Examples of the new-format photos taken at a recent Help-Portrait event with Jeremy Cowart at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in Los Angeles, Calif.
This Dec. 10, photographers around the world will gather for the third annual Help-Portrait event. In 2009, Help-Portrait began as an idea that transformed into a movement in just three months. The idea behind Help-Portrait is simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait. In the last two years, more than 101,000 portraits have been given by 10,000 photographers and 12,000 volunteers. Help-Portrait is now a global movement in more than 1,000 locations in 54 countries.
This year, Help-Portrait founder Jeremy Cowart announced new elements to make Help-Portrait a more hands-on experience for those being photographed. This year, however, Help-Portrait is encouraging the photographers to share the photos of those subjects who want to tell their story to a wider audience.
“As the founder of this movement, I felt it was best to not show the photos,” says Cowart. “I didn’t want this movement to be about photography. But I underestimated our community – they all instantly caught on to the spirit of Help-Portrait. But now I’m realizing just how much we’ve kept the world from seeing and experiencing what we get to see each year. Now I want to let everyone in our little secret by sharing the photos of those who want to tell their stories to the world.”
Another addition to this year’s event will involve a personalized element. Those photographed will have the opportunity to draw and write on their photos to tell their stories. This provides an avenue for their voice to be heard.