December 12, 2011

another magical day...

it's so hard to put into words 
what happens when 52 volunteers get together 
to put smiles on the faces of 381 people
but i'll try

this is madison's third year to be part of the world wide help-portrait event
and every year, it just keeps getting better and better.

due to the nature of the event, we don't share any of the photos that are taken on help-portrait day,
except for those that we take of each other. 
{respecting the privacy of the families that visit us is our number one concern}

as always, when a bunch of photographers get together, it's one big photography geek fest. 
and guess who hates having their photos taken the most. that's right. photographers.

this is the father of one of our volunteers 
and he sang and played his guitar during the entire event in our waiting/reception area.

we also had a "magic balloon maker man" 
{as described to me by one of the little boys getting his photo taken}
who brought smiles to many little faces

this year, for the first time, we were thrilled to have volunteers from mary kay 

prior to the first photos
we have to make sure the lights are all set up correctly and triggering properly and since we're all big goof balls. well. you get the idea. 

it's obvious who the photographers are, as their cameras rarely leave their sides. 
{just look for all the camera straps in the photos}
this is kelly and he is the farthest thing from serious, but i think i caught him discussing something intently with someone else. and after a tiny editing, i really liked the photo. so even though it was probably the most serious face seen the entire day, i had to add it in.

if only i had been able to shoot all of our volunteers, so you could see more happy faces like this

this is frank and our third year to work together with help-portait.
we're the only pentax shooters of the bunch
so we have a special language all our own.

this. well this is "come on, really. another photo of me. but i'm a photographer"
honestly, he'a a big goof ball teddy bear that makes us all laugh

many thanks to barry 
{i referred to him as bank robber barry} 
and his wife carol 
{in the black jacket above this photo}
as they were HUGE in this years event 

during lunch, we took turns sneaking into the kitchen and eating the wonderful donated pizza.
and who to my wandering eyes did appear, but my daughter and her boyfriend.
{my sweet hubby also volunteered again this year}

all of my photos kind of looked the same to me as i was looking at them, 
so i ran them all through different presets in LR3 just for fun. 
{because it was a FUN day with FUN people}

with her back to the camera is jenny, who along with her husband andy, 
run the river food pantry. this is the second year that they have invited us to
turn their pantry into one huge photography studio for the event.

the channel 27 news crew

these two were also HUGE at putting this years event together and honestly
i'm not sure we could have done it without them

{keeping faces hidden}
i caught this little one waiting patiently for her photo 

these little girls dressed as princesses 
who absolutely took our breaths away

i have a few more photos i'll share this week, as i had the opportunity to shoot my daughter and her boyfriend in all their true goofiness and a few photos of the children of one of our volunteers. 
but for now, i hope these photos let you all know how amazing this event truly is and was.
so with another year behind us, we're already talking about next year's event. 
help-portrait was started 3 years ago and madison has been part of it every year.
the very first year i was one of 8 volunteers. 
this year we had 52. and next year, well i can only imagine how large we'll be.
if any of you want to learn more about having your own help-portrait group where you live
let me know
i'd be more then happy to share with you how to get it all started


  1. Love the photos and the story Beth...really I do...I went through it several times...but...something is you know what it is?


  2. Looks like a magical day for everyone.

  3. What lovely photographs of a memorable day, Beth. My heart fills your joy and the pleasure you gave all the families you photographed :-)

  4. What Julia said.

    Seriously though - this is what the season is all about. Love that you do this.

  5. What a great concept and it sounds like so much fun for all involved. What a special way to brighten the day of so many people. This is something that can impact the lives of people forever!

  6. what a great idea...and so much joy in these can one NOT smile back?

  7. I can tell you brought home a lot of happiness for yourself, in addition to the happiness you and the volunteers gave to others during the event. Cheers to all of you!

  8. What an absolutely wonderful tradition. Thank you for being you and volunteering your art for this occasion. A big thanks to everyone. Wow. What an event! Would love to have seen it in person!

  9. Hey Beth, this is a wonderful thing that I'm happy to know about ... thanks for posting about it.
    Good for you all.

  10. What a wonderful event and love how you told the story and all the photos. What a fun day of giving!

  11. I remember this event from last year's post. This is so great. I'm glad you are involved in giving your free time to share happy faces.

    Thank you Beth, you are making a difference in this world.

  12. Fabulous idea, Beth. And your photos of all those happy, helpful faces are wonderful. I do miss seeing you in the group but I'm pretty certain that I saw you in the video in the previous post.

  13. ALL 3 years you have enjoyed it so much Beth, it is such a beautiful thing. I would think it would only get bigger and bigger...there are so many angels walking around in the world, thats why you exude sunshine.

  14. I think I enjoy hearing about this event as much as you enjoy doing it. Great photos!! But the girls in the princess outfits made me cry. How precious is that?

  15. awesomeness!!... and where are YOU???

  16. what a fabulous collection of smiles and energy ....and heart ! loved seeing this Beth!!

  17. How wonderful! Theres only one thing missing......a picture of YOU! :)

  18. I love it. And you. You are the best at capturing smiles.

  19. This is my first time to see what you do here and I guess I am a bit confused about what the premise is. Could you explain a bit of it? Who are the people being helped, what happens with the photos (who sees them, etc.) and how do they find out about it? It looks like an incredible thing that you are all doing. It reminds me of the "family" of firefighters and the looks on their faces when they help others. We are all one big family though. It's nice that you can share this with the "world".

  20. thanks, thanks for this
    ...Christmas just happened to me:)

  21. Such a great cause...looks like a wonderful (and exhausting) day!

  22. I know Portland did it last year, but haven't heard if it happened this year. What an incredible thing for everyone involved. Maybe someday I would be good enough to participate. I feel like such an amateur. Love hearing about it.


**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth