These images aren't for financial gain, portfolios, or taking the picture. In Jeremy Cowarts words, Help Portrait is about GIVING the picture.
Help Portrait Promotional Video
See some of the amazing images from our local Help Portrait Event and dive into some of the heart felt emotions shared that day after the jump.
Disclaimer: All subjects featured in these images gave their written consent to have their photographs shared
I teamed up with fellow friend and photographer, Travis Hougland of Hougland Imagery to where we could combine forces and operate the station together. I met Travis a couple years ago at the first Help Portrait and ever since, we've talked shop and collaborated together on several productions. The one and only Steve Berlin of Berlin Motion Picture Light and Shadow donated his time and talents for the cause as well. Steve is an extraordinary Gaffer in the film community and has been a tremendous and influential mentor in educating me in continuous and motion picture lighting. I've in turn have been assisting Steve in learning about strobes and still photography.
Our setup was simple and clean. We used Travis' 500 watt Hensel's coupled to two very large six foot Strip Boxes, complete with Grids to create a very soft and directional rim light on both sides of our subjects. We then used my Elinchrom Ranger Quadra coupled to a medium Soft Box as a Key Light. We mounted it to a boom so we could adjust it's position relative to what person we were to be photographing i.e. an overhead on-axis Butterfly Light for females or an directional 45/45 degree Rembrandt Setup for males. Part of the Help Portrait workflow is to be able to edit, print, and deliver the images while the patrons wait, so shooting tethering in to Lightroom was a must. Travis and I had 2 workstations to edit and export from. A string of volunteers stood on their feet all day managing the printers and running memory cards back and forth between them and the photographers.
We received all sorts of people, each with their own story to tell. This gentleman was a delight to photograph and was loving being in front of the camera as much as I loved being behind it. He had this unique look and long locks of hair that he had no hesitation in using.
In summary, Help Portrait is one of the primary things I look forward to each holiday season and as long as I am welcome, I will continue take part. It takes a lot of work, sponsorship, and planning to organize such an event. I like to give special thanks to Dave Brewer and all the volunteers, photographers, videographers, makeup and hair artists, and others who donated their time and talents to make the 2011 Help Portrait the most successful yet.