We’re honored that Ubuntu Help-Portrait in South Africa had the opportunity to help celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life through an initiative called 94toGram, a collection of Help-Portrait messages marking his 94th birthday. “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,” 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 supporters and friends and remember his incredible contributions to social justice.
Bay Today has a great interview with North Bay Help Portrait’s Bill Ferguson in Ontario, Canada, about their event this past weekend.
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.
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!
Here is a short tutorial on how Sasha Leahovcenco, a Help-Portrait’s volunteer photographer who has taken Help-Portrait to the ends of the earth, runs his projects. Below the video is a gear list as well. Thanks, Sasha!
Have you gotten your Help-Portrait T-Shirt yet? No? Well, it’s not too late!
Tuesday through Friday all merch is 25% off.
Already bought your shirt? Pick up an accessory to go with it, or buy a Christmas gift for a friend or family member!
Make sure others don’t miss out on the sale by sharing the link on social media:
And remember your purchases go directly towards supporting HP operating costs and future events. Thank you for sharing the love!
- Project Manager
Monday only! 40% off ALL MERCH in the Help-Portrait store. Now’s the time to stock up on shirts for your team, or give HP gear as gifts. Proceeds from sales goes toward funding Help-Portrait operating costs and future events.
Tell a friend!
The sale starts at 7/6c Monday morning!