The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Business

December 28, 2013

Photos for Christmas

Volunteers take professional portraits for Anderson residents

ANDERSON — A picture is worth 1,000 words, but sometimes a picture can have a powerful impact on a person’s life as well.

That’s what photography enthusiasts were doing at The Anderson Center for the Arts earlier this month, they were taking professional portraits of people. People who couldn’t afford to spend money on a photo. People who wanted something to send family members for the holidays.

The photographers were there as part of Anderson’s first-ever Help Portrait Program. The program is an international event started in 2006 when a photographer thought less fortunate people could use a professional portrait to raise their self-esteem around the Christmas season.

Although the Anderson event occurred a week after the main Help Portrait event, Bert Happel, chairman of the event, said he thought it was still a great success.

Happel said they did over 20 sessions during the event, some of them individual people and some of them families, all looking for a memory they couldn’t afford.

“It is hard to guess whether we changed any lives today,” Happel said. “But we certainly impacted a number of them.”

Most of the photographers and assistants were volunteers from the Killbuck Photo Guild, others were family members or photographers who heard about the event through Facebook.

The joy the photographers had just from taking pictures was obvious and infectious.

“They did a great job with my girls,” Ron Murphy said while waiting for his family’s portrait to print. “They made them relax and have a good time. Made them very photogenic.”

Murphy heard about the event through Man for Man and decided to bring his wife and three daughters for a Christmas picture. He said they are planning on sending the photo to his parents and decided to come because he had heard good things about the program.

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