Help-Portrait 2011

Last Saturday, December 10th, was one of my favorite days of the year. It was Help-Portrait day, a day where photographers and other volunteers get together — all over the world — to donate portraits to those who need them most. It’s a fascinating, inspiring, and heart-warming movement. Here’s an AWESOME video explaining Help-Portrait. It does a better job than my words ever could.   Click here to read my Help-Portrait post from last year.  Click here to see the video edition of last year’s event.

My assistant Becca helping me test the light.

You can see more images here on Flickr.

  P.S. If you’re interested in donating time, money, or materials to support your local Help-Portrait event, feel free to contact me.      EDIT: A couple of stories have surfaced, and I thought I’d share. I got the phone call of the year this afternoon. A woman called and said that BEDFORD CAMERA & VIDEO had given her my name as one of the photographers at Help Portrait NWA. She called just to thank me for the images we took of her brother. She said she and her husband sat and cried as they looked at them, and she plans on printing more. I told her we would do it again next year, and that she and her brother are more than welcome to come have a portrait taken together, and could tell she was almost in tears again. Here is the image of her brother–from what I recall, he loved it too. Photo by Jason Ivester.

    This story is even better. This man came with his wife to our event last year. He married her knowing she was terminally ill. She died between this event and last year’s event. He said that the images we took of her last year were the only ones that anyone had of her. The only ones. He came back this year, and brought her urn.   Photo by Beth Hall. These are the reasons we do this project. Most of you have had a picture taken of yourself — even on a cell phone — some time in the past month or two. Some of these people haven’t had a portrait of themselves, of any kind, taken in years…sometimes decades. The stories we’ve heard show that a simple image can change someone’s life, or at least their day. Please consider helping out with an event in your area next year. We need all the help we can get!   EDIT #2: Help-Portrait has gotten some big coverage this year. Check out CNN’s article here, and the photo blog here.  Check out ABC’s video here!  The last photo above, from Fayetteville’s Help-Portrait, made the cut on both networks!

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