Giving Back Through Photography: Help-Portrait

In December, I had the privilege of participating in a local outreach giving portraits, free of charge to those who desired them in Berkeley, CA. The participants were given the option of having both hair and make-up done by professional stylists before their photograph was taken. I had heard about Help-Portrait a year prior when I lived in another state, and really wanted to participate, however there were no locations in my area, so I was quite excited to connect with other like-minded photographers in my new location.

Help-Portrait was began by photographer Jeremy Cowart as an avenue for photographers to use our skills by giving back to the community. The goal is to provide portraits to those who might not be able to otherwise afford professional portraiture, such as single parents, homeless individuals and low-income families. The motto of Help-Portrait is simple: “A portrait is worth”.

It was awesome to see the clients come alive in front of the camera after they had been pampered in hair and make-up. :) I heard comments about how some have never had their portrait taken and I saw the joy in their faces when they picked up their framed photographs- seeing themselves not in just another snapshot, but as a person worthy of a professional portrait.


I didn’t take many behind the scenes photographs, but this was my favorite shot. :)

Here are a few other behind the scenes shots courtesy of Lilly Dong Photography :

My back :) :

Helping Brian MacStay set up a strip light:

We were thrilled to have our food needs well taken care of by Murray Cruickshank Catering and Consulting  based in San Francisco. Look them up on Facebook!

Aren’t the cookies awesome?!

The group shot below is courtesy of Joachim Krueger:

**All photos used with express permission of the photographer**

This entry was posted in Charity, community, Giving Back and tagged .


  1. Anonymous February 5, 2013 at 10:16 AM #

    That is so awesome, Pamela!

    • Pamela February 6, 2013 at 10:58 AM #

      It was a pretty awesome day. :)

  2. Jim February 5, 2013 at 4:21 PM #

    What an awesome way to give back! Must have been a lot of fun, too!

    • Pamela February 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM #

      It was a fun day, Jim. It was quite nice to contribute to something bigger than just my small sphere in life. :)

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