Dear Help-Portrait Community,

We did it!

The Annual Help-Portrait day has come and gone. What a day it was! The pictures, stories and reports are pouring in. It’s so fun to see what you all did in recent days, weeks, and for some of you, months.

Due to weather and other circumstances, we know some of you have event dates that are still coming up. Don’t worry, we’re here to root you on and will be awaiting the pictures, stories and counts to add to the global story.


If you lead a group and have completed your event, be sure to submit you stats as soon as you can. We’re updating our global impact story regularly and posting them on Twitter, Facebook and OKDOTHIS.


If you’re anything like me, you’re basking in the stories and moments you experienced. Please take a moment and share those with us. We’d love to hear about the ones that were especially touching to you. Send them to and don’t forget to include a picture. Please let us know if we’re not allowed to share the story publicly.


Mark your calendars because the next International Help-Portrait day is scheduled for Saturday, 06 December 2014.

Finally, Help-Portrait 2013 is far from over. There are many more stories to be told, pictures to see and reports to be included. We can’t wait to see what you all did!

Talk to you soon,

— Kyle Chowning
Executive Director

#helpportrait on Twitter • Instagram • Facebook • Flickr

Posted on Dec 09, 2013  |  Category: H-P Organizers, H-P Tips, Updates  |  4 Comments
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These are the moments when heaven comes to earth:

When a 46 year old beautiful woman bawls her eyes out because she has finally gotten her very first picture with Santa.

When photographers set aside competition and serve together for the day.

When a twenty (something)-year-old in a recovery program asks to set his picture on the sign-in desk, stands back with a huge smile, and says, “I’m just picturing it. I’m picturing when I have a job, and I’m working in an office. I will have this picture sitting there. Can’t you see it? This is where I’m heading.”

When the Chick-fil-a cow shows up and makes everyone’s day.

When someone getting their picture says they’ve always wanted to be a professional photographer and asked if they could come next year, and the photographer hands his camera to her and says, “how about now?”

When crazy talented musicians serenade new friends.

When kids belly laugh as they play with their new toys who were given to them by other kids.

When hot coffee and a meal are offered by a friendly face and the rest of the hospitality/food team to those who have been riding in a freezing cold bus this morning.

When a returning guest from last year recognizes a volunteer, calls her by name, greets her with a huge hug and insists they get a picture taken together and printed before they leave.

When volunteers give hours upon hours of long nights behind the scenes to make these moments possible for people all over the world who will never know their name.

This is Help-Portrait.

Honored to have shared this with some of my favorite people in the world today. Thank you for every hug, encouraging word, listening ear, picture, makeover, print, and action you gave today to make these and many more moments happen.

-Kendra Flowers
Nashville, TN


We want to hear your stories from Help-Portrait 2013. Please fill out the event report (this information is vital to the future of our organization), and then send an email to and attach photos and details from your day. We want to flood this blog and social media with the hope, love and good will that light up the earth yesterday.

Posted on Dec 08, 2013  |  Category: H-P Organizers, Story of the Day, Updates  |  1 Comment
  • Robert Wilder Smith Robert Wilder Smith

    My second tour as "Santa." And it continues to warm my heart! Memorable moment... A bus driver comes up talking on his phone. Then "Facetimes" the conversation with me back to his wife, who has never seen Santa... In the Middle East!! Wow!!
    Robert Wilder Smith | 02/07/2014 7:18 PM

The last time zones are about to start their Help-Portrait 2013 events. We can’t wait to tell the global story. Don’t forget to submit your stats! Use the hashtag #helpportrait when posting on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and OKDOTHIS!

#HelpPortrait founder @jeremycowart taking a few shots of a sweet family at @HPNashville!  Embedded image permalink

Posted on Dec 07, 2013  |  Category: H-P Organizers  |  No Comments

We mentioned this week on Twitter that a video featuring Sasha Leahovcenco, one of Help-Portrait’s prolific volunteer photographers, and his Help-Portrait trip to Chukotka, Russia (“Help-Portrait. End of the Earth“), was chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick. In it he shows the a behind the scenes look at his team’s journey beginning at Anadyr (capital of Chukotka) and into the very deep Tundra where no one lives except small tribal groups of reindeer herders. He called it a life-changing experience. (Read our interview with him.)

Sasha wasn’t finished. This year he traveled to Nigeria where he took Help-Portrait to every school, clinic and orphanage his team visited while creating a documentary for a missions group.





See the full post with Sasha’s story and more photos.

Help-Portrait. Nigeria. from Sasha on Vimeo.

From Sasha:

Every time I do Help-Portrait projects I always learn something new. Something new about myself, people and approach to photography. Here are some things I learned on my trip to Nigeria.

• Ask people to smile. It doesn’t matter how old or how young they are. They look better with the smile on their face.

• Do your best. You never know, you might be photographing the future president.
Treat everyone equally, and do your best to deliver the best photograph you can deliver. You never know who is standing in front of your camera, so treat those people as if you are photographing the president of your country.

• Show that you care. Smile. Smile a lot. Learn how to say “smile” and “hi” in the language/culture you are in. Hug them. Twice. A lot of times. Especially when you are photographing orphans, all they need is someone who would show that he/she cares and happy to see them. Make sure you send that message.

• Remember It’s NOT about you. It’s about the people in your photo. Make sure they are your #1 priority. Sometimes as photographers we can stress out about our lighting not being perfect, or the person in front of the camera not standing or not looking the way you want them to look.

• Don’t wait to be asked. Ask to photograph. Be the first to come and ask people to photograph them. You are there to serve them, and not vise versa. Don’t wait for people – especially you never met before to ask you for photo. If you see someone seeing or watching nearby – go and invite to get a photo.

• Throw all those things aside and focus on the people in front of your camera. Approach those people with love and great respect. Make sure they know it’s all about THEM, and not YOU and your photography.

Yet probably the most important lesson/reminder I took from this trip and would like to share is something we very often neglect – To be thankful.






Sasha has created a video tutorial of how he runs Help-Portrait events internationally. This is a must-see!

Posted on Dec 03, 2013  |  Category: H-P Organizers, Inspiration, Story of the Day  |  No Comments

We can’t tell you how excited we are to see Help-Portrait roll around, because this is our 5th year! This is a huge milestone for our community, which spans 67 countries now!

We know you’ve been planning, fundraising and organizing in anticipation for Dec. 7. Thank you for your level of dedication, teamwork and compassion. Once the doors swing open, hearts will as well. We can’t wait to hear the stories that come from these events in just a little more than a week.

As Help-Portrait 2013 begins in just a few short days, we wanted to give you a few reminders.


Most importantly, don’t forget to track and report your numbers. We’re looking for the number of photographers, volunteers and portraits given. At the end of the event, head over to and fill in the details. This allows us to share the global impact of Help-Portrait with the public, media and potential sponsors. This helps us engage more photographers so that next year, we can do even more.


    • We’d love to get #HelpPortrait to trend globally on Twitter Saturday so be sure to use that hashtag.
    • We’ve seen that many of you have already gotten wonderful media coverage in your local papers and from local news stations. We’d love to see and keep a record of these links. Send us the details using this form Help-Portrait Press so we can share it with community.
    • OKDOTHIS, a new photo- and idea-sharing app from HP founder Jeremy Cowart, is going to be a great way to share Help-Portrait. There’s already a slew of photo ideas and prompts, called “DOs,” on the @helpportrait profile page for behind the scenes pictures at our events, how to take better pictures, ways to interact with the subjects — and more are being added daily. The goal is to create community of ideas through the DOs that OKDOTHIS provides. Take and share the photos you create, and post your own ideas for DOs! It’s easy, fun, idea-inspiring and adds a new level of social media sharing for our events this year.
    • Create a CNN iReport for your Help-Portrait location! We’ve got a step-by-step tutorial on our blog. At your local event, capture a compelling brief video or photo(s) or so of what’s happening. Give an overview of your event and interview an organizer or participant about what the day has meant to them (don’t forget to get release forms signed).


Lastly, we can’t wait to see your photos this year. Whether you upload on your personal blog, local Help-Portrait site, Facebook, Flickr or other means, please make sure to include the Help-Portrait watermark, get the proper release forms signed, and include “Help_Portrait” in the file titles so we can see the photos when doing a Google Image Search.

We’re anticipating great things this year. Let’s go!

-Kyle & the Help-Portrait team

Posted on Dec 01, 2013  |  Category: H-P Organizers, H-P Tips, Updates  |  1 Comment
  • Dawn Lowe Dawn Lowe

    We are armed and ready-with cameras, lights, action, makeup and lots of love!
    Dawn Lowe | 04/12/2013 4:28 AM

Jeremy Cowart and a development team at Aloompa have launched a new photo idea-sharing app called OKDOTHIS.

We want to see you use it with Help-Portrait!

Follow @helpportrait, then check out the photo prompts, called “Dos.” Take and share the photos you create, then post your own ideas for Dos!

It’s easy, fun and idea-inspiring. So, OK … let’s do this!

photo 1

photo 2

Posted on Nov 26, 2013  |  Category: H-P Organizers, H-P Tips, Inspiration, Updates  |  No Comments

In 2009, Help-Portrait organizer Austin Mann shared some extremely helpful technical tips about doing Help-Portrait events in Dallas, TX. We asked him to weigh in again this year with more advice on what makes his events successful.

10 essentials items you don’t wanna forget:

1) Plenty of gaff tape (mutli colors for signage and other stuff)
2) Plenty of power extensions & power strips
3) Lens cloths
4) Envelopes/something protective to take prints home in
5) Basic contact info forms
6) Lens cloths
7) Big posterboards for signage
8) Speakers/music: It’s great to have some background audio to set a good mood
9) Plenty of chairs: for people waiting, for the work stations, as props on set if needed
10) Tether cables: if you decide to tether, make sure to get some long tether cable at (I prefer custom ones from

General Tips

Promote it ahead of time…
Work with teammates within the community you are looking to photograph… cast the vision for HP to them and let them help you promote. Make flyers that say FREE PICTURES but also FREE FOOD!

People congregate around food. They may not realize they want photos or how much an experience like HP could impact them, but we always want food so be sure to put that on the flyer.

On the day of your event, get some huge poster board and write something like “FREE PICTURES & FREE FOOD!” with a big arrow pointing in the direction of your event. This will help you get a ton of foot traffic…

You are gonna need big ones and lots of them. Have plenty of space to spread out camera gear & printers & computers…

Keep an eye on all your and tell everyone involved the same. A lot of people will be coming in and out and if you are careless and create an opportunity, gear could walk away.

1. What advice would you give to someone running their first HP event?

For starters, don’t forget what this is all about… it’s about loving people. If we ever, at any interaction, lose sight of that then we are missing the whole point. Don’t let yourself get too caught up in the technical, the perfection of the image, the complexities of the event, the sharing of the images with friends or anything else… just remember this is all about serving.

Get as many photographers involved as possible. It’s more important than it might seem… it means more gear to pool together, more ways to promote, more to help handle foot traffic, etc…

2. What are the most essential things for running a successful event?

Great hearted people:
Some HP’s will be small and others big… some have tons of equipment and others have nothing but an iPhone. The most important thing about any HP event is that everyone understands the heart behind is really just to share a day with new friends doing things we love.

Your location is key. Ideally you’ll be in a familiar location in the heart of a community with a lot of foot traffic.

Great promotion:
Promoting your event is key… to build your team, gain partners and get people there.

I’d recommend not doing an all day event… instead focus it in a shorter period. We usually do 3-4 hours which helps make sure there’s lots of excitement, everybody is on point and it doesn’t drag out energy through the day.

3. What are tips for running a larger-scale event?

Larger Scale:
Have at least two photographers per station… one to help with the digital stuff/assist and one to shoot… they can swap through out the day.

Get tons of volunteers. If you can work with a church or an organization working in your community, that’s a huge help for volunteers. Volunteers will be needed for a few reason…

1) Directing foot traffic
2) Setting up
3) Tearing down
4) Engaging people as they are waiting
5) Collecting information from people (name, contact info, etc)

Plan your space for entry/exit… ideally they are flowing in one door and out the other. Make great big signs to direct people! Imagine it full of people… how will you communicate to each person where they need to go and what they need to do?

We make giant arrows with white gaff tape on the ground to direct people and also have volunteers constantly roaming to help people get what they need.

4. How have you gone about collecting donations?

I approached a church that I had shot for about this idea and they loved it… they have an inner city ministry with all the infrastructure we were looking for and they allowed us to completely integrate with their existing ministry. I’d encourage you to look within your own network for organizations or businesses that this would really resonate with and talk to them.

5. How did you find, communicate with, and organize your volunteers?

A great way to do this is through a partner working in the community you are targeting. If you don’t have that option, ask friends, tweet and check out the site for additional resources.

6. How have you found nonprofits to connect with and what are some advice you would have in partnering with them?

Look for potential partners that something like this really falls in-sync with and try to parallel with them as you share the idea… for instance, if you find an org working in food programs then come alongside them and share the idea as being integrated with their soup kitchen.

Share about how HP can really strengthen relationships from their org to a community… how it strengthens families, friend groups and more. HP is a really powerful event and you have a lot to leverage as you cast the vision for partnering. Use the resources at to help cast this vision… there’s great video resources you can share, photo stories and more.

7. How have you found hairstylists and makeup artists for your events?

We actually haven’t worked with hairstylists & makeup much. I think this is a great addition but not essential. If I were looking for it, I’d find friends passionate about this or search the HP site online.

8. Do you have any recommendations for creating and maintaining your group planning site? Any other sites besides the community site you have used?

Amazon is a really valuable resource as you get supplies… they have just about everything you could possibly need and offer free two-day shipping… it can save you a whole lot of errands.

Depending on the size of your event, it can be helpful to have a central task management site like Basecamp or Asana. We’ll be using Asana this year to make sure everyone is moving tasks forward and stay on top of the details…

9. How do you find the best space for your event?

Talk to anyone / everyone about this! If you secure a great partner, maybe they have a community space you could use. Look for things like:

Tall Ceilings
The more vertical space you have the better… this will give your photographers room to move lights up higher and just generally feels better.

Entry & Exit
Look for a space that has several entries/exits. If you have a lot of people show up, you are going to want them to be able to flow in and flow out easily… not gonna happen if they are all using one door.

Make sure there is sufficient outlets where you locate… you might even test it with your lights on full blast.

This can be helpful through out the day to download software updates for printers / tethering… uploading content on the fly or various other tasks.

Waiting Room
This is important to keep sanity in the shooting room… If you have a lot of people there and they are just floating around the chaos

Having a couple bathrooms is ideal! Make sure they are ready for a lot of people.

10. Any tips for smooth and efficient work flow?

Simplify. Don’t make it any more complicated than it has to be. In the past, we’ve shot tethered and shoot JPEG only so the transfer speed is quick (small file size than RAW so much faster transfers.)

Another major speed enhancer is to set your print quality on Medium. Printing max quality can be 1/4 of the speed and marginally better print quality. The medium quality looks really great on most printers and will be significantly faster output. Also, printing to glossy paper as opposed to matte will save you time & ink.

Plenty of table space makes a big difference. Gaff tape all cables to the ground so no one can trip. Have a trash can at each station so each table stays tidy & clean.

11. Setting up tips? Tear town tips?

If you can, set up the night before just to make sure everything is working properly. Inevitably there will be things you’ve forgotten or need to change… and if you have a bunch of people showing up while you’re trying to fix something it can be stressful.

12. Day of tips?

• Get there earlier than you think.
• Get coffee and donuts for your crew.
• Don’t forget to account for tear down time when communicating with your team… solo tear down is no fun at all.

13. Printing tips? Photo station setups?

• Print quality: Medium
• Paper type: Glossy
• Paper size: 4×6 is fast & easy… we do 8.5×11 too but be aware it adds complexity (reformatting, changing printer papers, settings, etc.)

14. What ideas do you have when it comes to hospitality for your guests?

Plenty of food & drink!

Chairs for people to sit (but make sure they are moving on after they’re done being photographed.)

Make sure your volunteers are floating around engaging people and helping direct them if they’re unsure where to go.

15. How do you put on HP events at homeless shelter?

Provide food! There will definitely be tons of people there.

16. How do you get PR at your event?

Thinking through this aspect is really important… there’s a few things that should be considered:
1) Location: Consider the demographic you are targeting and make sure you are easily accessible. We work with a local church that has an inner city ministry in West Dallas. It’s ideal because it gives us a trusted relationship into the community, an ideal shooting location in the heart of our target area and a great platform to promote our event through.

Signage & Flyers: We hand out flyers weeks before so people know we’re coming. We also have signage up on the day of to drive foot traffic our way.

News: Let networks and newspapers know what you are up to ahead of time. HP fosters community development and change within cities so they love to cover this kind of thing. If you are interviewed or asked about HP, don’t lose sight of what it’s about. Remember that making a portrait with someone impacts both side… them and you. Talking with the news is a great platform for you to inspire others to use what they’ve been given for impact.

20. How have you gotten frames?

We don’t usually deal with framing. Instead, we slip prints in to clear plastic sheaths. These are cheap, simple and easy. Amazon is a great place to find low cost frame if needed or you could also reach out to a local framer and see if they’d be interested in sponsoring something like this.

21. What are some of the most fun and creative things that you have done that have helped make your event special?

This event is going to be really special no matter what you do. Printing on site is especially fun.

The most fun & most important thing you can do is simply love. Share life. Dignify. Listen. Equate. Be Present. These things that we may consider fundamental that others may have never experienced.

Don’t let it stop here… let HP be the beginning of this but I’d encourage you to think of this as a gateway into year-round work in these communities… what doors is it opening? Why should we only do things like this on one day per year?

Posted on Nov 10, 2013  |  Category: H-P Organizers, H-P Tips, Inspiration  |  3 Comments
  • Marcia Marcia

    This is a message from the Help-Potrait site this morning. I thought you might be inspired and motivated by reading through this. Great thoughts!
    Marcia | 11/11/2013 1:11 PM

  • Ali Smith Ali Smith

    A couple of things I'd like to offer. As for framing...ask for donations from friends and family! Last year a bunch of people involved put calls out via FB and Twitter for anyone who was willing to donate some 5x7 and 8x10 frames. Even used ones that were lying around the house unused. We got INUNDATED with frames! We still have boxes from last year that we had to store because we couldn't use them all. It's a great way the community can feel helpful and they enjoy doing it. Also...with hairstylists and make up artists, check out local cosmetology schools! We have partnered with the local Paul Mitchell the School here last year and this year and they send out about 20 students and a couple of instructors and the students get to log hours and the school as a whole is big on giving back to the community and helping with fundraisers. Just a couple of ideas to add! :)
    Ali Smith | 12/11/2013 4:47 PM

  • Valerie Valerie

    Awesome ideas, thanks for sharing.
    Valerie | 28/12/2013 5:33 AM

Help-Portrait Franklin is a group just south of Nashville, Tenn. They have four planning committee members and 40-50 volunteers for setup and the day. Last year’s and this year’s HP event is held at New Hope Academy, a private Christian school in Franklin which reserves 50 percent of its seats for low-income children with a commitment to launch all of its students into a bright future. In the past this group has helped cancer victims and those who suffered from the Nashville floods in 2010. Creating a well-organized event that caters to the needs of children and families are their strength. We asked them for some tips and best practices as they plan this year’s event. Have something you’d like to share? Please do! Leave a comment and keep the conversation going.


What advice would you give to someone planning their first HP event?

First, find out who your team is going to be. Remember to make sure you have non-photographers on this team. I think it’s essential to be able to utilize the talents of multiple areas. Remember to be realistic–not all artsy people’s strengths are details. Make a list of people you know that can be your “go to.”

Second, find your location.  Once you have that, then you can have a starting point of what you are going to need, how many people, who your market is going to be, etc.

How do you find the best location?

We based it first on who would have the biggest spot for free.  We found that churches were the best locations we could find for free, but we unfortunately lost people who wouldn’t attend since it was at a church.  Many of the free large spots, like churches, aren’t as easy to access for those without cars.

Last year’s location at New Hope Academy was amazing.  People were not as intimidated since it wasn’t a church, but it still wasn’t the ideal location for people without transportation.  We are looking at doing multiple smaller events with a base location…kind of a satellite concept to go where the need is.

What are the most essential things for running a successful event?

Communication and plenty of volunteers. Always overstaff volunteers, no matter what size event you’re planning.


Do you have any recommendations for creating and maintaining your group-planning site?

Create events within the site, especially if it’s just photographers getting together.  Send as many reminders as you can…the day before, the day of and a few hours before.  You really can’t remind them too much.

How have you gone about collecting donations?

We’ve utilized connections our team has to local businesses and visited them in person to collect donations.

What organizations have you worked with, how did you connect with them and what has been your experience working with them?

Each year, this is something we talk about improving.  We have worked to get many organizations involved, but this is one of the weakest areas of our event.  We are all still figuring out how to get people inside these organizations to promote from within.  It basically comes down to the fact that most people don’t trust it’s actually free.  We’ve gone to these locations multiple times personally and handed out flyers.  This has been the most effective effort thus far, but not the most realistic.  In the future, we may staff volunteers to go to organizations we partner with and help spread the word.


How have you found hairstylists and makeup artists?

In our experience, this has been our weakest link:  They have been the hardest to confirm, or they confirm and don’t show up.  We had a fantastic team this year that was confirmed the two days prior to our event. We’ve kept in contact to maintain the relationship for future events.  In addition, we are collecting makeup during the year, so they don’t have to use their personal products.  We also enlist high school and college-aged girls with lots of tools and experience for hair and makeup.  We have also used salons and beauty schools from around the area.

Day of tips?

Get there early, get ready before you open the doors, get the team together and remind them that our purpose is to give value and to give respect.  Make sure you have at least 2-3 extra volunteers to spare to run errands and fill in wherever.  This allows person in charge to focus on the big picture and not be caught up in the small things.

Any tips for smooth and efficient flow?  

Indoor and outdoor signage is key.  Have people at each checkpoint to direct people as they come.  We also did a run through the night before with all of our volunteers.  It allowed us to create a list of people to have at each station and have floaters to fill needs as they arose.


What ideas do you have when it comes to hospitality for your guests?

We offer food after their photos are taken.  This allows us to connect with the families while they wait.  We also have water available.

We did a prize basket (a bin with small stuffed animals & little toys) for the kids to pick from when they finish for the day.  In addition, we did a coat drive and allowed people to pick out a coat at the end of the event.

Printing tips?

We have loved HiTi 510s printers. They are dye-sublimation type printers that use a three-color ribbon process that is transferred to the paper.

We also did our prints on flash drives from iPromo. They were our main cost, but were so much faster than trying to burn DVDs.


What items do you need on hand?

Make sure you have plenty of supplies ahead of time and delegate! Many people in our area are willing to help, especially financially.

Here are some examples of items to have:

  • Sharpies
  • Duct Tape
  • Name Tags
  • Pens
  • Baby wipes & tissues
  • Bottled waters
  • Snacks for workers
  • Hairspray
  • Q-tips & cotton pads
  • Mascaras
  • Extension cords & power strips
  • Tablecloths
  • Napkins & plates
  • Paper towels
  • Clorox wipes

Here are a few examples of features we couldn’t make it without:

Electrical Volunteer: He helps get all the right cords for photographers, lighting & hair/makeup. This is a huge need, and helps us not blow fuses.

Identical Setup: We set up every station identically, which allows for consistency.  All photographers also shot in the same format and lighting.

Designated Kid Area:  We used a TV/DVD player and played the movie Elf.  It was a huge hit!  Have at least 4 volunteers stationed here and don’t forget you teenagers are often great with kids.  When the parents know the kids are in a safe place, it allows them to enjoy being pampered.

Event Photographers: Make sure you designate 2-3 photographers to take candid shots of the day’s process.

Volunteer Appreciation: Everyone can’t be photographers that day, so it’s important to put value on each person’s role in this process.  Thank volunteers whenever they help doing whatever.

Right before ending setup, pull the entire group of volunteers together and thank them for coming, for their commitment to such a great cause.  Remind them that this day is not about what hat they are wearing, but what they are creating; who they will be influencing, changing, and touching.  This may be these people’s first experience of being on the receiving end of a selfless act.

Our goal is not for them to see who we are, but to feel Jesus through us.


Any final tips for us?

Keep music going in the background.  Make sure the photographers and hairstylists/makeup artists have what they need.  Follow up with the kids area, and keep the food going at all times!

Are you local and want to get involved? Join Help-Portrait Franklin on Facebook for details.

Posted on Oct 21, 2013  |  Category: H-P Organizers, H-P Tips, Inspiration  |  3 Comments
  • Jones Jones

    Hi - thanks for the tips. After burning discs the last couple of years - I really like your idea of using the jump drives. Just a couple of questions: what were your costs (model / quantity) and it looks like iPromo allows for logos - did you use the H-P logo or keep it simple with a solid color? (it it's easier - you can email me directly, too)
    Jones | 22/10/2013 4:19 AM

  • David Braud David Braud

    We ordered them with the logos. In fact, they may still have the graphics. We went with the logo on one side and the words HELP-PORTRAIT on the other. I ordered them through a rep named Rahan who was easy to work with. They were 3.50 each, but talking to Jeremy and the Chownings, we may place a large bulk order this year and then make them available for different groups to purchase at cost.
    David Braud | 22/10/2013 1:22 PM

  • Jones Jones

    Thanks, David, for the info. At the end of the day, I'm not sure if we'll have the budget but it sounds like a great workflow enhancement (and it's certainly something to bring up with the local planning team).
    Jones | 23/10/2013 5:34 AM

In this new video, Help-Portrait Austin recaps the 2011 event and looks forward to this year’s. Watch in this video how the volunteers are just as touched and changed as the recipients. That’s the beauty of Help-Portrait. Help us reach $4,000 in a special Help-Portrait Groupon offer through Wednesday – a $10 donation is worth $20.

Give a $10 for $20 Donation to Help-Portrait

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. Help us give more this season by giving $10 for a $20 corporate-matched donation to your local Help-Portrait event.

Donate today and help us continue to touch and change lives.

Posted on Sep 22, 2012  |  Category: H-P Organizers, Inspiration  |  No Comments

Stanley-Carl du-Pont is an H-P organizer for Ubuntu Help-Portrait in Johannesburg, South Africa. He offers an overview of his group’s ambitious plan for 2012.

In 2011 Ubuntu Help-Portrait volunteers hosted 95 portrait events and gave a staggering +13,000 portraits over 10 weeks to bring our tally to over 19,500 free portraits in three years.

A photographer development programme for six candidates from under-privileged backgrounds was launched with the support of Nikon South Africa who sponsored free equipment and the College of Digital Photography who provided free tuition. Free photography services at events hosted by charities serving people in needy communities were also piloted, with notable success being achieved through a partnership with Stop Hunger Now SA, an organisation committed to eradicating child-hunger in under-privileged schools.

So how can we possibly top that in 2012?

We made some choices

In the face of a growing programme that looked more like it would soon need an organisation, we chose to go back to the beginning – to our roots – to revisit who and what we were about.

Then we chose to remain a movement – nothing more.

We’re not and never aim not to become an organisation, a charity or any structured entity that requires “staff.” We’re staying 100% volunteer-driven and using 100% of any donations we receive to pay only for prints – nothing more.

We chose to strive to use photography to benefit needy people and communities for free.

In keeping with this, we undertook a complete review of what and how we do things – start to finish.

The key outcomes: a comprehensive programme of events planned to maximise volunteer experiences, new ways to inspire and equip volunteers to participate in more events while shooting better portraits and new programmes firmly rooted in giving back for free through photography.

2012 Free Portraits Programme

Free printed portraits for the needy remains our mainstay activity and in 2012, there will be approximately 180 events over 14 weeks to give over 25,000 free portraits.

At the heart of this, a simple challenge for our, now +170, volunteers: “50in4” to shoot 50 portraits at just 4 events. That could bring us easily with reach of our goal of 25,000 portraits for this year!

First off, a revamped RSVP for Events page that allows volunteers to select events by location, type or period. The events can also be viewed in the form of a map here.

We introduced new activities and worked hard to improve on-going communication that positions giving as also being about volunteers having fun through Portrait Challenges, scheduled Weekends Away and also Online Help-Nights.

Workshops that unleash passionate volunteers

Our free one-day portrait workshop for volunteers got a serious make-over to hit three hot-spots:

  • Inform new volunteers about the heart of Help-Portrait and entrench the “free giving” values of our movement;
  • Inspire volunteers to multiply the movement and to take Help-Portrait into their local communities; and
  • Equip volunteers to take more and better portraits, faster!

So what else is new this year?

  • “Chapters” for other cities: where we have attracted volunteers and there isn’t a Help-Portrait group. We offer a community to belong to, arrange and schedule events in their area, provide free training, provide online help and upload facilities for their images and we get their portraits printed. We deal with all the “stuff,” including the cost of the prints, and all they have to do is shoot portraits. Our aim is to multiply the Help-Portrait movement by enabling these chapters to develop into their own independent groups.
  • Framed Online: offers free online digital portraits for generous hearts – those that support the Free Portraits programme. Our volunteers “frame” donors and we give them a digital portrait. We also plan to extend this to include offering free online portraits in malls and centres as a way to promote and spread public awareness about Help-Portrait.
  • WizKidz: is all about sharing the joy of photography with a child from an under-privileged background. A volunteer pairs with a child for a morning in a centre or facility of interest or education, and provides the child with the use of a point-and-shoot camera so that the child may also take pictures on the day. The Wiz mentors the Kid for the day and uses photography to connect and show love. A digital collection of the images provide a memory for the child to keep of that day.

So, is that it?

“Yes” on the surface and for portrait goals and new initiatives.

“No” in terms of what lies under the skin! Although not new, our focus, planning, organisation and communication have really honed in on enhancing volunteer experiences. This we believe is key to future growth and to the multiplication of the Help-Portrait movement.

It’s becoming more about leveraging volunteer input, skills and relationships, and also about partnering with others in giving joy though photography. For example we:

  • reach into pre-schools in the squatter camps and informal settlements to offer free portraits through a national organisation involved in resourcing and developing these schools;
  • engage the camera clubs and groups and share our plans with their organisers so that they can plan their activities while being aware of what we’re up to;
  • motivate the potential benefits of our activities to suppliers and when requesting their support, choose resources and materials over money – afterall, it’s only printed portraits we need.

Our closing event on Help-Portrait day, Saturday 8 December 2012

We hope to end our 14-week season of Free Portraits in a way we have not done before. Don’t be silly, we won’t be shooting film ;-) but we hope to raise the bar again.

What does the future hold?

We’re starting to attract attention and we know that may change many things. Media and publicity are curiously staring over the fence asking why and how we do this. But we’re not paying too much attention and we’re sticking to our knitting. Why? Because we believe that if we do what we do well, and we focus on growing volunteers who are deeply passionate about giving back through Help-Portrait, we will attract – not seek- the resources we need to succeed.

We’re going to stretch the boundaries and have fun experimenting with new ideas.

We’ve already had a go at some out-of-the-box stuff like 94toGram, a collection of portrait messages to celebrate the 94th birthday of Nelson Mandela. Through this, we gave people who do not often have a chance to shout-out, the opportunity to send online birthday messages to South Africa’s most loved statesman. But it has more potential than just birthday messages – our volunteers got a taste of using their cameras to give others a voice and a platform to speak to the world!

Will we find new ways to give? Yes, we always do. Will we increase our portrait goal? Yes, but only through the Chapters we hope to form into independent groups.

If there is any certainty, then it is that we will continue to try to multiply the Help-Portrait movement locally, nationally and across our borders. We will strive to find new ways to use photography to benefit people in needy communities and we will have an absolutely awesome time along the way because we love people and we love giving back!

Posted on Aug 21, 2012  |  Category: H-P Organizers, Inspiration  |  2 Comments
  • stasvavilovsky stasvavilovsky

    Всем привет! Давно не заходил сюда. Пароль забыл, пришлось заново региться. Искал я тут недавно где кредит взять в Вологде, наш местный сайт. сайт нормальный такой. кредиты в Вологде На нем все предложения, от всех банков плюс адреса. :)
    stasvavilovsky | 15/12/2012 12:00 PM

  • Help-Portrait Remembers Nelson Mandela | Help-Portrait Worldwide » 07 DEC 2013 Help-Portrait Remembers Nelson Mandela | Help-Portrait Worldwide » 07 DEC 2013

    […] most loved statesman,” Stanley-Carl du-Pont, an H-P organizer for Ubuntu Help-Portrait, shared our blog in 2012. As we mourn the news of his passing, we join with Mandela’s global chorus of […]
    Help-Portrait Remembers Nelson Mandela | Help-Portrait Worldwide » 07 DEC 2013 | 05/12/2013 11:16 PM