Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's About More Than Pictures

It began with a simple idea that could be executed in four simple steps, over and over, on the second Saturday of every December. Here's how the idea was broadcast for December 4, 2010:

Founded in 2008 by celebrity/entertainment photographer Jeremy Cowart, the now-global movement Help-Portrait™ is, as the nonprofit organization's mission statement says, a community of photographers, makeup artists, and volunteers who come together across the world to use their photography and related skills to give back to their local communities. In the case of Help-Portrait™, those communities comprise all who are unable to afford family portraiture or who lack access to traditional means of obtaining photographs of themselves and their loved ones: anyone who may be underprivileged, single mothers or single fathers and their children, ex-offenders, orphans, the elderly, the ill, the lonely, military veterans, persons experiencing homelessness, citizens of undeveloped countries such as Haiti or Bangelore, India, or places of devastation, such as New Orleans, Louisiana; perhaps even your next-door neighbor. 

Participating does not require you to be a professional photographer but it does require you to give away what you create. Many who participate not only give pictures; they also provide food or other goods or services that will help the lives of those they photograph.  

To bring together those who want to help plan and participate in this year's anchor event, which will take place on December 3, 2011, Help-Portrait™ has established a community site where you may register and gain access to downloadable documents and planning tips. To get started, go here

You don't have to limit yourself to the one-day event. You may link up with others through Help-Portrait™, create your own group, or just go it alone, anytime and anywhere.

Cowart will be speaking at TEDx Nashville on April 9.

Help-Portrait Resources (Included here are form letters giving photographers the right to take photos and other useful documents for participating in Help-Portrait™ activities.)

Help-Portrait™Blog (There are some wonderful posts here.)

Help-Portrait™ on FaceBookTwitter, and YouTube

Halogen Interview with Jeremy Cowart

Sasha Leahovcenco Takes Help-Portrait to the Ends of the Earth (Also see this Vimeo film.)

WFAA Dallas/Fort Worth News Feature on Help-Portrait™


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea. I'm going to forward this post to a portrait photographer friend of mine. kudos to you for changing your world.

Elizabeth Young said...

Thanks Maureen. This even reached all the way to Canada! Last year I recommended this to some young people who have two children but are very poor. I thought it was important for them to get this done. Awesome work, awesome project, thanks for using your platform to promote such an excellent cause.

Louise Gallagher said...

Hi Maureen -- thank you!!!! I've sent this along to the photographers who are doing our book.

Huge hugs


Kelly Sauer said...

I had seen something about this in December, but we had company then, and I missed what it was all about - this is wonderful, Maureen!

Maureen said...

Kelly, perhaps those of you who are photographers at THC could get something going.

Anonymous said...

within the text of the message, i read exposure and open yourself up. an so i thought along the lines of how exposure to light happens within the camera and creates a photograph, and how exposure to light within our selves and creates something there as well.

how one uses what is created by exposure to light.

Laura said...

Wonderful. I don't know why these stories of selfless generosity always get me. Going to explore these links some more. Thank you.

Diane Walker said...

This is so intriguing. I've been doing it on a small scale at nursing homes, but I'm looking forward to learning more about it...