Help Portrait is a movement of photographers who are using their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those who are less fortunate this holiday season.

The event is happening December 12, 2009. Here’s what it’s about:

  1. Find someone in need
  2. Take their portrait
  3. Print their portrait
  4. Deliver the portraits to them

You can find a community near you. I didn’t see anything in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I started a group here. Not sure what I can do, but it sounds like a great idea. I think we could use some help from some of the big names out there like Thomas Hawk or those cool people from Caliber.


Brad November 6, 2009 Reply

Jen, I think that's a great idea and would love to contribute. Personally, I'd like to see portraits made in more contextual environments; perhaps shelters of various types, St. Anthony's, work centers for the challenged, etc – where there can be real engagement and care. I think equipment needed is very modest; natural light and some off-camera flash being fine.

I've done a lot of street portraits of people and always carry prints in my bag to give to people when encountered again – it's a rewarding experience.

I'll kick the idea around with the others on Caliber. My only desire is that the engagements are real and meaningful. I see soooo many exploitive cheap shots of the helpless/homeless without any surrounding context or purpose on various forums and flickr streams simply because the images appear (to some) as striking visual eye-candy and it's an easy way to get a portrait of a person investing little time. That kind of exploitation is something that troubles me greatly and cannot do; especially if they're going to be eventually posted on forums and blogs. I think a larger more purposeful engagement with organizations that help those in need would be great.

Be glad to kick this around more if you'd like…

Jen November 8, 2009 Reply

Hey Brad,

Yes, I definitely agree. I try to do the same when I'm working abroad–give prints to people when I take their portraits. I feel like I can provide a service that they otherwise would not have.

And it sounds like those folks at help-portrait want to do the same.

Would love to hear if you're interested. Thanks!

julie November 11, 2009 Reply

Hey Jen,

Someone from flickr sent me a message about this and I said I'd be happy to help out… I guess there was a meeting I missed b/c I was out of town so I'm supposed to follow up now that I'm back.


Talk to me, Goose.

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