Many people have never had the experience of having their photo professionally taken. Some may not have any photos of themselves or their loved ones at all. By serving others in this way, the Help-Portrait community brings hope and a sense of worth to people who may have little of either.

Entertainment photographer Jeremy Cowart came up with the idea for Help-Portrait in December 2008 when he and a few friends did a photoshoot at a local homeless shelter in Nashville, TN. They uploaded a video of the event to Facebook in January 2009 and Jeremy was amazed at the response from other photographers who also wanted to participate.

In August of 2009, Jeremy launched a video explaining the idea to the global photography community. The community responded. That December, thousands of photographers responded around the world by giving portraits to people in need.

This year, photographers around the world will be grabbing their cameras, finding people in need and taking their picture on December 3, 2016.

“This is about GIVING the pictures, not taking them,” Jeremy sys. “These portraits are not for photographer portfolios, websites, or for sale. Money isn’t involved here. This holiday season, they have the chance to give a family something they may have never had before–a portrait together.”

Here are some powerful examples of portraits from past events:

HP Video

Jeremy met the above family at Help-Portrait 2010 in Seattle. The woman told him she had recently moved to Seattle from Pakistan after her husband had been killed and her son had been threatened. They had never had a family portrait taken before, and she asked Jeremy to photoshop her husband into the photo, which he did. [Seattle, WA]
Lorena, four years sober from her meth addiction, graduated her discipleship class and got her children back not long before this photo with her daughters was taken. Read More[Casper, WY, 2014] 
The man in the above photo lives in one of the poorest sectors of Burkina Faso in West Africa and is part of the Handicap Association of Burkina Faso, a group often neglected by their own community. Read More [Burkina Faso, Africa, 2013]

Not only have our guests’ lives been touched, but the lives of photographers’ and volunteers’ lives have been changed just as profoundly. Many have said the event was an experience they’d remember for life.

  • “There is no feeling that can compare to seeing the light go on when your guest realizes that somebody really can love them. They, and you, will never forget it.” -Randall, Help-Portrait Bradenton, FL (2015)
  • “As the very pictures we take during the event are worth a thousand words, not even a picture could start to describe all that this event has meant for me.” -Marina Magro, Help-Portrait Carnaxide, Portugal (2015
Nashville Volunteers 2015

It’s truly a day of celebration for all involved.

We hope you have seen our heart behind providing portraits for people in need, and we would love for you to join in.

-Kyle, Jeremy & the Help-Portrait Team

P.S. Don’t forget to find a local event to sign up and be part of.

Copyright 2017. Help Portrait Edmonton