We’re running a huge clearance sale on the H-P store right now and prices just got even lower! All of our apparel is 70% off + merch is 25% off! Inventory is getting low so check out what’s left and pick up some awesome gear to support H-P today. By purchasing from the store, you are not only supporting the future of Help-Portrait, but you are becoming an advocate for the movement. When you wear your gear, you help us spread the word about what we are doing and encourage more people to get involved.
From Brian Muir, Scotland:
We set up a team in Ayr, Scotland, two years ago and have some incredible volunteers on photography, process and printing, hair, makeup as well as folks who come along to help with catering, to chat and befriend; we even have teenagers and children volunteers who come along to play with the kids.
There is no limit to who can be a part of the Help-Portrait event (other than the fact that we are inundated with people wanting to do it). The only problem is, we’ve found we can’t limit ourselves to one event per year! Just last month we completed our second Easter Help-Portrait event.
On our first couple of events we hooked up with a charity providing care and support for families who were victims of domestic abuse.
We have now established a great connection with CLIC Sargent House in Prestwick, Scotland. They provide sea-side holidays for families where one of the children has cancer. Our first event for them was just before New Year and we were privileged to go back there at Easter and photograph 10 amazingly brave families. There were, of course, tears of joy but what struck me was the incredible amount of laughter from parents, children and all our volunteers.
For a short time, they were not “families with cancer,” they were just families. To me, as a professional photographer, it reinforces the power and invaluable importance of a photograph…but, I somehow feel that the prints are almost secondary; what was so much more important was the people, the connections and the care and love that was shown.
We, as human beings, have an incredible capacity to show love and compassion for each other. I feel thankful that yesterday we were able to demonstrate that. It was a special time and we are looking forward to our next one.
Someone once said, “If you want to feel good about yourself…try helping someone.” Never a truer word.
We’re running a blow-out sale on our store right now. All of our best H-P merch is up to 60% off while supplies last. By purchasing from the store, you are not only supporting the future of Help-Portrait, but you are becoming an advocate for the movement. When you wear your gear, you help us spread the word about what we are doing and encourage more people to get involved. The more photographers, stylists and volunteers who participate, the more portraits are given. That ultimately means more lives are changed.
Thanks for your support. Get the merch while it’s hot!
Apparel is 60% off and merch (buttons, etc.) is 25% off. Get it here!
Rebecca Bartlett, Wilmington, DE, USA
The most amazing moment of the day came late in the afternoon when one of the photographers was outside speaking to a young woman walking down the street. She had no intentions on getting her portrait done that day. This young lady came in alone and nervous. She was very soft spoken and shy. She stated that there has never been anything like this in our city before. We talked for a bit and she decided to get her picture done. No hair, no makeup.
She developed a close bond with another one of our volunteers, Renee, who took her under her wing and walked her through the event from start to finish. After her portraits were done, we all stood there looking at them in awe on the screen ready to be printed. This woman had so much beauty behind her eyes. Her smile lit up the entire room. We printed those photos, continued talking, and decided to do another shoot on a different background. While shooting the second time, we had Renee jump in there with her. What a beautiful friendship developed on the spot. We did pictures with her and Leo, the photographer who did her shoot as well. It was at that point, she opened up and began telling us that her dream has always been to be behind a camera. She dreamt as long as she could remember of doing professional photography.
That time was here. Leo gave her the ropes of how his camera worked. Then placed it in her hands. At that moment, she became the photographer. She was in charge. The smile on her face was amazing the entire time. We gathered all of the photographers together and she did our photo shoot. We laughed, and we cried. We felt her joy and her happiness at that moment. It was that moment, that one special little moment that was so big. We didn’t change her life, she changed ours. We walked out of there that day feeling accomplished. Feeling as though we didn’t take her picture but gave her the opportunity to reach her goal. We helped her experience her dream come true.
If you’re a member of the Help-Portrait community site, last week you were sent an email inviting you to unsubscribe. In hindsight, we should have explained our intentions more thoroughly. This post is intended to give you some context for that email.
This year, we celebrate our fifth year of doing Help-Portrait global events. Wow, five years! In the process of ramping up for this year’s events, we are revamping our website and community to better serve the needs of the community. In reviewing our current community, we recognize that there are four different types of community members:
- Those who signed up out of curiosity and never actually participated
- Those who signed up, participated and are still interested in our organization
- Those who signed up, participated, but are no longer interested in hearing from our organization
As we look to transition to our new site, the aim of the email blast was two-fold:
- Invite those people who fit into #1 and #3 a chance to opt-out, something our community site doesn’t do very easily
- Rid the list of spammers who used invalid email addresses to register their accounts
The goal of the campaign was achieved as we rid of over 1500 spammers and approximately 5000 people opted out of the list. The result is a spam-free, interested and engaged community who will be invited to our new website and community. This is a win/win for everybody.
I want to apologize if the email was confusing or offensive. As you can see from the above explanation, it wasn’t intended to do that. In the future, we will explain our actions in more details in an effort to minimize confusion.
Thanks for being a part of the Help-Portrait community. We couldn’t do this without you.
Your perspective is invaluable. Help us deepen what we offer on this website by submitting a post. Your name, group location and community link will be shared. Here are the guidelines to give you a framework:
- Posts must be at least 300 words (400-600 preferred).
- Posts may appear elsewhere but should be catered to the Help-Portrait audience.
- Images should be formatted 570 pixels wide.
- Posts can be memories & stories from Help-Portrait events, tips & tricks on hosting an event, or photography pointers.
Submit your blog post below. Posts may be edited for length, grammar and tone. You’ll be notified when your story is posted if you include links to your social media outlets.
Sasha Leahovcenco, Sacramento, CA:
Two years ago I had the amazing opportunity to go literally to the end of the earth to photograph people who never had their photo taken.
At schools, churches, homes and hospitals I could give people a moment to forget their troubles and just smile for the camera. But while shooting with nomadic reindeer herding families it was me who was most deeply touched by the experience. For although my hosts had few material possessions they shared with me something rare in the world – a sense of peace and satisfaction with life.
This March we are going back on a new journey across Chukotka. We are going to travel over 1000 miles and reach out to the most unreached places in Chukotka. We will visit people who have never had visitors in their life, stopping by every village and tribe on the way, giving them warm clothes, shoes, gifts, and simply showing them grace and love. The very exciting part of the trip will be taking pictures of the natives, printing them on the spot and handing them to the villagers. This will be the very first time that these people had ever had their photo taken.
A large part of the project is sponsored by us, but unfortunately we can’t pay for all of it ourselves. That is why we need your help. Our kickstarter almost at 50% mark and need have another 12 days to go. With your help I belive we will be able to reach our goal.
You can view our kickstarter page here.
Although it’s been nearly four months since Hurricane Sandy viciously swept through the East Coast, its path of destruction continues to haunt the families touched by it.
We remember how we all felt after seeing the images of flooded subways, destroyed homes and distraught communities.
And we remember the moment we realized we had the power to do something about it.
As news crews interviewed victims in the midst of the aftermath, those affected responded that they wished they had their photographs. We knew we could never replace their photos, but we could offer them a fresh start.
After providing portraits for people in need for the past four years, Help-Portrait volunteers have seen the power of photography first-hand and how coming alongside of someone in need and giving them portraits can return the light in the eyes of those who had previously been hopeless.
So we got to work. We hoped to help as many affected families as we could by not only giving them portraits but cameras and hard drives to preserve future memories. We wanted to give gift bags, basic survival supplies and anything else to uplift spirits during this devastating time. We began connecting with photographers, makeup artists, volunteers and the Help-Portrait communities in New York and New Jersey. Then we came to you, the Help-Portrait community, for help.
We invited you to play a massive role in supporting the vision, which many of you graciously answered. Words cannot express our deep gratitude.
Because of your donations we were able to hold four events in New Jersey and New York. 78 photographers and 172 volunteers (make-up artists, hairstylists, greeters, food servers, etc.) were able to provide free portraits for 278 different families who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. While we were unable to reach our campaign target in order to secure new cameras for the family, we were able to provide each family with new hard drives where they will be able to store their new photographs. Beyond that, we were able to give clothing, food, supplies and even surprised a handful of the kids with Christmas gifts from Santa himself! The impact of this event could tangibly be felt as joy contagiously spread throughout the room. The families received a day of love, care and hope because of you. Thank you.
Here is a peak into just a few stories from the day that couldn’t have happened without your support:
On behalf of the team here at Help-Portrait and the families you have served in New Jersey and New York, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We couldn’t have done this without you!
As we look toward this coming year of Help-Portrait, we would love to invite you to continue serving with us. You can help by giving, getting involved in future Help-Portrait events by signing up on our community site, or spreading the word via social media or wearing HP apparel.
Isabel Goncalves, Portugal
This amazingly beautiful experience in December 2012 has not been my first experience of volunteering with Help-Portrait, and though it was a tremendous success, I do not dare to say it has been the richer. I boldly say it was RICHLY, as RICHLY was the previous and as RICHLY all the ones to come will be.
As a volunteer on this team, it’s a huge pleasure to experience the emotion of being part of a collective dream, a dream that becomes real by the gathering of plural energy, a dream that brings inspiration to the collective of givers and receivers.
In each act of love, it’s difficult to label who’s the giver or the receiver. The interaction is ever dynamic, sharing the opportunity to give space and light to each actor.
Under the magic preparation of the coordinate of the Portuguese edition, this event brought smiles to hundreds of faces.
Early in the morning it was already visible the thrill of having an myriad amount of expectations to fulfill: a soccer team, a rap band, families, friends – shining grins raging from babies to elders.
The event was held in Centro Social da Musgueira, a center founded in the early 60s by volunteers inspired to help the most needed families of their own social delicate environment – a substandard neighborhood in the suburbs of Lisbon. Their actions have an amazing scope of action, always promoting the capacitation, development, integration and collective growth of the community and human values.
From the preparation of the space till the deliverance of the framed pictures, we’ve testify moments of anxiety, yearning, dedication, enthusiasm, playfulness, generosity, tension, vanity, cooperation and competition.
When all sort of emotions come to stage, we can also sense the truth that each life represents. for each of us those pictures are vividly alive: they represent stories, actors, presented and represented by real people, challenged by their daily adventures.
I’ve seen and felt in the portrayed smiles that luminiferous power of loving their image captured; the pride of sharing with others the beauty that they shine – singular and collective; the feeling of being worthy to be spoiled, to receive attention and light; to be inspired to reconnect to the potential of shinning each day, showing up their better smile and animating others with their positivity.
There is something about looking to a gorgeous photo of an idol, and dream to be as beautiful as he/she is. And then, there is that thing of looking at your gorgeous being standing on that photo, remembering you that you are already beautiful. Remembering: bringing that memory alive into a daily experience.
I look forward to the next edition, enthusiastic by the potential of this event and the effects that it creates.
I’m grateful for all the dreamers and workers that make these dreams possible to be lived and I hope you enjoy some of the photos of the behind-the-scenes.