Self Portrait or Help Portrait?

Sometimes I forget to open my eyes. I go through my days, doing my work, doing my business, doing, doing, doing. It can be easy to get pulled into your routine and forget to look around you. But yesterday, I was reminded to see with my eyes wide open. I had a woman come to me and allow me to photograph her portrait. She was beautiful. She came into the studio, stood in front of my camera, and allowed me to look into her eyes. And in that moment, we connected. That connection, however brief, allowed her to share something with me that I will never forget. She reminded me that no matter what walk of life we're at, no matter what job we have or how we live, we are all human. We are all deserving of love and of support. And most importantly, it is imperative that we step outside our box once in a while to see if there's someone who needs a hand.

Help Portrait is a movement, founded by photographer Jeremy Cowart, and I feel lucky that I was able to be a small part of this.

Yes, it is only a picture. But this picture is supposed to act as a reminder of how beautiful each and every one of us are. Some people don't have a camera. Some people don't have family to take goofy photos with. Some people are afraid to look at themselves in a mirror. And Help Portrait is about that. Giving everyone the opportunity to be seen.

I met some really incredible people and got to hear some amazing stories. Some with laughter and some with tears. If it was only for those moments to lend an ear, I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you to the people who came and let us photograph you. You've inspired me to try and always keep my eyes wide open.

Thank you to The Metro for hosting us, and to the super tasty caramel popcorn! Mmmm. I hate to admit this, but I ate the whole can on the drive back home!! Sooo good.

Thank you to Nico Boesten for organizing the Kelowna version of Help Portrait as well as filling the air with amazing music throughout the day.

And thank you to Jessica Balfour for being the main photographer behind this event. You rock like nobody's business!