Help Portraits bring smiles to the less fortunate this holiday season


John Carver has his portrait done after meeting the photographer at a bus stop. Photo by DARLENE HILDEBRANDT

Sophomore Cassie McDaniel became involved in the Help Portrait movement because of her passion for photography.

“I found out about Help Portraits from my mentor, who is also a photographer, Valerie Febre-Yap about a month ago. It was her inspiration for doing a photo shoot last week at a local shelter. I decided to volunteer for Help Portraits because Valerie always provides great advice and information when I’m with her. Since I want to be a photographer, I thought it would be a great experience. Also, I thought being able to give back to the community would feel great,” McDaniel said.

Help Portraits is a non-profit organization that combines a network of photographers, make-up artists and hairstylists to provide portraits for the less-fortunate. Since the organization was founded in 2009, they have given out 282,295 portraits. Help Portraits can be found in 67 countries and 2,128 locations worldwide, including Rocklin.

Anyone can become involved with this movement, whether they are interested in photography, makeup, hair styling or they would like to volunteer your time. Help Portrait’s main idea is simple; find someone in need, take their portrait, print their portrait, and then deliver it to them. They do these portraits for people who can’t afford to do it themselves. The pictures taken are of families, headshots and for people that have never even had the opportunity to have their photo taken before. McDaniel pushes for people to give volunteering a shot.

“I would really recommend this! Of course, this is probably something photographers would rather be a part of, anyone can help out. I guess I’d like to say, even if you don’t volunteer for this, volunteer for something for the holidays. Giving is a huge part of this time of year. It makes you and everyone else happy,” McDaniel said.

To know more about how one can become involved with Help Portraits, visit their website:

McDaniel said, “My favorite memory was when one family came in, a mom and her son, sat down to do the pictures and the mother kissed her son on his cheek. After that her son kept kissing her on the cheek and it was adorable. Overall, the whole experience was amazing, seeing all the families and seeing them so happy and grateful.”