Family photos are priceless, especially when you have a chance to experience a professional taking them. I’m fortunate that I have two friends who are professional photographers and they both offered to take my picture for free on separate occasions.
Johanna Silver of Silverlight Studios first held a photo session with myself and my two children at Edmonton City Hall. Bandi Szakony of BandiPhotoGraphy staged a session in his home studio and we had fun with taking shots from different angles. Both these photo sessions are priceless to me. So imagine a family who doesn’t have access to friends like this and who can’t afford a professional photo session.
That’s where Help Portrait fills the void. On December 8, photographers from around the world will be grabbing their cameras, finding people in need and taking their picture. Families, men and women will have their hair styled and make up done before they sit down for a professional photo shoot. They receive a printed copy of the picture, which they can share with others just in time for the holiday season.
This will be my third year volunteering for Help Portrait in Edmonton. The first year I assisted Edward Allen with a video by capturing participants’ stories. Last year, I registered participants as they arrived at the Alberta Avenue Community Hall. One woman had no way of getting to the hall from her home so I gave her and her children a ride. Her son never had been in a car before and kept asking me the simplest questions that we all take for granted such as how do the wind shield wipers work. That really touched me.
This event is only made possible by volunteers. To ensure its success, we need photographers, make up artists and hairdressers to take time out of their busy schedules and give up income for a day to brighten the lives of the unfortunate.
If you are interested in seeing smiling faces from people who appreciate their gift of a professional portrait, please check out the Get Involved page of the website. You will be rewarded just as much as those who are accessing Help Portrait.
Check out the past Help Portrait photos below from Edward Allen.