How revealing a turn of phrase can be! Instead of “taking” pictures, as we so commonly say, the photographers who volunteer with Help-Portrait Milwaukee give them.
Jim Stingl’s unerring eye for the human interest stories of
landed on this one in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Read Jim’s column. Milwaukee
Help-Portrait was started in
by Jeremy Cowart and has grown into an international project. Volunteers offer their "time, gear, and expertise" to those in need who don’t normally have ready access to photography that most of us take for granted. They shoot and then they give away the prints to their subjects. Nashville
What a fabulous idea!
The Milwaukee effort was spearheaded by Matt Heltsley and includes others who are members of CoPA, Milwaukee's Coalition of Photographic Arts. It should be mentioned – without diminishing the good work that Help-Portrait is doing there – that the people who eat at St. Ben’s have had an in house photographer for years. Leroy Skalstad takes – and gives – photographs and produces a calendar each year for St. Ben’s. (Full disclosure: although I haven’t given photographs there, I have given much time over the years as a volunteer at the St. Ben’s Meal Program. I have long appreciated the unheralded work that Leroy does there. This year's calendar sits next to my computer. I'm also a CoPA member.)
ArtsWithoutBorders salutes Help-Portrait, Leroy, and St. Ben’s!
And please check out the Help-Portrait Milwaukee website to see the wonderful people featured there. It’s bound to make you smile yourself to see their bright faces.