When asked what would you grab if you only had time to get one thing out of your home before it was destroyed, what would you take? For some many people who came to Canada from war-torn countries, family photos is not their answer.
These days, photography is so common that we take it for granted, and we don't realize how important it is to us unless our memories are taken away. That's what Sunday's Help-Portrait Ottawa was all about. You may not be able to bring back people's memories of the past but you can certainly give them a memory of their present.
Photographs are our personal story, a timeline of our lives filled with faces and places that we love.
For some of the people we photographed on Sunday, the moment they saw their printed portrait was a FIRST.
It was the first time seeing the whole family together after being separated for years, the first time feeling beautiful and worthwhile because having your hair done was something you could only see on TV, the first time for the kids to be wrapped around their mother in a safe and warm embrace outside the shelter, the first time when wearing a beautiful red dress meant the world stage is ready for a future ballerina, the first time when grandmothers in foreign lands will see their beautiful grand children...
And it was my first time too. I couldn't be more proud to be part of the Help Portrait movement, for the first time. I absolutely loved those few hours of sharing life stories, painful sobs and tears of joy, I was so privileged to have been able to document precious moments between some pretty incredible people.
But it's not going to be my last, and hopefully for a lot of people we've met on Sunday it won't be their last either.On Sunday, December 9, 2012 Help Portrait Ottawa with more than 20 volunteers (photographers, hair and make-up artists, greeters and just plain awesome people) set up a photography station at the City Hall, Jean Pigott Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W. and welcomed all those people who never imagined having high quality, professional photos done of their families and themselves.