It has taken me a few days to process the whole experience of Help Portrait. My dear friend Meghan sent me a link to the website where I read all about it a few weeks ago and absolutely fell in love with the idea. Jeremy Cowart, who is a photographer out of Tennessee, came up with the idea which in it’s first year (this year) reached 41 countries at 511 different locations and with the help of 3,002 photographers, 4,442 volunteers (I was one of those!) took right at 36,000 (free) portraits for families or individuals who would normally not ever have a portrait made of themselves or with their loved ones. So simple right? but SO powerful.
Photo courtesy of Courtney Navey: alwaysautumnstudios.blogspot.com
After reading about it from Meghan and then seeing it on one of the many photography blogs I follow, I emailed one of the photographers (Nancy Ray Photography: she’s amazing!) and hooked up with Courtney Navey (of Always Autumn Studios…also amazing!) and showed up in Wake Forest on Saturday to help. It was totally spontaneous and totally better than anything else I would have ever done on Saturday.
I never realized how much I take my camera for granted. I really do not enjoy getting my picture taken, at all. I would even go as far as to say that I hate it, even. I think about all the family photos I whined through as a child, vacations that were gone grumpy once the camera came out (unless I was behind it) and completely wish I could take back all of that and enjoy the photographical documentation of this beautiful life. On Saturday, I met so many sweet families with different stories, some hopeful, and others looking for hope, but all that were made a little bit better with a family portrait. So many sweet teenage mothers with their babies, excited to send a Christmas card picture to their moms. A sweet couple getting their picture made together for the first time. Just so many, unique, sweet stories…
Overall it was the greatest experiences of this year. This life, even. I met so many cool people….photographers (pros, and amateurs like myself… with a DSLR and aspiration), volunteers, moms, dads, future-parents, thirty-somethings, artsy folk, Jesus lovers, teachers, mac-lovers, etc. It was so awesome just sitting with these folks and chatting about our lives and how God has been gracious enough to even give us one. I was able to get such a great vision of where I hope to be in 10 years… not necessarily as an artist, but as a lady who loves Christ and his creation.
I’m not sure if there’s a video up from the footage at our Wake Forest site, but here’s a video from Tennessee. It’ll make you cry….in a great way.