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Help-Portrait Support

Cara Davis December 8, 2012 6 Announcements

Originally from ticket #341.

Hi I just found out about this awesome cause today (8th Dec) but I wont be able to participate today. Is it a once a year only or do you feature this event regularly?

Hi Brad, Great question! Most Help-Portrait events happen today but many do not. All events are independently organized and happen throughout the year. The best way to check dates is to sign up at our community page (http://community.help-portrait.com/). There you can find other people in your area who are organizing events.

There's also a comprehensive Get Started page on our website (http://help-portrait.com/getting-started/). And, you can keep up with us on our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/helpportrait). We will be releasing all the new information there and letting everyone know the updates on the website and blog, plans for the next event, etc.

Cara Davis December 3, 2012 Getting Involved

Originally from ticket #289.

Not sure how or why this works, but would like to participate. Please fill me in...

Submitted from: http://community.help-portrait.com/group/san-diego-help-portrait-outside-the-lens/forum/topics/help-portrait-event

Great question, Nancy. We've addressed this question in a blog post here: http://help-portrait.com/2011/11/how-does-help-portrait-help/ I'll revisit it here. Also, scroll through our blog and you'll encounter some of the amazing stories that have emerged from Help-Portrait events. It convinces us that this experience holds an incredible value to the recipient and giver.
Artists have created self-portraits since the beginning of time. Historically, an artist's self-portrait has been known "as a public test of the artist's skill." A self-portrait, in artistic circles, could prove your worth.

Not only that, but wealthiest members of society have always commissioned portraits of themselves and their family as a way to prove their social standing. Painted portraits became especially popular from the Renaissance period on, where what you had hanging on your way reflected your place in society.

While the technological development of the camera, film and then digital brought photography to the masses, professional portraiture still remains a luxury most of the world cannot afford.

So when celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart began to dream of a way he could give back to his local community, two things became obvious: He'd use his camera, and he'd invite other photographers to join him.

Help-Portrait is a global event each December when photographers, stylists and other volunteers team together to give, instead of take, photos. The name turns the phrase "self-portrait" on its head, placing the focus on helping others.

The premise is simple:

Find someone in need.
Take their portrait.
Print their portrait.
Deliver it to them.
But why photos? What about the tangible needs of these people?

Good questions.

First of all, Help-Portrait events are independently organized, but most groups often work with local nonprofits to find their subjects. When doing this, groups not only set up set up backdrops, lights and makeup stations in homeless shelters, hospitals and poverty-stricken areas to give portraits to those who would never otherwise have them, they often provide a hot meal, clothes, shoes and a safe place for kids to play for the day.

We do meet physical needs. But we also believe the photo provides the most value. At these events the portrait becomes more than a representation of a person's likeness or a keepsake. It becomes a receipt of an exchange between individuals, and the currency is dignity, courage, love and hope.

“Poverty steals a lot of things, like your home and car and food, but it also steals something on the inside,” Annie Downs, Help-Portrait’s Events Coordinator said. “Help-Portrait feeds that something on the inside.”

For many subjects, this photograph may symbolize the start of a new life, a celebration of sobriety, the first time one has ever felt beautiful or the only family photo that now exists. Phillip Jackovich, a Help-Portrait subject, surmised, “This portrait represents where I’m going, not where I’ve been.”

For many photographers, this experience may be the most fulfilling of their career to date. They may walk away with altered perspectives and newfound friends. Cowart says the event crosses cultural borders on one side of the camera and competitive borders on the other.

When people come together to work toward the common good, something magical and tangible is produced. It may look like picture, but it's often worth more than a thousand words.

Cara Davis November 28, 2012 1 Getting Involved

Originally from ticket #255.

Hello...I am a local photographer, here in the Denver Metro area, and I am looking to give back to the community with my photography talents. I want to utilize my gift to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Do you have any suggestions as to where and how I can get started? I will appreciate any information or feedback you have to offer. Thank you in advance and have a great rest of the week.


To find a group to volunteer with in your area, you can go to our community site and do a search for your location. Through the community site, you can connect with people in your area, and hopefully find a group close to you. The link is http://hp.cta.gs/groups

Also, this is an overview of how to get started: http://help-portrait.com/getting-started/ and if you still feel like reading, this post explains all that's needed to run a successful Help-Potrait event (p.s. it's easy!) http://help-portrait.com/2012/10/necessary-elements-to-a-successful-hp-event/

Thanks & welcome to the team!

Cara Davis November 20, 2012 1 Announcements

Originally from ticket #188.

I went to the downloads section of the web site to print off some forms for the upcoming HP. However, I notice most of the forms still have 2011 on them. Can we expect 2012 forms in the near future? I know I could mark through them but for legal purposes it would be better if the forms were dated 2012. It also makes a better impression for our group.


Hi Paul, these have now been updated. Thanks!


Cara Davis November 19, 2012 Getting Involved

Originally from ticket #199.

Are photographers needed for HPSandy?


Hi Kevin, You can connect with the group on Facebook and see where help is needed. Thanks for your interest! http://on.fb.me/UaIipa