“The last time we had our pictures taken was maybe ten years ago” say the parents of two children aged 11 and 14. I pondered this as I arranged and posed them. Each year growing up, my parents would update the 8×10 school portrait of my brothers and me hanging on the wall in the family room. This family on the other hand had no recent portraits of their teenaged children. Last weekend I volunteered for a great event called Help-Portrait. It’s an organization founded by celebrity photographer Mark Cowart. Their first international event took place in 2009 and has now spread to 60 countries. Here’s a quote from their website “Help-Portrait is a community of photographers coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local community.”
This year’s event put on by the Carol Stream Illinois chapter was coordinated by Mark Lane, graphic designer at Tyndale House Publishers. On Friday evening there was an opportunity for Tyndale employees and their families to get some portraits done for a small donation that helped recoup costs for the event. The next day, over the course of six hours, 71 families showed up at the Wheaton Ministry center. That means 680 people were given professional portraits that they normally couldn’t afford. It was a busy day as I along with 3 other photographers captured memories for each of them. There was also a café set up so that they could relax as they waited for their appointment, and look for frames afterwards.
This was a fun event for a good cause. For more information, or to get involved yourself, check out the Help-Portrait website here: http://help-portrait.com/.