I first found out about Help-Portrait from Jeremy Cowart after its first year. Having been friends with Jeremy since 2000, I was instantly intrigued, not by the purpose of Help-Portrait but because I wanted to work on a project with my old friend. My initial thought was, Why photography? What good is it to take peoples’ portraits when people need food, water and shelter? I couldn’t understand how this would be “helpful” to those in need.
I could not have been more wrong…
As I got involved on the leadership team and helped plan 2010 Help-Portrait, I began to clearly see why Help-Portrait was so important. Our photographers and volunteers offer something to people that is just as important as food/water but in a different way … we give people their dignity. By offering people a professional portrait (and in some cases a hair and makeup team) we are showing people that they are worth having their picture taken. Many people see for the first time how beautiful they really are. We had families that had not seen or taken pictures with their family in 20 years.
It didn’t take long for me to see how important and even necessary that the service Help-Portrait offers our clients. A photograph is inspiring and empowering to people to show them that they do matter and they are just as important as anyone else in the world. Photogs know that a camera lens knows no bias and that beauty can be found in all of God’s creatures.
We have a slogan at Help-Portrait, “A Picture is worth,” and in this lies the brilliance of Help-Portrait. We have seen a picture provide worth, dignity and significance for hundreds of thousands of people around the world. We have seen lives changed, families brought back together, and now we have friends all over the world who have been treated like they matter and their story is important.
This is why I continue to consider it one of my greatest joys to get to serve Help-Portrait and the photographers around the world that makes this event a continually exploding and powerful reality for people in need all over the globe.
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%!