a help-portrait weekend...

I can't even begin to describe how awesome this weekend was. I spent all day Saturday volunteering for an event called HELP-PORTRAIT. This is an incredible event that happens annually all over the world.

So, you may be asking, what is HELP-PORTRAIT?? Basically, it's an annual event where photographers and volunteers all over the world donate their time and talent to provide portraits to those in need. Some of these people have never had their photo made... some are new mothers that might have never had a portrait with their newborn... some are married couples that have never had a formal photo of the two of them... the list goes on. I knew this event would touch my heart, but I had no idea...

We had photographers everywhere. No, really, everywhere. But it was so cool to see all of these incredibly talented people work together.

We had three photo stations set up, all complete with their own editing and printing tables.

It was so fabulous to get to know so many wonderful people through this event. Many of us started this adventure as complete strangers, but left on Saturday feeling more like family.

I'm pretty sure no one worked as hard as Melissa... our hair stylist for the day. She.was.amazing. Not only did she make people look beautiful for their photos... but most importantly, she made them feel loved and valued.

And this is Connie. She's the one responsible for making this happen in Louisville this year. Her dedication and hard work made all of this a reality. And... fun fact... she's my next door neighbor!

And while all of the photographers and volunteers were amazing... it's the people and stories that walked through those doors that really made this event spectacular.

We had young and old... This little cutie pie made all of us smile.

This couple was one of my favorites. They patiently waited for hours. This was one of the first photos they have had made together in years.

To see the smiles that spread across faces as they saw their images come alive on the cameras and computer screens was simply contagious.

I saw several people take their photograph out of their envelope over and over again, just simply to look at it. I can't explain how much this moved me.

Some were moved to tears after seeing their pictures. We heard so many stories about families that have never owned a photo of them all together. Trust me, there were tears all around.

We printed 2 photos for each person that came through. One was for them to take with them and the other was for them to write on... several people wrote simple words of thanks and others wrote beautiful stories of where they came from and where they are today. These stories touched my heart in so many ways.

This was our Louisville group of volunteers... such an amazing group of people!

This event seemed simple enough... but sometimes we don't realize how much we can bless others with the gifts God has given us.

You can learn more about HELP-PORTRAIT here...