- Finding Someone in Need
- Taking their Picture
- Printing It
- Delivering It
But it's really more than just those four simple steps. It's about spending time with that person and getting to know them and their story. Even during the event, we get so wrapped up in making sure everything goes smoothly that we forget the real meaning behind Help Portrait.
While adjusting my tripod height, I looked at the young man standing behind the gaffer's tape I placed on the ground in front of my backdrop. He looked tense and his eyes were cast downward. I asked if he was okay, and he looked up and said that he was thankful that we were donating our time to take pictures of him and his compadres at the facility.
I stepped out from behind my camera and asked if he wouldn't mind sharing what he planned to do with his picture. He said he had runaway from home, which was back in Virginia, and through bad choices ended up incarcerated for four years in California. Although he stayed in contact with his parents, they haven't seen him in over 6 years. He told me that he would be sending the picture to his parents to let them know he is doing "okay", and that he is in the process of making amends for his past decisions. We talked about his goals and what he planned to do once he graduated from the facility, and then we got ready for the picture.
I stepped back behind my camera and said, "Let's show Mom and Dad how great you are doing" He smiled from ear-to-ear and his eyes glistened. As soon as the picture was taken, we watched it appear on my iPad, he smiled even bigger and said that his parent would like that picture.
That is what Help Portrait is all about!!!
What Did I Learn?
- Help Portrait is only 50% about taking a quality photo - it's also about connecting with another person. It's too easy to forget how fortunate and blessed I am to have a family, friends, health and a job
- Do this more than once a year - One of the things I did during this event was to perfect a way to shoot and process a picture on-site. I need to purchase a portable printer so I can take this "on the road" and shoot anywhere and anytime
I'm proud to be a member of Kern Photography Association and their charitable endeavors. Wishing you and your loved ones a Safe and Joyous Holiday Season