Effort Offers Photo Portraits to Those in Need

Barbara Arnold

Know a senior citizen, military family, veteran, or child who has never had a portrait taken? Go to the L.E. Phillips Senior Center, 1616 Bellinger St., in Eau Claire on Saturday, Dec. 7, when Help-Portrait Eau Claire will shoot smiles from 10 am to 4pm. Photos are free of charge and are done on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Posing with Santa and Mrs. Claus is optional.) Help-Portrait is a worldwide movement of photographers who on the first Saturday in December every year use their time, equipment, and expertise to give back. The idea is simple: Find someone in need, take their portrait, print their portrait, and deliver the prints. “The emotions that a portrait brings to people who have never had one before is amazing,” said local organizer Dan Thompson. “We see tears of joy, we get a few hugs, we share some laughs.” Now in its fourth year here, the effort is all-volunteer: professional photographers, photography students from UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout, Fantastic Sam’s hairstylists, independent make-up artists, Sharp Photo developers, courier drivers to Sharp and back, guest greeters, computer technicians, musicians, set-up and tear-down teams, and Santa and Mrs. Claus along with gifts for guests.

To learn more, call Dan Thompson at 715-577-2770 or visit community.help-portrait.com/group/EauClaireWI or facebook.com/HelpPortraitEauClaire

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