On Saturday I took part in the Help Portrait project. Last year I thought about it early and then forgot until it was very close. I was mad with myself for not doing it when the day came and promised myself I would be involved this year.
I signed up for one of the Chicago locations a while back. I didn’t hear anything for a while but got a confirmation email on Thursday evening so knew I was in. I volunteered to be an assistant rather than a photographer. Since portraits are not a regular part of my repertoire, I figured I could probably be more useful helping out. As it was, the lighting setups were put together and then it was a case of shooting using the setups so I could probably have done a reasonable job.
Despite this, I think I ended up being of use. I sat in the back with the laptop hooked up to one (and occasionally two) printers downloading the shots from the various shooters, picking the best of the images, tweaking them in Lightroom and then printing them out. We got a flow going after a while and did pretty well getting the prints to people quickly. (There were a few people who got lost in the mix and we had to search back for their shots but they were patient with us.)
It was a good bunch of people working on the day. Everyone found their role and there were not too many conflicts. One guy was a bit of a pain but he did also get us out of a hole so I guess that was a wash! My biggest disappointment on the day was not being able to interact with too many of the people we were taking shots of. Since I wasn’t shooting and I didn’t get to give them the prints, I missed out on seeing it make a difference to the individuals. That was a shame but I balance that with having done my bit to make the whole thing run.
Congratulations to those that organized everything and put the effort in to getting us to the day itself. Also congratulations to those who did so much on the day. I hope they all enjoyed the outcome. I am really glad I was involved and will certainly do it again next year. If you have the chance, and you aren’t already involved, you might want to give it a go too.