Thursday, September 30

Help-Portrait Central Florida is Gearing Up for 2010

I am so excited after the second planning session last night for Help-Portrait Central Florida's 2010 event(s). For those of you that aren't familiar with Help-Portrait (and how can that be after I gushed about it so much last year? LOL), it is a movement of photographers, across the globe, giving of their time, talent, and equipment, to help those less fortunate. And, remember, you don't have to be a photographer to participate. And, if you are a photographer, you don't have to be a professional one – we had all levels of expertise at the event last year. Just have a heart for helping others! Volunteers are needed in all areas, not just photography. We need social media experts, coordinators, make-up artists, assistants, post-processing experts, greeters to simply welcome and interact with people, and tons of help in other areas as well.

Last year's event was powerful, with over 100 volunteers showing to help with the events at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and the WRRC, their women and children's residential center. In case you missed my blog post last year, I encourage you to go back and read about what a powerful impact the day had on me. You should also read the blog post by Orlando baby and family photographer Amanda Kern, and the blog post by Central Florida wedding photographer Misty Miotto, who ran the WRRC event, for the impact the day had on each of them. It was quite simply...awesome!

It was great seeing people I worked with on last year's event, many of whom I haven't seen in a year, again, and meeting new people who are coming on board to make this event even greater, these past two weeks. After two planning sessions, so far, this month, it looks like the 2010 event is set to surpass even last year's event. Actually, I should have said events, with an "s" at the end of it! Help-Portrait Orlando has now become Help-Portrait Central Florida, and the goal for this year is not to have one event in December, but several events, all in the Central Florida region. This will allow the group to help more people, all over the area, and offer more opportunities for volunteers to get involved as well.

So many great ideas were floated around last night for locations and groups to help, my head is still spinning. Because there will be several locations and causes, this will give volunteers an opportunity to really get behind a cause they support, or perhaps stay in a location more central to their area, so they don't have to drive several hours to participate. I know that Misty asked me last night what my passion was, and it is so hard to answer, because my passion is for people in general! I just want to work EVERY location that was brought up! I know that won't be possible, but the more volunteers we have, the more people we can serve...and that is really what it is all about, a day of service to others. It's not about building portfolios or your own pride, it's about the people!

In the coming months I will be posting more information about this year's locations on my blog, so hopefully there will be a location and/or cause that will get you excited to come out and help.

You can follow the Central Florida group on Twitter. Or, visit the web site for more information. And, if you would like to be a part of this great event this year, please head over to the Facebook page and sign up. We would love to have you! I promise it will leave you feeling both humbled and like you did something really great for someone else.

And, if you aren't in the Central Florida area, I encourage you to go to Help-Portrait and find a group near you. They are all over the country (the world even) and you will be so glad you did!

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