Help-Portrait Photographers Provide Free Sessions for Veterans
In this age of smartphones and selfies, photographs aren’t in short supply.
But if you ask Cedric Dean of Brooklyn Park, there’s still something special about a family portrait taken by a professional photographer.
“This is something that they can cherish and put on their wall for years to come,” Dean said.
Dean is one of the photographers involved with the organization Help-Portrait. On Saturday, he and about two dozen volunteers made their way to the Palmer Lake VFW in Brooklyn Park for an annual event, where they provided these sessions free of charge.
“With portraits, you’re able to capture a person’s essence,” Dean said. “And to be able to take their portrait and immediately show them and print them out and see the gratification on their face, especially for those communities we are blessing, is really important.”
In this case, these photographers are blessing the community of military veterans, which is fitting because Dean is a veteran himself.
“Yes, I spent four years in the military as a way of volunteering to our country, but now that I’m out, I can do more, and this is the way I chose to do that,” Dean said.
One of the people benefiting on Saturday was Evan Morris, who served ten years in the Army National Guard.
He brought his family to Brooklyn Park from Apple Valley for Saturday’s Help-Portrait session.
“We have a new, almost three month old baby, and the pictures just worked out,” Morris said. “We haven’t had family photos with this guy yet, so we chose to come out today and do that.”
Photos and More
Yet the photo session is only part of the Help-Portrait package.
This event also included free hair and makeup, a free printout of the family’s portrait of choice, and a free digital copy of their entire session.
“It was more than I thought,” said Evan’s wife, Ronnie Jo Morris. “I honestly thought it was going to be like those Lifetime photos that the kids get at school. Like, stand here, pose here, take a couple, alright you’re done; and funnel us out.”
There are few gifts greater in life than volunteering your time. And for this one day every year, these photographers are happy to share their talents for a cause they’re passionate about.
“It means more than you could realize,” Ronnie Jo Morris said.
About 40 families benefited from the event on Saturday. Help-Portrait has done these events since 2009, taking photographs of a different group of people each year.