help-portrait: give the portrait, don't just take it.

"If these pictures have anything important to say to future generations, it's this -- I was here. I existed.

I was young, I was happy, and someone cared enough about me in this world to take my picture."

~from the movie, One Hour Photo


During the holiday season, it's so easy to get busy with to-do lists, shopping lists, school plays and errands, work projects and hopefully those special traditions that you're working to pass down this time of year.  I'm guilty of it myself!  But today, I'd like for you to just stop a moment.  Stop, relax, let your mind settle.

I'd like for you to think about all the beautiful (and even the blurry!) photographs of your children.  In frames on your desk, in albums on your table and on your shelves.  Those priceless canvases on your walls, your children's smiling faces on holiday cards and birthday invitations.  School photos, Christmas party photos, vacation memories, the snapshots of when you brought her home from the hospital, of your son learning to ride his bike.  Your old film negatives, polaroids, jump drives, CDs.  We even have mobile phones full of photos!

How do they make you feel?  Loved, cared for?  A part of something special?  Absolutely.  Our history can be preserved on film, on paper, on disc, on canvas for future generations ~ and it's a privilege to be able to preserve that for future generations.  To tell your story, your family's story, their story.  I personally feel that I've been blessed with one of the most important jobs in the world.

Could you imagine your life without photographs of your loved ones?  I certainly couldn't!

Now.  Take another moment to think about something else.  About SOMEONE else.  Perhaps a family who has very few photographs to treasure, or none at all.  Someone who needs to pass down their history, their legacy, but who cannot afford custom photography, or the local department store or chain studio, or even a digital camera.  A single mother who is having enough trouble putting food on the table and finding enough time to help with the kids' homework, much less making that precious time stop on film.  Maybe even a family who has lost all of their family photos to a fire or hurricane, a flood or disaster of some sort.  A sick child, an ill family member, someone who may not get this chance again.  Someone who has had a rough go lately ~ wouldn't it do your heart good to have a hand in making them feel like the most amazing, most beautiful person in the world?

help_portrait_logo I am honored to join the thousands of photographers WORLDWIDE who are participating in an amazing movement called HELP-PORTRAIT.  Help-Portrait's mission is simple: Find Someone In Need.  Take Their Portrait.  Print Their Portrait.  And Deliver It To Them.   And it's all happening this Saturday, December 12, 2009.

I know that you know someone who deserves a little time, a kind word, a few minutes to feel special.  Please, please send them our way this weekend!  Tell them about the Help-Portrait event, drive them there if you must, but please spread the word about this fantastic cause!

I also know there are lots of other photographers who read my blog (thank you!!) who would love to help and join Help-Portrait by donating your time, talent, and expertise.  If you're local to Tampa Bay, you can join us this Saturday, December 12 at 9am at the St. Pete Pier.  We'll be shooting from 10am until 2pm, but any little bit of time you have to donate would be fantastic and appreciated so much.  I know there are more photographers needed for our local event, so if you want to give me a call (727.698.0344) or send me an email (, I'll point you in the right direction to get you signed up!  I'd love to see you there!  Also, a local lab has agreed to print all of the portraits from the event at no cost ~ so all we need is YOU!  Let's give of ourselves this holiday.  Not just of our wallets.


If you're from out of town, look up the local Help-Portrait Team in your area.  This is a widespread event and we're bound to make a difference in a lot of people's lives this year.  Spread a little cheer!

If you have a few minutes, please watch the HP video HERE and see if there is something you can do to help.  Thanks again.  xo