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.

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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.