It is really hard to put into words how much Help-Portrait means to me and what I’ve seen over the last few years being a part of this incredible event and community – I’d even go as far as to say it is a family.
In 2009 before the first Help-Portrait event, I received a call from Kyle Chowning as he had been referred to me to write and service a press release. I remember him talking about this idea from Jeremy Cowart that was blowing up overnight. I watched the very first promo video for Help-Portrait and immediately wanted to help in whatever capacity that I could. I was in awe of how many people from around the world were resonating with this idea of giving back. It was becoming a global movement beyond anyone’s expectations.
The first year of H-P there were so many impactful stories flooding in – but it was those stories that I witnessed firsthand that will always stick with me. I’ll never forget the sweet homeless newlywed couple that I met that year. They had recently been married at the local courthouse, and they were beaming. The ONLY photo they had together was on a small disposable cell phone. As they were handed the first printed photo together, tears streamed down their eyes as they embraced. The husband pointed to their photo and looked at me saying, “See this, this is love.” It was priceless. Love is such a universal emotion that if you are fortunate enough to truly experience in your lifetime, you want a photo to capture it. I was a newlywed that first year of H-P and couldn’t help but think how much my wedding photos met to me – and here this couple was receiving their own “wedding” photo for the first time.
We could tell you story upon story of the lives impacted with a single portrait. It is truly incredible to see someone’s life changed with the simple gesture of giving the time of day – to show him or her you care – that they are WORTH something. Help-Portrait provides so much more than just a photo every second Saturday in December – it gives someone their dignity back.
It has been my honor to share the stories of Help-Portrait with the media over the last three years. I can’t tell you the joy that I get seeing someone’s story shared or the idea of what Help-Portrait is on a national media platform. We’ve had amazing support from CNN, The Wall Street Journal as well as ABC World News Tonight not to mention all of the incredible local media outlets in cities around the world. It has been one of my professional and personal highlights to be a part of Help-Portrait.
We need your help in continuing this global movement of giving back. Please consider giving to help change another life this year.
After three years, the Help-Portrait community of 25,000+ photographers, in 56 countries, at over 700 events, have given away nearly 170,000 portraits to those who are less fortunate. We’re currently seeking donations to help fuel the base operational costs such as staff, marketing, promotions, press and other related expenses.
To date we’ve raised $10,682 of $75,000 — that’s 14%!