Yesterday, something remarkable happened in Saskatoon. Seven photographers, ten volunteers and one makeup artist met at The Salvation Army on Avenue C and 19th Street for Saskatoon’s first Help Portrait event. Help Portrait is a global initiative to provide family photos for those less fortunate that may not have the resources to pay for traditional methods. The volunteer event coordinated by Krystian Olszanski, a local software developer and photography enthusiast, took over two hundred photos of seventy-one families for a total of a hundred and five people.
The Help Portrait project is a great example of ordinary people volunteering their professional skills to help others in their community. For those that volunteered, it was a great opportunity to improve their skills and become more engaged in their community. For the recipients, it was an opportunity to create lasting memories of their family while knowing that others are looking out for their well-being.
Krystian said the entire day was filled with lasting memories. One lady told him, “if I had any money I would definitely pay for those pictures. Thank you for making me look so pretty.” Another man was somewhat hesitant to have his picture taken because he didn’t have anyone to give the picture to, but after some cheering up from volunteers got a photo taken with a Santa hat. It’s remarkable how a simple gesture like taking someone’s photo can provide so much meaning.
Huge congrats to Krystian Olszanski and all the volunteers that brought this event to life. As Margaret Mead said, “never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”