Jérôme Aoustin is a fine art photographer in New York City. He’s also an engineer and has co-founded a couple of start-ups in the broadcast media industry (tv2me.com and pnglaboratories.com).

His diverse experience in his professional life led him to volunteer with a number of nonprofit organizations over the years. Basically, he says, “When I can fill a need and have the time to do it, I reach out, get it done and move on.”

Jérôme heard about Help-Portrait on Twitter after investing a lot of time into photography last year. “It was a really serendipitous find,” he said. “I could help people by doing something that I love.”

He began by creating the NYC group on Help-Portrait’s Community website, and ultimately became the organizer for the event on Dec. 14, 2009. “With the recession, I had a lot more time on my hands than I’d wish for so it worked out well,” he said.

The group grew quickly and expanded to eight locations throughout the city, each with a different leader. On the day of the event he oversaw the Bronx location. He shared his advice on finding the perfect H-P location:

“Being in New York City, this has been a rather easy task. There are so many organizations out there catering to the underprivileged. It’s not hard to show them how Help-Portrait is such a great opportunity. We have served the poor, the ill, the handicapped… in a battered women shelter, an adult day health center serving the elderly, a community center… This year, one of the several locations we will go to is a nursing facility for children living with HIV. Finding people in need is unfortunately much easier than one may think.”

The NYC crew already has a number of locations in the works for this year’s Dec. 4 event:

  • Manhattan, a nursing facility for children living with HIV
    Contact: Jérôme Aoustin – (805) 268-7846
  • Queens, soon to be announced
    Contact: Abi Litwa

There will be more locations as Dec. 4 approaches. Visit the H-P community group page or Facebook for more information, or follow them on Twitter (@HelpPortraitNYC).