“The power of photography is amazing,” says
Chelsea Moore, a local photographer and HVAF of Indiana, Inc. volunteer who joined dozens of volunteers Saturday during the third annual Help Portrait event, held at HVAF of Indiana, Inc., Saturday, Dec. 10.
Help Portrait is a global movement of photographers who donate their time, gear and expertise to give back to those in need. For the event the lobby of HVAF’s Manchester Apartments was transformed into a professional photo studio equipped with lights, reflectors, and cameras.
“It’s very exciting this year to have a portrait taken. I have had a difficult Christmas and this is such a nice gift,” says Charisse Bryant who traveled from a local women’s shelter to get her portrait taken.
A total of 100 portraits were taken during the day-long photo session, including portraits of several veterans living in HVAF’s transitional housing. For HVAF veterans it was the first portrait many had received since they went off to war.
“This is great,” says Mark S., an HVAF veteran who is in the Residential Employment Substance Abuse Treatment program (REST). “It’s been a long time since I’ve had a formal photo taken and it makes me feel good.”
Not all of the event’s 40 volunteers were photographers. There were 6 hair and makeup artists from LaDolce Salon and Spa based in Carmel, Ind., Red Carpet Reflection based in Carmel, Ind., and Looking Glass Salon, based in Rensselaer, Ind., who worked to help ensure everyone looked and felt their best.
“I’ve been collecting items for one month leading up to this event, including houseware and clothing for veterans at HVAF,” says Kim Walden, owner and hair stylist of Looking Glass Salon. “It’s just great to give back and be able to help someone is an incredible feeling.”
“They are seeing themselves in a new light and these veterans are proud of what they see,” adds one local photographer. “The gift of a portrait is just amazing. The women walk out with a smile or stand up a little taller. It’s an amazing gift for me and for them.”
The day ended with a lot of smiles. Some took photos with grandchildren while others reunited with uncles and cousins. Many say they’ll be mailing their portrait as a holiday gift to family members they do not see often.