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Help Portrait 2011 in Medellin, Colombia

Colombia barrio people kids children Paisa

Since being in Colombia I have been wanting to do a few photo projects.  Something that revolved around giving back and bringing a smile to someones face.  A friend told me about the Help-Portrait Project and that no one was doing it for Medellin this year.  I decided I would try and put something together.  I came up with a plan after talking with two other local photographers, here in Medellin, into helping me.  I even set up a Facebook Group in case you want to join the next event here in Medellin or to see more photos from the day.

The video below shows what someone did last year here in Medellin for the Help Portrait Project.

The concept was simple:

Help Portrait Medellin is comprised of photographers and volunteers who want to come together and give free professional photographs back to the wonderful Paisa people of Medellín. We hit the streets armed with our camera gear to the barrios around Medellin. We photograph individuals willing to pose, then print them a copy of the photo that day. We return to the same location to handed them their very own portrait! A lot of people here have never had a professional photograph taken of themselves and this is a way for photographers, travelers and locals to give back to the community and share the love. The smiles given back in return will be your reward… that is PRICELESS!

If you want to know what happened that day, play-by-play, you can read Katie’s version or check out Carlos website to see what he wrote on it.  Katie’s version nailed it spot on and I really can’t say much more then what she wrote.  I will say thank you for everyone that helped that day.  I didn’t get to meet everyone that showed up but most I did.  I was secretly hoping that at least 15 max would show but didn’t really think as many as 25+ would.  Again, thanks everyone who helped!

Facts On The Help Portrait Project:

  • In total we had 25+ volunteers that showed up and helped
  • We had three different set-ups for the photos
  • We printed off a total of 65+ photos
  • More then 70% of the people that helped were locals
  • No donkeys were hurt during the event
  • It rained on us but only after we were pretty much finished
  • Two people didn’t like their free photo (one said she looked to old in it and the other we just figured the liquor wore off)
  • We were an hour late getting the prints to the people because the photo lab took longer then they said they would
  • We had $37,000 COP ($20.55 USD) leftover for the prints (the extra will go towards the next photo project)

Colombia barrio people kids children Paisa

The all white set up was my idea.  I took a tent and bought a few poles to make it.  Total costs for the large soft box was $20 USD!  You ca see how I built on my Facebook Fanpage.

Colombia barrio people kids children Paisa

Carlos took the above photos with his black & white set-up

Colombia barrio people kids children Paisa

Me talking with everyone before hand on what was going to happen

Barrio Portraits Colombia

Carlos sets up his backdrop for his B&W portraits

Barrio Portraits Colombia

A few of us putting together the light tent (the photos that had the white background)

Barrio Portraits Colombia

Not sure what I was pointing at here but everyone seems ok with it

Barrio Portraits Colombia

This kind of helps put into perspective of where we were shooting

Barrio Portraits Colombia

The group got some great snaps of a local shoeshine vendor who was pretty charismatic!

Barrio Portraits Colombia

Ok maybe we got to many photographers but it was a fun!

Barrio Portraits Colombia

We picked this location because if it rained we’d still be able to shoot

Barrio Portraits Colombia

Carlos taking a portrait with the light tent set-up behind the lady in the blue shirt

Barrio Portraits Colombia

An old women stands in for a portrait while several others snap a few shots

Barrio Portraits Colombia

Once we got the photos it was a mad rush to pass them all out

Colombia barrio people kids children Paisa

A little girl holds her print

Colombia barrio people kids children Paisa

This old women hated her photo because she said she looked old in it

Barrio Portraits Colombia

Everyone in the group that helped!  Thank you everyone!!!!

Troy Floyd Black and White Photobooth film strips

… and since I took the group shot, here is one of me that Carlos took!

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