Photographers offer free portraits for those in need

SALEM – If you thought you could never have your portrait, or a family portrait taken, think again, said local professional photographer Tina Cutright.

A group of local photographers are volunteering their time as part of a worldwide program that takes photos of and for “people in need” during the holiday season.

Professional photographer Joseph Lynn is spearheading the local effort that is also being organized with the help of Cutright.

Called Help-Portrait, the event will feature five local photographers setting up complete studios in the St. Paul Catholic Church gym at 935 E. State St., and will run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday.

Students from Rafael Beauty School in Boardman will be available to assist with hair and make-up if people want.

“It’s free to those in need or who may have never otherwise have a portrait made,” Cutright said, “it’s for people who are struggling.”

Cutright said people can come in tell their story and sit for the photo shoot.

“You’re not going to spend money on a portrait,” she said, adding that two or three photos will be taken and a print will be made of the best ones.

People will be given a CD with the photos and print rights to make additional copies.

“They get everything right then and there,” Cutright said, “a homeless person could come and leave with photograph. There is no obligation, you walk in – get a photo – walk out with it in hand.”

The program was founded by Jeremy Cowart, a celebrity photographer, and Help-Portrait is a community of photographers coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local communities

The holiday-time mission is giving people a chance they may never have had before of getting a family portrait together.

The portraits are not for portfolios, websites, or for sale and no money involved.

Cutright and Lynn held a Help-Portrait event at the Greenford Chrisitan Church two years ago.

According to its website, Help-Portrait is a global movement of photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists using their time, tools and expertise to give back to those in need and is about giving the pictures, not taking them.

For more information, visit: