Help-Portrait Boston :: We didn't take photos. We gave photos.

On 12.12.09 over 3000 photographers and 4400 volunteers in 511 locations in over 40 countries photographed over 36,000 people who wouldn't ordinarily have had professional pictures taken. I was lucky to be part of the event in Boston and although I'm not posting of the girls' portraits for confidentiality reasons here's a little look behind the scenes...

Fifteen photographers met up at Germaine Lawrence, a residential treatment center for adolescent girls. Huge thanks to Jeff, Brian, Rich & Darcy for all of the planning and organization that went into this event. Rich of In the Viewfinder captured this shot and kindly let me use it here:

From left to right (I'm usually pretty good with names but if I've messed up please let me know!): Brian, Meg, Jeff, Lisa, Chris, Julia, John, Darcy, Jess (who also blogged about Help-Portrait HERE) Schuyler, me, Marshall, Nathan, Jason and Rich

We set up 4 stations (when I say "we" I have to thank all the other photographers as some prior commitments meant I didn't really do any set up or breakdown - I know - who do I think I am right?). Me and Marshall were on station #4 and we had a lot of fun with the fabulous subjects. Here's Marshall doing a little dance whilst I'm getting my light figured out or maybe he's about to punch me for making him do all the set up alone :)

Paparazzi by Lady Gaga was playing on the ipod when I took this one - seemed somehow fitting:

I don't do a lot of studio shooting (for some reason people seem to prefer to get married in ballrooms, at vineyards and beaches...what's with that?) but the girls were so full of personality that they made it easy. I was encouraging people to "smeyes" also known as "smile with your eyes" a tip often given by Tyra on ANTM. Here is my attempt at smeyesing (thanks to Marshall for taking this one), I so need to get some Botox:

Much laughing was done by all:

I had just finished a session with one of the girls and grabbed a slice of pizza when my subject came back with a friend she wanted to get a picture with. So I shot a few more with the camera in my right hand and the pizza in my left. I think Lisa has a picture of this and I'm hoping it never gets out :)

Jason having a pensive moment:

Huge thanks go to:
- Nikki from Germaine Lawrence for keeping us all in order on Saturday
- the amazing team of hair and make up artists from the Empire School of Beauty in Warwick, RI who worked their magic and made the girls look even more beautiful
- to for generously donating the free prints
- Cara from a great local blog called The Small Story was interviewing the photographers, the girls and their families and I'm looking forward to reading her story
- the other fourteen photographers, it was fantastic to meet you all and thanks for letting me duck out early
- and to our subjects for being so full of personality and fun and for rocking it out like professional models! We had a blast with you all.

Help-Portrait might just become an annual event and I can't wait to get involved again next year.


  1. Ayup, that was it: totally about to punch you for being really fun to work with and for doing great work with the subjects.

    - Marshall

  2. Hey! How did you get that pic from Rich already? :)
    I am going to contact you after christmas because I want to talk to you about some customizations that you seem to have done on your blog that I have been trying to figure out and can't!
    Happy Holidays...julia