Help Portrait St. Louis CWE


That sounded good to me so I asked a few people to consider helping me organize a Help-Portrait event next December. It wasn’t very long before we decided that it couldn’t wait until December so we  began to organize a Help-Portrait event to be held on April 16th, 2011.

For those of you who want to learn more about the mission and origin of Help-Portrait, you should check out the main website at Take the time to sign up at the main site and if you live near the Central West End, join our group as well: Help Portrait St. Louis CWE.

Here is a graphic from the main Help-Portrait site that does a good job of explaining the concept.

It may seem strange that in this age of endless and constantly changing images, there are people in our community who can’t afford the luxury of a personal or family portrait. Photography is a pleasure easily taken for granted until that pleasure is taken away by things like rising food costs, medical expenses, heating bills or unemployment.

Help-Portrait is based on a simple idea, “A Picture Is Worth.” To me that means self-worth, respect and inclusion. In other words, we want to make people feel good about themselves. This project is all about giving – No portfolio shots, no self promotion, just a gift to another person in need.

At Help-Portrait St. Louis CWE we are currently looking for volunteer Photographers and Photo Editors to run six to eight photo stations for this event. I have several talented people from the Strobist St. Louis Group who have signed on to help make this project  happen and I am working with other companies and individuals to sponsor and work at our Photo Stations. There are still plenty of opportunities for more people to join in but don’t wait until the last minute. We plan on delivering finished portraits to between 200 – 300 people. These numbers are based on working with the 2nd Presbyterian Food Outreach Program.

Date: April 16th 2011

Start Time: 9:00 am To setup photography, hair and makeup workstations. We will have coffee and breakfast sandwiches for our volunteers provided by one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants so be on time. I’ll give you a hint, “Think French.”

Location: Second Presbyterian Church – 4501 Westminster Place, St. Louis, MO 63108

We should be able to wrap things up at around 3:00 pm. That’s a long day so we figured we better have lunch for our volunteers to keep the energy levels up. I think you’ll like lunch, it’s been given the Presidential seal of approval.

You can email questions and comments to me here –

Love In The Air

These photos have nothing to do with each other but sometimes juxtaposition is more interesting than conformity. It seems like for the past week or more that television commercials have been constantly reminding us that love and money are somehow connected. That can only mean that Valentine’s Day is almost here and what is a holiday if not an excuse to spend?

The Grammy Awards are next Sunday, an opportunity to get together with everyone and take some theme photos. It looks like warmer temperatures are predicted for next week so I hope to ride my motorcycle. I renewed my permit last week. James says he’s going to be needing his boots and other gear back so I might have to go shopping for some things too.

Halloween Debrief

Saturday night was the big Halloween Party in the Central West End. I took my D300 and my DIY ring-flash adaptor, which always generates a lot of interest (the first photo is a self portrait). I only saw a couple of other serious looking photographer types there and both were using Gary Fong flash accessories; those Tupperware looking things which cost way too much but must work because a lot of people like to use them.

I love a good Zombie Girl stare down. This is a crop of a larger image I took while I was standing on a chair. Lighting these things is a bit of a problem when you are working in a crowd so there is usually a lot of burning in of the background after the fact. I like the eye contact. It’s not always possible to ask first (or desirable) before taking a photograph. I’m not in it to make anyone mad or uncomfortable so I hope no one was left feeling that way.

Polka Dot Delights. I like the makeup work here. Very cool.

Look this way! I was wishing for a hair light here. I may have done a better job on the hair if I was willing to spend more time or just left the cluttered background alone. It’s alright for web viewing but I probably wouldn’t print it without doing a lot more work.

Beware of sharp edges.

This Costume was a crowd pleaser and this blue striped lady put on a great performance onstage. I guess the judges were looking for something different and that’s too bad. I think we need to encourage more of this sort of artistic creativity around here. Just saying…

My favorite power couple and the best of company as you can tell just by looking at those smiles. I had a great time taking photos as I always do and now it’s time to start planning the next project.

I posted some more photos over at Flickr – do a search for CWE Halloween 2010. You’ll see mine and others that way.

Networking Photo Shoot

The Strobist St. Louis Group will be hosting a photo shoot on November 20th & 21st in downtown St. Louis from 11am to 5pm both days. Ten photographers are setting up in a large downtown studio for two days to network with local people interested in fashion photography. There is no cost to attend for models, makeup artists, stylists and designers who want to network and create images with other local artists.

This is a Trade for Prints photo shoot – there is no charge for photos. We will be working primarily on Fashion and Head Shots but are open to other types of shots as time permits. This is a great networking and portfolio building opportunity for everyone with multiple photographers and models of all experience levels welcome.

I’ll be there both days taking photos. Registration details will be posted shortly.

Mark the date!