Thousands of pictures speak volumes

A celebrity photographer's movement gives the faceless disenfranchised and impoverished members of society a visible space.

  • Nov. 30, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Okanagan photographers will be out in force for the third year in a row to help put a face to those who often go unnoticed.

“We are really looking to take portraits of people who normally would not have something like this done,” said Nico Boesten, Help Portrait organizer.

Help Portrait is a worldwide movement of photographers who use their expertise to take pictures of those in need. The brain child of U.S. celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart, the project has seen 101,000 portraits taken by more than 10,000 photographers since its inception in 2009.

Last year during the photo sessions local organizers found people were approaching the effort as an opportunity to get a free picture and showing up unannounced; so this year, the group is targeting non-profit organizations that assist the poor and disenfranchised and asking them to book photo sessions for clients in hopes of evading the issue.

London Drugs will be donating 160 prints and the project volunteers will return the work to those whose portraits are taken.

The shoots will take place Dec. 8 at Metro Community Church, 1470 Water Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Dec. 10 at the Okanagan College Theatre from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Volunteers are needed and donations are being collected to help provide food a drink during the photo sessions.

For information, please go to or contact Nico Boesten at (250) 868-9985. Organizations wanting to book photo sessions are also welcome to call.

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