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!
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 http://help-portrait.com/report/ 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