A Picture is Worth – Omaha Help-Portrait Event

Omaha, Nebr., Nov. 18, 2011 – On December 10, Omaha will be participating in the 3rd Annual Help-Portrait, an international, non-profit event that allows area photographers, hair stylists, make-up artists and volunteers to give their time and talent by providing a first-class photography experience to individuals who might otherwise not have the opportunity for a professional portrait.

The idea behind Help-Portrait is simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait. Individuals participating in Help-Portrait will be treated to a professional hair stylist, make-up artist and experience a professional photography session. Photos will be printed on site, and people will receive two 8x10s and 2 5x7s. Costs of the event are underwritten by donations and sponsors.

For the December 10, 2011 event, Omaha Help-Portrait is partnering with the One World Community Health Center to offer portraits to their patients. The One World Clinic is dedicated to providing care for the underserved in our community, and last year alone saw over 21,000 patients. The Salvation Army Kroc Center has generously offered to be a partner as well, and is hosting the event in a space that will allow Omaha Help-Portrait to offer at least as many portraits in this year’s event as in the last two years combined.

“Help Portrait is a way to make everyone feel beautiful and special,” said Christine Pagan, Omaha Help-Portrait lead organizer. “During the holiday season, the Omaha creative community has the opportunity to celebrate skills that inspire and build self-esteem in others.”

In the last two years of participating in this global movement, Omaha Help-Portrait surpassed their goals and reached out to around 150 families in need each year. In 2011, it is anticipated that the number of those photographed will double.

“Poverty steals a lot of things, like your home, car and food, but it also steals something on the inside. Help-Portrait feeds that something on the inside,” states Help-Portrait Event Coordinator Annie Downs.

This unique movement has nabbed the attention of local, national and international media. Those photographed all had a story – all unique and heartbreaking in its own way. One new element that will be added this year is that Help-Portrait Founder Jeremy Cowart had the idea of allowing people to share their stories. In the past the photos have not been shared, however the movement found that people want to tell their story. Omaha’s event will be set up so that people can draw or write on their photo to share anything that they wish, if they choose to do so.

The attached photos are an example of these stories. Help-Portrait recently went to an after school program run by the Somali Bantu Association. With the famine in Somalia, and so many people here still unaware, the idea was to have the children write a message on their photo, of what they would like to say to family or friends back in Somalia who may be going through a difficult time.
For more information and to get involved in giving back and changing lives, visit, sign up at, or email

About Help-Portrait

Help-Portrait, a non-profit organization, was formed in 2009 by a Nashville celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart. Cowart uses his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity for a professional photo. The idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile, laugh and return their dignity.

In the past two years, in Help-Portrait events around the world, 101,596 portraits have been given by 10,574 photographers and 12,654 volunteers in 1,062 locations throughout 54 countries.

Inspiring quotes from those impacted by Help-Portrait:

“The portrait,” he said, “Represented where I’m going, not where I’ve been.” – Phillip Jackovich, Help-Portrait subject, OC Register story
“One of the ladies at Help-Portrait today cried the entire time I took her photo. I said ‘Are those happy tears?’ She said, ‘Yes, very happy!’” – Millie Holloman – Help-Portrait Photographer, Wilmington, New York
“Giving a photo to a stranger gives you a unique opportunity to speak a kind word of encouragement, value, beauty and truth that isn’t quite as tangible without that photo to give your words context. It’s hard to argue with art when you give it positive meaning. It was profound how encouragement, value, self-esteem and worth were given through actions, words and the foundation? A photograph.” – Joel Mills -Help-Portrait volunteer, photo editor Charlottesville, Virginia
“Today was the one of the best days I have had as a photographer and as a human being.” Kwame Reed – Photographer, Brentwood, California

For More Information:

Introductory Video (four minutes):
Facebook: Search: Omaha Help-Portrait; Link:
Christine Pagan and the Omaha Help-Portrait Team
Email: (Email CAN be released to the public.)
Phone: 402.590.5965

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Two more weeks!

**REMINDER** Our next meeting will be this Sunday, Nov 21, 2010 at 2pm, at Barleys TipTop at 15th and Cuming.  We hope to see you there!!!

I just wanted to check in with everyone.  We had a great meeting on Tuesday, and thank you so much for those who were there!

In case you were wondering, we have over 20 photographers committed to the day!  (I think there are more, but don’t have the the updated number. I’ll update here when I have it!)

We still need YOU.  If you are interested in participating, whether it’s as a photographer, a stylist, a volunteer, or in any capacity, please email, and then go to the Omaha group on the Help-Portrait Community Site to join in!

I’m extending the deadline to commit until Monday, November 22nd.  Again, the reason for a deadline is to make sure we have all of our venues covered so that we can start to promote this to them and let them know that we want to give them portraits.

If you have any questions at all, leave a comment here, or email and someone will get back to you as soon as possible!


Christine Elizabeth

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Omaha Help Portrait 2010 – Meetings!

Hello, everyone!!  Here is the meeting schedule for Help Portrait 2010:

**DEADLINE** First of all, we will be trying to assign teams in the next week or so.  In order to do this, I need to know BY NOVEMBER 19TH if you are committed to participating in Help Portrait.  Please respond on the community site, or send an email to to let us know you will definitely be involved in one of our events.  This is very important.  We will be using the last couple of weeks of November to promote Help Portrait in the organizations we will be working with, and we need to know ahead of time if we have enough volunteers/photographers to go around. (Of course, if you find out about Help Portrait after that, or plans change, we won’t turn anyone away! 🙂 However, I need to have enough people confirmed early enough so that I don’t have to cancel one of our events.)


**All meetings will take place at Barleys TipTop, located in the 1st floor of the TipTop building at 15th and Cuming in North Downtown. Barleys has been a fabulous sponsor for us, and they are really excited to help us out with this cause!  Please keep them in mind when you’re looking for a place to hang out downtown 🙂 **

November 16th at 7pm

November 21st at 2pm

November 30th at 7pm

NOTE: You do NOT need to go to every meeting 🙂 This is a very busy time of year, so we want to give as much opportunity as possible for those interested to get involved.

At the meetings we will be discussing anything and everything you ever wanted to know about Help Portrait, as well as having some fun time to get to know each other as a community!  We will be assigning venues, team members, volunteers, stylists, and making sure you have your team’s contact information.  For photographers, you will receive all of the information BEFORE DEC 4TH on where to upload/drop off your photos afterwards, and all the other details we need to cover.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for being involved in Help Portrait!!!  I know that so many people were blessed last year by the chance to have their own portrait.  I am so excited to see how we can make it bigger and better this year, and be an even bigger blessing this year.

Christine Elizabeth

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Omaha Help Portrait – 2010

I am so excited for all of our Omaha Help Portrait events for Dec 4th this year! Last year was an amazing experience.  If you were a part of Help Portrait last year, I hope that you are excited for this year and that you’re sharing that excitement with everyone you know! I know we can make this an even more incredible experience the second time around.
I am stoked to share the events that we have confirmed for 2010!!!  These organizations serve people all year round, and they are excited to have us join with them in blessing people this holiday season.
HP Events for 2010:
*We will be giving pictures to families of pediatric patients at UNMC and through the Hand in Hand program from Children’s Hospital, who will be shooting at the Ambassador Center.
*We will be returning to the InCommon Community Development Center’s Community Meal.
*One of our new venues this year will be the Open Door Mission, where we will be working with families at the Lydia House.
*A couple of other venues will be announced as soon as they are confirmed! 😉
We expect to serve around 250-300 families! To do so, we need YOU!  We still need photographers, assistants, volunteers, stylists, and donations for prints and other things needed to serve people in the way that we hope to.  Also, if you are interested in being a *Team Leader* at a venue, let us know!
We will also be taking donations for new/unused frames again this year. We have a few places confirmed as drop off spots for frames so far, plus a few more announcements coming soon about that!
What’s the next step??
Check out the Omaha group on the Help Portrait Community site.  Click on “Sign up” up there in the corner and create an account to get connected with the group.  Check out the forums, and other groups and see all of the activity going on around the world!
Then, send everyone you can think of to the same page so that they can get involved!
Another note – our group is set up to receive donations, and we will need help with such things as equipment, prints, snacks, gift bags for the people we’re serving, etc.  If you are interested in donating, you can click HERE.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment on the blog, contact someone from the group on the Community Site, or email and someone from the team will get back to you as soon as possible!
Thank you!!
Christine Elizabeth
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Welcome to the new home of Omaha Help Portrait! We wanted to create a place where we could share all that’s going on behind the scenes as we plan for this year’s events. We are so excited for you to join us!

Check out the upcoming posts here for more information, but don’t forget to get plugged in on the Help Portrait Community Site as well. There you can connect with other volunteers and share ideas, stories from last year, and see all of the amazing things going on with Help Portrait around the world.

Be sure to check out:

The brand new awesome Help Portrait website.

The Community Site.

The Omaha Group on the Community Site.

And stay updated on the main Help Portrait blog for all the new developments!

And, of course, check back here for what’s going on here in Omaha! 🙂

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