FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lori Mahon, Merge PR
THIRD ANNUAL WORLDWIDE HELP-PORTRAIT™ EVENT SET FOR DECEMBER 10
HELP-PORTRAIT WILL BE SHOWCASING PHOTOS FROM THIS YEAR’S EVENT FOR THE FIRST TIME
Nashville, Tn –October 27, 2011—This December 10, photographers around the world will gather for the third annual Help-Portrait event. In 2009, Help-Portrait began as an idea that transformed into a movement in just three months. The idea behind Help-Portrait is simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait. In the last two years, more than 101,000 portraits have been given by 10,000 photographers and 12,000 volunteers. Help-Portrait is now a global movement in more than 1,000 locations in 54 countries.
This year, Help-Portrait founder Jeremy Cowart announced new elements to make Help-Portrait a more hands-on experience for those being photographed. From the beginning of the Help-Portrait movement nearly three years ago, photographers and volunteers have embraced the Help-Portrait ethos: that is giving, not taking photos. However, this year Help-Portrait is encouraging the photographers to share the photos of those subjects who want to tell their story to a wider audience.
“As the founder of this movement, I felt it was best to not show the photos,” shares Cowart. “I didn’t want this movement to be about photography. But I underestimated our community – they all instantly caught on to the spirit of Help-Portrait. But now I’m realizing just how much we’ve kept the world from seeing and experiencing what we get to see each year. Now I want to let everyone in our little secret by sharing the photos of those who want to tell their stories to the world.”
Another addition to this year’s event will involve a personalized element. Those photographed will have the opportunity to draw and write on their photos to tell their stories. This provides an avenue for their voice to be heard. See the examples of the photos taken at a recent Help-Portrait event with Cowart at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in Los Angeles.
“We believe that the portraits will transform into works of art that reflect their subject,” states Cowart who saw this first hand last week in LA.
In addition, the Help-Portrait team is encouraging photographers to hand the cameras over to the subjects and do their own shooting through the lens giving them a unique opportunity to be behind the camera. It’s never been about the photographer or his skills or what he has to offer. It’s always been about connecting with and giving back to the subject. For more information on Help-Portrait visit, http://helpportrait.wpengine.com .
Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart formed Help-Portrait, a non-profit organization, in 2009 as he contemplated using his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity for a professional photo. The idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile, laugh and return their dignity. It is a movement, a shift in photography. The rapid growth of this organization is a perfect example of Social Media use for good as the community shares ideas and stories through the channels of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging. Help-Portrait has partnered in the past with corporations including Ritz & Wolf Camera & Image, creativeLIVE, Chick-fil-A and Flosites, which created Help-Portrait’s website and online community.
From Bangalore, India to Ghana, Africa, the language of Help-Portrait crosses cultural and socio-economic barriers. Even Hollywood has gotten in the act. In 2010, A-list actors Zachary Levi and Yvette Nicole Brown volunteered at a Help-Portrait event in Los Angeles and participated in a live webcast. The online live stream of the main event day from the creativeLIVE studio in Seattle featured hosts including Help-Portrait founder Jeremy Cowart, another high-profile photographer Chase Jarvis and Help-Portrait volunteer staff member Annie Downs.
ABOUT JEREMY COWART:
Cowart began full-time photography in 2005 and has traveled to six continents with his talent. He’s photographed Imogen Heap, Sting, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood and more. He’s also worked with entertainment clients ABC, E!, Fox, A&E, FX, The Style Network, CMT and others. http://www.jeremycowart.com
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