Help-Portrait: It’s awesome.

So instead of studying for my upcoming finals, I’ve just been thinking. It’s weird, I’m not all that stressed out about my upcoming finals and I know nothing for ’em (also got an upcoming project in 4 days…). All I’ve been thinking about is “Help-Portrait“. What is “Help-Portrait” you ask? Well click the highlighted word and it’ll take you to the website. If you don’t want to, here’s a video that explains it:

Having participated in it this past Saturday, December 4th I can tell you that it’s an amazing idea & experience. Let’s talk about it shall we? I’ll be honest, I was a bit overhyped about it (always a bad thing). Either way, the event was great. It was just smiles all around. Help-Portrait Vancouver this year happened at a Union Gospel Mission location on the Eastside.

I never thought that something like a picture could bring so much happiness to a person. It was very humbling to see how a happy a photo could make someone. Perhaps it isn’t really just a picture though. I’ve spent a day or two thinking about it now and it seems like it’s more the attention and the different view point a person gets from that picture. When one really thinks about it, the people with the least luck and opportunities are often the most ignored and judged in society. One can imagine, just imagine, seeing oneself in a photo in a different light. To look beautiful in a photo when one may have not felt that way. It’s interesting what “simple” things like this can do for someone. These “simple things” can give hope, worth,  and joy among many other things. Photos for me, have always been related to memory; that’s where a photo’s value has always been for me.

My perception on photography is more or less the same; photos themselves on the other hand, have moved up on my scale of “awesome”. It’s an odd idea that makes sense to me :P. I’m very glad to have been part of this and I look forward to helping out again next year.

It was a wonderful experience for me (I learned a lot about other people as well as myself). Meeting new people, talking with complete strangers and hearing their stories: it was the happiest I’ve been in a long long time after having done this and I was able to bring out smiles from many people. That in itself, is something worth smiling about :).  If you want a smile, be the first to give one.

Please check out out the Help-Portrait Vancouver blog and Facebook page; as well as some thoughts people had about this year’s Help-Portrait on video (one of many to come).

Photo credit: Leigh Culpin

There is one more thing that I took away from all of it and I’d like to present it in the form of a few questions:

  • When was the last time you gave someone your attention?
  • When was the last time someone made you feel special?
  • When was the last time you made someone feel special?

These are questions I find myself asking myself each time I go to bed now.


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