I was going to write about gear, again, since I would not be able to join the Help-Protrait initiative this year. I was going to be one a plane! Heading to my christmas vacations! Turns out my flight got canceled and rescheduled to the next morning, so I’ll talk about gear later. 🙂
The Help-Portrait, in a nutshell, is an initiative started and organized by the photographer Jeremy Cowart where professional and amateur photographers and support crew, take and deliver portraits for people in some need, any sort of need.
This year I joined the same group of last year, gathered by wedding photographers Carmen Wiggisser and Ingo Leitner, which did the initiative a week after its official date (Dec 8th) due to schedule clash of some of the key participants. Again this year we gathered at the Ronald McDonald Haus at the heart care center (Deutches Herzzentrum München) in Munich. The McDonald’s house offers lodging and support to parents from stationed kids, specially new borns, during their treatment.
We took pictures of the kids in the stations (don’t use shooting while referring to photographing kids, specially these days) with their parents and portrait’ed the parents in the improvised studio, in what can be the first picture of the kids and unfortunately, in a few cases, their last. Though improvised, the studio was featured with great lighting and stylist, giving the parents fully professional makeup and shot and the cosy feeling that they are not alone, someone else cares about them.
The activity also counted with a video crew (Katja Rammer and Franziska Schmidt from Ewalis Emotions) on the production of a documentary for the day. In addition to Carmen and Ingo, several others were also shooting either portraits of back-stage images, as long as performing the logistic tasks: welcoming the parents, processing and retouching, printing, framing, collecting model releases, together with the preparation, organization, sponsor searching and so on.
Apart from that, at least for me is always a great opportunity to hang around great professionals and see them using top gear. At each move they do you learn a ton! From how they place they feet while shooting to how the our stylisst holds the tissue while painting the subjects eyelashes.
I would like to thank all the people: Ingo and Carmen, Katja and Franziska, Kerrin Wiesener, Andreas Wening, Kristina Assenova, Inga Amshoff, Oliver Ostermeyer, Susanne Heiker, Veronica Liebl, Jules Heim, Agi Kratz, Dänjel Ogwambo and iRENA & Rudy Klinger.
It was a great day and it feels good being able to help people in some way.