Help-Portrait: Students, alums give back to community through photography

Amanda Rohde, sophomore  art major, takes portraits of a Jackson family Feb. 8 during Help Portrait, which was held at the Regional Inter-Faith Association in downtown Jackson. | Photo by Jacob Moore
Amanda Rohde, sophomore art major, takes portraits of a Jackson family Feb. 8 during Help Portrait at the Regional Inter-Faith Association in downtown Jackson. | Photo by Jacob Moore

This Feb. 8, about 20 students, alumni and community volunteers, both photographers and non-photographers from the Union and Jackson community, gathered for the fifth annual Help-Portrait event held at the Regional Inter-Faith Association in downtown Jackson.

Approximately 75 people from the community were given portraits from the day’s event, and even one dog’s portrait was made.

In 2009, Help-Portrait began as an idea that transformed into a movement in just three months.

The idea behind Help-Portrait is simple: Find someone in need, take their portrait, print their portrait and deliver their portrait.

In the past five years, more than 22,785 photographers and 37,772 volunteers have given more than 323,710 portraits.

Help-Portrait is a global movement in more than 2,100 locations in 62 countries.

The annual Help-Portrait event typically takes place on the second Saturday of December each year in addition to special events as the need arises.

Due to weather related reasons, the original Jackson-area Help Portrait event was rescheduled from December.

Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart formed Help-Portrait, a non-profit organization, in 2009 as he contemplated using his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity to obtain a professional photo.

The idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile and laugh and to return their dignity. It is a movement, a shift in photography.

From Bangalore, India, to Ghana and more countries, the language of Help-Portrait crosses cultural and socio-economic barriers.

Even Hollywood A-listers have volunteered at a Help-Portrait event in Los Angeles.

FIND OUT MORE

For more information, visit http://www.help-portrait.com.

Image courtesy of Cardinal & Cream|Cardinal & Cream
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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.