If you're new, this can be quite overwhelming. So, below is a list of what you need to get started on your first HP event. 

At minimum, you need:

  • Camera
  • Ability to print (onsite, local store or online)
  • people to shoot

This is not an oversimplification of the model. We, the creators of HP, have done many that were just that simple. We've also done some that are complex:

  • Camera
  • Light kits
  • Backdrops
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Food - We got ours donated from Chick-fil-a and Walmart
  • Donated clothing
  • Coffee - donated from starbucks
  • Printers - Donated from a local photography store
  • Frames - Donated from local home store
  • Photo Release forms - http://help-portrait.com/download
  • Press announcement sent out to local news outlets
  • Videographer to capture the day
  • B-Roll photog to capture the behind the scenes
  • And lots of people :)

People can come from lots of places. Here's a list of where we've been most "successful" in serving large groups of people:

  • Rescue mission
  • Womens health
  • Halfway houses
  • Recovery programs < this is very unique experience because so many of them deal with poor self image issues
  • Food kitchens
  • Churches
  • Homeless organizations/ministries

The best advice I can give you...it's best to partner with organizations and ministries that have built relationship with the people you want to reach. This connection means less work in gathering and returning pictures...especially if you're working with homeless people. It also means that they know how to communicate with them. This will save you a ton of time and energy!

Remember: it's all about finding ONE person, printing A picture and delivering it to them. Really, this is enough. Anything beyond this is icing on the cake. 

When you engage with people who are normally avoided or don't have a positive self image, you are giving them a gift that will mean more than you could ever imagine. Trust me. It's a surprising experience, AND one of the most rewarding!

I hope this helps.


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thanks for posting this.  It is great, simple advice.

I'm still trying to get my 1st H-P event started, and sometimes I feel overwelmed because I feel like it has to be a "bigger event".

I just joined H-P.  For the last four years I have been providing portraits to homeless people. I find that remembering their name and giving them a good portrait does quite a bit for their self esteem.  The most rewarding comment I received after delivering a portrait was "Gee, I'm not ugly". I am sure that big events are great, but one photographer taking one portrait is a good start.

tks, Kyle.


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