Help Portrait preserves memories forever

Volunteers pose for a group shot at the start of a long day of photographing families. SOURCE KAM PHOTOGRAPHY
December 12, 2011

Many people find great ways to help those in need this time of year. From food and toy drives to free dinners, people get in the spirit by giving a little of themselves – note what the last five letters of that word spell.

That’s just what more than 50 volunteers did Saturday, Dec. 10, in room 555 at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown in one of the most unique ways of giving back to the community.

Taking part in the third annual nationwide Help Portrait, area professional photographers, family members and friends joined forces to provide free portraits to Sussex County families in need.

Lewes-area professional photographer Keith Mosher started the event three years ago with just a few people. The effort has grown by leaps and bounds with more than 250 people being photographed this year. Keith works with Children and Families First to select families and set up a schedule.

It was impressive to watch as an empty room was transformed into four photography studios with four stations set up for editing and printing out portraits. Volunteers donated the use of their equipment, photo paper, frames and refreshments.

As Keith got his small army organized, things quickly began to fall into place as the first couple arrived for their session.

Volunteers were almost moved to tears by the first couple to work through the process of makeup, getting their photo taken, selecting a photo and frame and waiting for their portrait to print. The husband of the just-married couple stood up and thanked everyone for making the holiday season a lot brighter. It was a great way to kick off a long day.

Later on, a lady who had her photograph taken with her granddaughters came up to me with tears in her eyes expressing her thanks. That same sentiment was repeated dozens and dozens of times throughout the day.

While most of us take a family portrait for granted, we forget there are some people who are struggling to make ends meet. Capturing a memorable moment with the family is important.

During this busy time of year, we sometimes forget the real reason for the season. It’s heartwarming that there are those who are willing to use their professional experience to help others.

  • Ron MacArthur has lived and worked in Sussex County all his life. As a journalist for more than 40 years, he has covered everything from county and town meetings to presidential visits. He also has a unique perspective having served as an elected official and lived on both sides of the county.

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