrait is nothing without you, the volunteers who make this idea a reality year after year. On behalf of myself and Jeremy, we thank you.

Thanks for reading this massive update. I look forward to presenting the new Help-Portrait website to you in the coming weeks.

Kyle Chowning
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Help-Portrait, Inc.
Please say hello » @kylechowning

Posted on Jul 30, 2014  |  Category: Updates  |  No Comments

Discount Graphic-3

Help-Portrait is holding a merchandise blow-out sale this summer, and the deal just got even sweeter.

Beginning July 4, 2014, get 60% off EVERYTHING in the Help-Portrait store!

T-shirts, wristbands, hats — you name it, all for less than HALF the original price.

Special Bundle: Buy a 2013 Limited Edition T-shirt and a wristband, get an additional 10% off*. Yep, that’s 70% off! Don’t wait too long, though! Popular items are going fast. 

Bundle Graphic-4

Check out the Help-Portrait store here and scope out the merch. Not only will you be getting an amazing deal on some awesome items, but you will be supporting Help-Portrait’s mission to change lives with the gift of free professional portraits.

Posted on Jul 05, 2014  |  Category: Updates  |  No Comments

Discount Graphic-2

Our summer blow-out sale just got even BIGGER!

Starting Friday, June 27, ALL items in the Help-Portrait store are 50% OFF!

Get T-shirts, wristbands, hats — you name it — all for HALF the price!

Special Bundle: Buy a 2013 Limited Edition T-shirt and a wristband, get an additional 10% off*. Don’t wait too long, though! Popular items are going fast. 

Bundle Graphic-3

Check out the Help-Portrait store here and scope out the merch. Not only will you be getting an amazing deal on some awesome items, but you will be supporting Help-Portrait’s mission to change lives with the gift of free professional portraits.

Posted on Jun 27, 2014  |  Category: Updates  |  No Comments

Discount Graphic

Did you know Help-Portrait is having a merchandise blow-out sale this summer?

Right now, you can get major discounts on all of our merch — T-shirts, hats, wristbands — you name it, it’s on sale!

This week, we’re knocking even more off the prices of your favorite Help-Portrait gear.
Beginning Friday, June 20th, all items will be 35% off!

Special Bundle: Buy a 2013 Limited Edition T-shirt and a wristband, get an additional 10% off*. Don’t wait too long, though! Popular items will go fast. 

Bundle Graphic-2

Check out the Help-Portrait store here and scope out the merch. Not only will you be getting a great deal on some awesome items, but you will be supporting Help-Portrait’s mission to change lives with the gift of free professional portraits.

Posted on Jun 20, 2014  |  Category: Updates  |  No Comments

This summer, Help-Portrait is holding a massive merchandise blow-out sale!

Beginning FRIDAY, June 13, you can get 25% off all Help-Portrait T-shirts, wristbands, stickers and more!

Special Bundle: Buy a 2013 Limited Edition T-shirt and a wristband, get an additional 10% off*. Don’t wait too long, though! Popular items will go fast. 

Bundle Graphic

Check out the Help-Portrait store here and scope out the merch. Not only will you be getting a great deal on some awesome items, but you will be supporting Help-Portrait’s mission to change lives with the gift of free professional portraits.

*while supplies last.

Posted on Jun 13, 2014  |  Category: Updates  |  No Comments

Help-Portrait is needing at least 2 volunteers to help us transfer content and imagery to the brand new Help-Portrait website. Applicants must be well experienced in WordPress and Photoshop. This project is expected to take 4-6 weeks as we transfer content, imagery and beta test. This will not require full-time attention.

If you are interested, you can apply by sending your name, contact info and portfolio of work to our executive director, Kyle Chowning, kyle(at)

Credit will be given on the website to the generous volunteers who help us get this done.

We’re open to individuals and/or companies to help us. This work is volunteer based.

Posted on Apr 22, 2014  |  Category: Updates  |  2 Comments
  • Salina Salina

    Salina | 24/04/2014 8:17 AM

  • Ali Smith Ali Smith

    Can't wait to see the new site!
    Ali Smith | 27/05/2014 5:12 PM


Mike Cowart knew the power of photography.


In what he describes as the darkest season of his life in 2004 following an accident, job loss and enduring a divorce, Mike was given a gift. The gift of photography.

Photography gave Mike hope.

Just two days before Mike passed away tragically from a heart attack at age 43 earlier this month, he wrote this status update on Facebook as he announced the launch of his new website,

“Something inside of me came alive, gave me hope, told me to hang on. I fell in love with capturing people’s stories, their souls, emotions and beautiful moments. God is so good. Don’t give up on your dreams.”

Help-Portrait in Action

So it was little wonder when Mike jumped at the chance to give the gift of hope through, founded by his younger brother Jeremy five years ago.

Mike served alongside Jeremy and others in the Nashville Help-Portrait group for several years, including last December, when Mike was joined by both his brothers, Jeremy and Benji, to sing together after a day of shooting portraits for individuals and families in need in the Nashville area.

Perhaps the most amazing thing to see happen in the days following his death in March has been seeing Help-Portrait in action: 40 photographers have stepped in and have volunteered to shoot the remainder of Mike’s weddings this year, and are donating the proceeds to his family. There’s no better gift a community and a movement can give than reciprocating the love and grace one of its own has faithfully given.

If you’d like to give in Mike’s memory, you may do so by:

Purchasing His Worship EP

Mike was a worship leader at his home church in Hendersonville and had a worship EP, which is being offering as a $5 download to benefit Mike’s beautiful children, Noah, 15, and Reese, 11.

Donate Directly to a Fund Set up for His Children

There’s an additional donation fund set up for them as well.

Give a Gift in His Name to Help-Portrait

In lieu of flowers, Mike’s family has asked for contributions to be made to Help-Portrait. So even in his death, Mike is still giving and serving through the gift that gave him hope, so that others may experience it as well.

If you’d like to read more about Mike’s story, visit his website, and this article published in The Tennessean.

Posted on Mar 26, 2014  |  Category: Story of the Day  |  1 Comment
  • Rodrigo Rodrigo

    Rodrigo | 29/03/2014 4:08 AM

vanajeros individuals

The Vanajeros are a group of four professional photographers and filmmakers based in Bozeman, Montana who have decided to take a bit of a wild ride. They have come together to use their talents literally across the country, as they take free portraits for people from Montana all the way to Ecuador. Three months in a VW van-turned-mobile-photography-studio will be an adventure to say the least, and most of all will make a difference in the lives of everyone they encounter.

We asked the Vanajeros about their trip and how we can support them. Here’s what they said:

What inspired this trip?

Aidan brought us all together with a idea he had for this VW Vanagon: turn it into a mobile studio, and drive it from here (the Northern U.S.) all the way through Central America, eventually landing in Ecuador. Initially, we were in because it sounded like a great adventure. It was clear the trip was going to be very meaningful for each of us. But as it stood, the trip was just for personal gain. That wasn’t quite enough for us; we wanted to somehow find a way to give back to these cultures and people that would be sharing so much with us. Then we remembered working with Help-Portrait at MSU, and we got into the idea of putting photographs into people’s hands.

Why do you think portraits are so impactful? 

The portrait is something that everyone appreciates. Whether it’s of your grandmother, best friend, or your family, portraits are tokens of recollection. Memories blur and fade away as time passes, and photographs are tools we use to keep those moments or people close to us. However, most of our lives have become over saturated with portraits of our friends, our families and ourselves. The digital era has made it all to easy for many of us to forget how valuable these photographs can be. By providing tangible photographs to people who don’t have the privilege of having a portrait made of themselves or their family, we are both sharing these precious mementos and exploring the value of these images beyond a Facebook post.

What do you hope the people you photograph get out of this experience?

Really I think all of us just want to give something back to the people that allow us to photograph them. The portraits to us are a gesture to show our appreciation. We want to really embrace the idea of a cultural exchange and want the portraits to mean as much to the people being photographed, as they will for us.

Why Ecuador? Where will you stop along the way?

Aidan has a bit of history in Ecuador and the list of places were planning to stop is constantly growing. If the stretch to Ecuador is successful we could very well keep driving south. It just seemed like a perfect checkpoint.

How can people support your trip?

Starting this March were taking part in Kind Snacks “Do Something Kind” campaign which is an online vote-based grant for projects, which will help us get the van to where we would like it to be for the trip. The following month we’re launching the Vanajeros official Kickstarter to raise money for equipment and supplies. People can help by spreading the word about the trip, voting, and donating. Any bit would be greatly appreciated.

Anything else we should know?

We want to thank Help-Portrait for supporting us, Pixuru online printing as well as everyone supporting us on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We really wouldn’t be able to do this project without all of you. Join us by following @Vanajeros on Instagram or on Facebook as we prepare and embark on this journey!

vanajeros group shot

Posted on Feb 26, 2014  |  Category: Story of the Day  |  3 Comments
  • Amanda Amanda

    What an awesome undertaking! Have a great trip... Will watch for updates.
    Amanda | 26/02/2014 6:03 PM

  • Susan Susan

    So excited for the Vanajeros!
    Susan | 28/02/2014 3:19 AM

  • paolo paolo

    very beautiful
    paolo | 28/02/2014 8:18 AM

The Coral Springs Camera Club of Florida, for the last three years, has provided free photos to the residents of Broward Outreach Center in Pompano Beach, Florida as our Christmas gift to the residents. It is a homeless shelter and training center for about 150 people, made up of abused women, families and adult males that need help in reentering the job world. About 70 residents participate in the photo shoots.

One man told Joe, the photographer, that he had not been in contact with his mother or family members for more than five years. He told us he was going to send his mother the photos this Christmas as a gift so she can see her son at his best.

It is soul-warming to know someone else sees the need and uses their talents to server those God puts in our path.

- Randy Shine, Member – Coral Springs Camera Club of Florida, Event Organizer

Pompano Beach 2013 - 1


Posted on Jan 08, 2014  |  Category: Story of the Day  |  No Comments