Dec 1, 2010


In three days, the Help-Portrait movement will one more time burst into action all over the world.

Help-Portrait was formed as a non-profit organization in 2009 by Nashville-based celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart. The underlying idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile, laugh and return their dignity. Help-Portrait volunteers reach out to those that normally would not have the opportunity, energy, means or guts to have their portrait taken – and keep it! More than anything else, it’s about opening up and giving attention to those so often passed over and so easily overlooked in our society.

In December 2009, more than 41,000 portraits were given by 3400 photographers and over 5000 volunteers were involved.  Help-Portrait became a global movement in 543 locations in 42 countries. The rapid growth of this organization is a perfect example of social media use for good as people share ideas and stories through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging.

Last year, Belgium was represented by a team in Turnhout. I had the pleasure of being part of it, you can read more about that event here and here on this blog.

For this year, the 2009 ‘veterans’ have split up and will bring their experience to two sites: Hasselt (looking to become a very big meet-up, with over 10 photographers) and Herentals (a more modest setup with ‘only’ 8 shooters, including yours truly).

Time now to start packing photo and lighting gear (a full studio set for myself, and some strobist stuff for others to borrow if needed). I have such wonderful memories of last year’s event that I am more than excited to go out again…!

Gear notes: n/a

Click on the image(s) to see a larger version

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