Hey Everyone! Hope everyone is doing well this week. This week I want to talk about the way I do community service as a photographer. As a photographer it seems all about us whether we're taking photo's of Landscapes or Wildlife its what we can get! As portrait or wedding photographers its how we want it to look our creative vision. Its always what we can get out of our craft. Now I'm not saying that's a bad thing we want what we want. But just giving! We don't do that too much. The Help Portrait Project is all about giving! So what is Help Portrait?
Help-Portrait was founded by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart in 2008. While doing some street photography as a personal project he found a homeless person. He asked if he could take his photo and he agreed. He told the person that he would bring a print for him. The person said Okay but really didn't believe it . When Jeremy came back and gave him the photo he was so happy and appreciated the jester. Jeremy got the Idea of why cant we do this on a larger scale. So he set up the 1st event in Nashville TN. The event grew each year and is a world wide event held on the first Saturday of December each year. Help-Portrait is about GIVING the pictures, not taking them. These portraits aren’t for a portfolio, website, or sale. It’s about giving people who otherwise couldn’t afford photography, a chance to capture a moment, a memory…and a whole lot more. Photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists all around the world will find people in need, take their picture, print their picture and then deliver it—free of charge. Here is a link to the Help Portrait website for more info. I did get some of my info for this directly from this website. Help Portrait Website Link
My Camera Club has been doing this event for quite a while 8 or 9 years. It started very slow. The first year or so we only got a few customers. I think in 2019 we had almost 60 portraits done. We were on a roll but then came COVID. We had to skip a year. So when we decided to do it this year we were hopeful that we would get a lot of customers but in reality we really didn't expect much. The last year we sponsored it we had three photo stations set up with two editors and printers and we stayed busy all day. This year we had only two stations but that seemed to be enough. The final count was 22 family's portraits were made. Not too bad after a year off. We had to practice social distancing and wearing of mask. After photo's were taken we had the customers wait in their cars if they had them and delivered the Photo to them. We supplied a 8X10 photo in a photo sleeve and offered an email digital copy also if they had an email address. Overall it was a great day and we got to GIVE back to the community. Next year I hope it is bugger and better than this or any year.
So if you're a member of a camera club and the club is not doing this talk them into to it. Its a great event and all kinds of jobs for everyone to do. There are editors and printers. Someone to cut and put the photo's in the Sleeve's . There are of course the Photographers. Runners take the people through the process from registration to the hair and make up if you have them to the photographer and to a waiting area. You may have snacks and food so someone has to take care of that. The registration has all the forms to fill out from release forms etc... My job most of the time is shooting the event. I use still photo's, video and time lapse and make a short video of the event to put on our Facebook website. Here is a link to the video that I created. 2021 Goldsboro Help Portrait Video Link
As you can see there is lots to do and learn. If you haven't taken many portraits before this is a great place to learn. Maybe help one of the photographers and have them teach you along the way. Its a great way to learn especially how the photographer interacts with the customers. So until next week be safe and think about next years Help Portrait. Get outside and shoot!