More than 200 people turned up Saturday to have their pictures taken for the first annual Help Portrait.
“For the very first year, it was a huge success,” said Matt Brennan, a local photographer and director of Help Portrait for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
Thirty eight families turned out to have their portraits taken at Heritage Hall in Pitt Meadows, while another 48 turned out at St. Andrew’s United Church in Maple Ridge.
Sixteen photographers and editors took part in the event, as well as a team of hair stylists, makeup artists, framers and greeters – all volunteers.
“We’ve not only just impacted the lives of these individuals, but we’ve actually given them portraits,” said Brennan. “Some, it might have been their first portrait, but, most of all, it has been a new breath of fresh air for them and just a life-altering moment.”
Help Portrait is a worldwide event that allows families and individuals in need to be professionally photographed in a private photo shoot. The free portraits are printed and framed on-site for the subjects to take home with them.
Community resources and assistance are also offered where needed.
Now that there is structure in place and a team of volunteers, Brennan expects next year’s event to attract more people.
“We’ll take what we did this year and build upon it.”