Other Ideas and Helpful Hints
Possible Ideas for a Large Event
Have snacks available - Find a sponsor who will donate bottled water, boxed lunches for volunteers, etc, or some grocery stores will donate gift cards that can be used to purchase snacks.
Play area - Children are not always patient! ;) We are going to have a play area set up with legos, coloring books and crayons and plenty of volunteers on hand to play with kids while they are waiting for their turn.
Information tables - One table with info on where to pick up their photos. Other ideas: Health information tables with pamphlets from area clinics that provide care or services for people with little to no resources.
Gift bags for people being photographed. We have someone who generously offered to coordinate putting together gift bags with items from local companies.
So many patients at a hospital could be blessed by the Help Portrait project! We are focusing on children with severe or life-threatening illnesses and their families. Many of these families do not have time or resources to think about getting portraits taken. Yet it is so very important, and such a blessing, to have portraits of your loved ones, especially in a situation where days may be numbered. However, due to such serious illnesses, there are MANY things to consider when putting together a project like this in a hospital. Working with a hospital department, such as a Child Life program, social work office, or public relations department, is necessary to having a successful event.
Volunteers CANNOT go into many hospital areas if they have any symptoms of illness.
Media release/permission forms are generally required by hospitals
Trained hospital staff will most likely have to be present at all times.
Some of the hospital staff who work with those patients might be willing to volunteer for the day.
Some patients have tubes, ventilators, etc, and due to mobility issues, these sessions will always take longer than you think!
Some patients could go to a central are of the hospital organized for this event, but some won't be able to leave their rooms.
Helpful Hints - (not in any particular order!)
Process - To keep photos organized by family and make it easier to get the right photos to the right person - in the first photo have the whole family in a shot holding up their number. Then photographers/production can keep track of who goes with which number. A good idea would be to give a set of numbers to each station - overestimate!! I.e. Station/location 1 gets numbers 1-100, etc.)
Finding Volunteers - Contact photography clubs or school programs in the area to see if they would like to volunteer or have equipment to lend. Photography students (even if they don't actually take portraits) could be good volunteers, and would generally love to have the opportunity to work with working photographers.
Finding Volunteers - Contact local media to spread the word.
Organization/Finding Volunteers - Contact local organizations that work with the population you want to help. They may want to be involved, or could give advice on how they have organized events in the past.
Sponsors - Contact local photo print places to see if they will provide free prints (check out the post on Walgreens on the Community Help Portrait site), or at cost. Find more than one if possible! When you know how many places will donate printing you can decide how many prints you can give to each family/person.
Sponsors - Be creative! Walmart, Sam's, Grocery stores, Office Max (for organizational stuff) - all of these places usually have budgets to help with charity events. Some of them have time limits, so give them as much notice as possible. If they cannot donate actual food, printing, or whatever you're looking for,ask if they can donate gift cards to help with the cost.
Screening people we serve - The number of photographers will determine the number of people you can serve. If you need to limit this number there are many ways to limit things so that you are helping those who really need it and so you are not overwhelmed. A few ideas:
Open it up to a local elementary school and have teachers nominate students (who will bring their families)
Contact a church in a needy area and offer the event
Homeless shelters, food pantries, community development centers could hold signups, or nominate people.
Organization - Make sure you plan a logistical meeting!!!! If you are planning a large event, meet with a mechanical department person from that place to make sure there is enough electricity, etc. (On that note, plan to have EXTENSION CORDS!;)) Also, meet with stylists and organizers so everyone knows exactly what they need to bring.
Organization - A photographers' meeting would be helpful to go over details ahead of time. Make sure everyone understands what the process is for the day. Each photographer should take their own equipment, but make sure any needs (such as memory cards, extra flashes, tripods, light stands, cords, etc.) are taken care of before the day.
Organization - Contact info - Make sure everyone involved gets on the http://community.help-portrait
group page!! If all information is in one place it will make it that much easier for everyone to know what is going on. Kyle and Jeremy have put together this AWESOME community site, so let's use it to connect! Designate team leaders if necessary, and a calling tree, or some plan of communication for any changes or last minute needs.
FUN! - Above all, remember to have fun! Things will most likely not go as planned, and that's okay! The whole idea of Help Portrait is to bless people who do not have the opportunity to do all of this. They won't remember the little glitches....hopefully they will remember that someone made them feel special for a day, and took the time to smile and care for them!