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‘Can I take your picture?’ — the Help-Portrait project

“Can I take your picture?”

This question is being flipped by Help-Portrait; participants ask “Can we give you a picture?” In the process, recipients receive something more than a picture: they receive hope.

The idea is simple: 1) Find someone in need; 2) Take their portrait; 3) Print their portrait; and 4) Deliver the portrait.

Help-Portrait is a movement of photographers around the world who are using their time and expertise to photograph families, adults or children in need. On Dec. 4, local photographers will join over 6,000 worldwide at more than 500 locations in 50 countries to photograph people who deserve to be the center of attention — people who deserve to feel special, who need a break.

It may not seem like much, taking a picture of a single mom and her kids. Or photographing a 20-something who wants to send his photo to his family far away. It’s not a hot meal in those stomachs or a roof over there heads. But it is hope. It’s a chance. It’s a visible reminder of a moment that all that mattered was sitting or standing up straight and smiling as big as possible. It’s a symbol of where we’re headed, not where we’ve been. It’s a reminder that beauty still exists, even in the most uncertain of times.

Local photographer Michael Pierce is organizing this year’s local Help-Portrait day, scheduled to coincide with others across the country. The local event will take place on Dec. 4, at the Ross Aragon Community Center from 9 a.m to 4 p.m.

To make the day run smoother and a better experience for the events patrons, help is still needed. The Help-Portrait event welcomes and encourages others with special talents to participate, including people experienced with hair and makeup. People willing to provide simple snacks or refreshments are needed, as well as people who are willing to participate as greeters and general assistants.

Other photographers are encouraged to participate. The more photographers that are involved, the more time that can be spent between the subject and the photographer — making the experience better. Special arrangements are already being made for having the prints made.

If you would like to participate or help with the event, contact Michael Pierce directly by calling 946-9153 or e-mailing info@michaelpiercephotography.com.