Help Portrait Ridge Meadows helps out with 150 family pictures

Photographers donate their time and talent to provide free photos

Left) Ariane Jaschke and Tim Orrey help Raeanne Schachter as she snaps photos of Christina Beek and her 14-month-old daughter Lexie during Help Portrait Ridge Meadows on Saturday at St. Andrews Haney United Church; (right) a photo is framed. See slideshow @

One hundred and fifty people came for family pictures during the second annual Help Portrait Ridge Meadows on Saturday.

From 1 p.m. until 8 p.m.,  a series of portrait studios, as well as those for hair and makeup were set up at St. Andrews Haney United Church.

“I think that it was nice and relaxed this year because it was our second year, so a lot of people were already in the groove because they knew what was going to happen from last year,” said co-organizer Brenda Garcia.

Help Portrait was founded in 2009 by American photographer Jeremy Cowart. It is a non-profit organization that has grown to 2,779 photographers and 5,711 volunteers worldwide.

This year, 62,736 portraits were given out at 286 locations in 35 countries.

Local numbers were lower this year. Last year, 180 groups turned out at two locations, one in Maple Ridge and one in Pitt Meadows.

“I expected more people this year than we received, but I think it was a huge success,” said Garcia.

“Lots of people had fun. Lots of people appreciated the pictures they got. Everybody was happy.”

This year there was also live music, provided by Paul Surridge and Inner Room.

Garcia has already started planning for next year’s event.

One of the things she will be trying to organize is transportation to the church.

“We want to make it easier for people to get to. So, we’re trying to figure out a way to get transportation from other areas to the church because it will be in the same location next year,” said Garcia.

• Anyone wishing to help can contact her or fellow organizer Andrea Walker at

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