Like so many photographers around the world, I participated in a Help-Portrait photo event this past weekend. And, like everyone involved, I am so pleased to have made the choice to help. It’s not often that you find yourself in a position to make someone feel special by doing something that you enjoy so much. Saturday was one of those days. Our group decided to set up shop in an assisted living facility in Manassas, VA. It wasn’t necessarily as large as many of the other events taking place, but the fact that we could do something special for people that are often overlooked was absolutely the right choice. Making it even more special was the fact that the facility was having their open house on Saturday, which meant that many of the residents had family visiting so we were able to take some wonderful family portraits that might never have happened otherwise.
There were so many special moments during the day, including having my son there to help out, but I think the one that I will remember most is when one of the residents asked to have his cat join him in the picture. For this man, the cat was his family and the photographer taking their picture got a great shot of the gentleman leaning over and kissing the cat that had been placed on his lap. When his portrait was printed and handed to him, he was so moved that you could see the tears welling up in his eyes.
It’s moments like this that remind me of just how powerful a photograph can be and how much meaning it can have to someone. And being able to give these moments to people who might otherwise not have access to them is an experience that my son and I will get to share and remember for years to come. My hats off to Jeremy Cowart for having the vision to bring this project to life, and all the wonderful photographers that I worked with on Saturday for creating these wonderful memories and moments for all involved.
Here’s a couple of images from the day.