Help Portrait is a movement of photographers who are using their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those who are less fortunate.

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Welcome to the Help Portrait Community Site

Dear Help-Portrait Community,

Kyle Chowning, co-founder and executive director of Help-Portrait here.

The 2014 season is coming upon us and I have some good news to report to you.

Before I get started, if you’re new to this movement, you may want to skim through this as it won’t make any sense. However, if you’ve been around awhile, then please take a minute to read through. You’re gonna like what I’ve got to say.

As the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the organization, I have largely sat back and let Help-Portrait community exist and function organically. This has been an intentional decision on my behalf mainly because even after 5 years, we’re still a volunteer organization with only one person working about 5-10 hours a week. We simply haven’t had the financial resources to change our situation.

I’m thrilled to report that because of your generous and continuous merchandise purchases, we have accumulated enough funds to  start making some long-awaited—significant—changes. Here’s a quick list of what you can expect over the next couple of months:

  • Help-Portrait website is getting a complete overhaul and redesign thanks to the fine folks and long-time supporters at Flosites.
  • Community Site Revamp - The community site will be going away at the end of this year as we will finally be implementing an all-in-one website solution. We’ll be setting up membership website that will help us keep the entire community on our own site.
  • Location & Event Finder - Also coming with the new site is an integrated event calendar and location search. No more endless web searches, looking for a location near you. With this feature, you’ll be able to find one quickly and easily.
  • Support - Currently, we process hundreds, if not thousands of support requests a year. This is too much on our small team, so we’re going to turn support over to the community with some integrated message boards.
  • Marketing & Communication Automation - One of the biggest investments and changes is that we will be implementing Infusionsoft to help us track everything. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. But, beyond that, we will be able to communicate proactively with the community based on your interest. No more generic emails and asking for the same information multiple times.

Finally, last year, we launched a fundraising campaign to help us raise some money to keep the movement headquarters in operation. We’ve been doing this long enough to know that a lot of you are confused on why we need to raise money, especially because we ask you to underwrite your own events. Truth is, we have accounting, legal and monthly expenses to keep the business of Help-Portrait afloat (hosting, software, staff, etc.).

Today, I’d like to ask you to please donate $6 to the general operating fund to help us reach more photographers, hairstylist and makeup artists and compel them to jump into the movement that’s impacted well over 300,000 people in the past 5 years. Many of you can afford to donate more, and I believe that many of you will.

I’ve said it a thousand times in the past 5 years, and I’ll continue to say it a thousand more—Help-Portrait is nothing without you, the volunteers who make this idea a reality year after year. On behalf of myself and Jeremy, we thank you.

Thanks for reading this massive update. I look forward to presenting the new Help-Portrait website to you in the coming weeks.

Kyle Chowning

Co-Founder & Executive Director
Help-Portrait, Inc.
Please say hello » @kylechowning

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