Tomorrow’s the big Day!

Local photographers and volunteers offer a flash of hope to Cleveland families in transition

 

See the light
These are the memories we will help to make tomorrow during the annual Help-Portrait event at the Greater Cleveland Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Complex.

Tomorrow, photographers around the world will gather for the eighth annual Help-Portrait event. In 2008, 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.

Since the launch, more than 70,000 volunteers have given more than 350,000 portraits. Help-Portrait is a global movement in more than 2500 locations in 67 countries. The annual Help-Portrait event takes place on the second Saturday of December each year in addition to special events as the need arises.

For the fourth year, local writer and photographer Shelley M. Shockley will bring the movement to Cleveland as she and a team of volunteers join forces with the Salvation Army’s Zelma George Family Emergency Shelter to provide portraits to some of Cleveland’s transitional families.

The enthusiasm from site participants is exactly what Shockley was hoping for when she began organizing this effort, “When I learned of this movement and saw some of the photos from other parts of the world I wanted to bring that same sense of joy to the Cleveland community.”

The effort is also appreciated by the Salvation Army. “It is truly amazing! The impact of such a practical program that Shelley and the volunteers do each year for the participants in our Family Shelter. We are thrilled and thankful that they are coming back to Zelma George,” said Beau Hill, Executive Director, The Salvation Army Harbor Light Complex.

From 1-5 p.m., Shockley and a team of volunteers including barbers, hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers and other volunteers will gather at the shelter and set up “mini-studios” to bring the Help-Portrait movement to Cleveland at the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Complex, 1710 Prospect Ave.

To learn more about the Help-Portrait movement visit http://community.help-portrait.com.

 

About Help-Portrait:

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

From Bangalore, India to Ghana, Africa, the language of Help-Portrait crosses cultural and socioeconomic barriers.

About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. For more information, go to http://www.salvationarmycleveland.org.

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Help-Portrait Cleveland needs you!

The joy found in this mom's eyes sums up the work we try to accomplish through Help-Portrait (Photo by Stephanie Briggs)
The joy found in this mom’s eyes sums up the work we try to accomplish through Help-Portrait (Photo by Stephanie Briggs)

We are gearing up for Help-Portrait 2015 and this is just one example of the joy we hope to bring to this year’s participants. We have photographers, hairstylists, make-up artists and barbers willing to volunteer their time to brighten the day of individuals suffering through life’s transitions.

In order to make this event a success. we will need the help of others willing to donate to aid in assisting with some of the supplies we will need. We hope that you will find it in your heart to contribute to this worthy cause. Join us by clicking here!

Smiles like this are what we seek to bring out as part of Help-Portrait.
Smiles like this are what we seek to bring out as part of Help-Portrait.
Who could resist that face!
Who could resist that face!

 

Cleveland Photographers, Greater Cleveland Salvation Army team up to give “Portraits of Hope” to area families

Santa visits with children during the 2013 Portraits of Hope at the Greater Cleveland Salvation Army
Santa visits with children during the 2013 Portraits of Hope at the Greater Cleveland Salvation Army

This December 6th, photographers around the world will gather for the sixth 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.

Local writer and photographer Shelley M. Shockley has brought the movement to Cleveland for the last three years, and once again is partnering with the Greater Cleveland Salvation Army’s Zelma George Family Emergency Shelter to provide portraits to some of Cleveland’s transitional families.

“Help-Portrait is a picture perfect opportunity to offer families living in our shelter a beautiful memento that will last a lifetime. Hopefully it will make them feel special and take their minds off of their worries even if it’s just for a little while. We feel blessed to have been asked to participate.” said Major Lurlene-Kay M. Johnson, Divisional Secretary of The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland.

The enthusiasm from site participants is exactly what Shockley was hoping for when she began organizing this effort, “When I learned of this movement and saw some of the photos from other parts of the world I wanted to bring that same sense of joy to the Cleveland community.”

This Saturday, Shockley and a team of volunteers will gather at Cleveland’s Harbor Light facility, 1710 Prospect Ave. and set up “mini-studios” to bring the Help-Portrait movement to Cleveland. The team of volunteers includes local photographers, graphic designers and other volunteers.

About Help-Portrait:
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 for a professional photo. The idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile, laugh and return their dignity. It is a movement, a shift in photography.
From Bangalore, India to Ghana, Africa, the language of Help-Portrait crosses cultural and socioeconomic barriers. Even Hollywood has gotten in the act as A-list actors Zachary Levi and Yvette Nicole Brown volunteered at a Help-Portrait event in Los Angeles.

About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. For more information, go to http://www.salvationarmycleveland.org.

Looking for the light – Help-Portrait 2014

 

The smiles say it all. This is the light we seek to find this Saturday during the 3rd Annual Help-Portrait Cleveland event.
The smiles say it all. This is the light we seek to find this Saturday during the 3rd Annual Help-Portrait Cleveland event.

In three short days a few Cleveland area photographers will have the opportunity to look for the light as they participate in the 3rd Annual Help-Portrait Cleveland event.

This annual event is called Portraits of Hope and it is our desire to leave the approximately 20 families we will photograph with a sense of hope. A belief that despite their current situation things will soon turn around for them.

We are looking for that light or sparkle in the eyes of children and parents. The sparkle that says in this moment – Life is good. This is one of my favorite events of the year and I hope they can feel and experience the joy that we are attempting to share with them.

If you would like to share in this experience we will be at the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland’s Harbor Light facility 1710 Prospect Ave. from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Gearing up for Portraits of Hope 2014

Day 6 in My 30 Days of Gratitude

I am grateful to have family and friends that join me annually in presenting this great event.

In one short month Cleveland’s Portraits of Hope 2014 will take place at the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland’s Harbor Light facility. This is the third year we have joined forces with this wonderful organization to be a part of the international Help-Portrait movement.

Ladies on a mission
Grateful to these ladies for restoring my faith in the Help-Portrait Cleveland project. Seat (l-r) Stephanie Briggs and Angela Townsend. Standing (l-r) Bele’ Wondwossen, Keshia Johnson and Angela Tucker.

Photographers, graphic designers, make-up artists and other volunteers have given of their time, equipment and love to bring smiles to the faces of mothers and children in transition.

The bright smiles of youth were captured by Photographer Stephanie Briggs.
The bright smiles of youth were captured by Photographer Stephanie Briggs.

The mission of Help-Portrait is for photographers, make-up artists and others to skills and tools to give back to the community. Please join our efforts. If you are interested please leave your contact information in the comments section.

Volunteers Yalinda and Sharyn assess the day's activities.
Volunteers Yalinda and Sharyn assess the day’s activities.

The photos interspersed in this post are from previous events.

1st Help-Portrait Cleveland a success!

I am so FULL right now! The joy and sense of accomplishment is overflowing. This past Saturday I had the pleasure of bringing a flash of hope to more than 75 individuals (representing about 20 families) through the Help-Portrait movement.

The bright smiles of youth were captured by Photographer Stephanie Briggs.
The bright smiles of youth were captured by Photographer Stephanie Briggs.

We gathered at the Cleveland Salvation Army’s Harbor Light facility in downtown Cleveland. Joined by five local photographers and a team of volunteers we set up mini-studios in the gymnasium and before we knew it, the eager subjects were packing in and patiently waiting for their turn to shine.

Unfortunately I did not get to experience a lot of the joy that went along with the process as I was buried behind a computer screen printing out photos. I have been reliving the experience vicariously through the words of my friends who gathered to assist with this day.

The accolades have been many, but the true determination of the success of the day is seen in the smiles and the shimmer of light that shines in the eyes of the recipients of these portraits.

Today and over the course of a few days I will share some of that beauty with you. Can’t wait until next year!

~Enjoy

Count Down to Help-Portrait Cleveland

Only nine days until the first Help-Portrait event will be held in Cleveland and I’m nervous! This has been my baby for a few months now and I am saying prayers that all will turn out well. Please send up a prayer or two.

The good news is that we are going to help out families at the City Mission’s Laura’s Home and the Salvation Army’s Zelma George Family Emergency Shelter. Isn’t that a blessing! I started out wondering if I would have anyone to shoot and now we have at least 70 families, representing about 200 people.

Donations have been slow to come, but my crew of volunteers have stepped up to the plate, many not only offering their time but also financial or in-kind donations!

Grateful to these ladies for restoring my faith in the Help-Portrait Cleveland project. Seat (l-r) Stephanie Briggs and Angela Townsend. Standing (l-r) Bele’ Wondwossen, Keshia Johnson and Angela Tucker.

So wish us well as we try to bring a little cheer into the lives of our neighbors – One Portrait At A Time! If you’re reading this and you live in the Cleveland area and would like to help us out, please let me know. We are still seeking donations for snacks, props, and photo holders!

~Enjoy