ASBURY PARK, NJ - After weeks of intensive planning, Help-Portrait Asbury Park has been confirmed for Saturday, December 10th from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Sisters Academy in Asbury Park.
Help-Portrait is a world-wide community of photographers coming together to use their photography skills to give back to their local community. It was founded in 2009 by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart, and in Asbury Park is directed by Daniel P. Falvo. Says Falvo, “It’s a relatively young movement, but has been transformational for both the community participants and the volunteers.”
Ed Johnson, the Mayor of Asbury Park, agrees, “The Help Portrait project is an excellent example of individuals working together to make a positive difference in our community. By taking the time to give back to our community, we can build a stronger, more vibrant Asbury Park for everyone."
Falvo continues, “For one day only, we will be setting up one of the largest photography studios ever seen on the East Coast, with 30 – 40 stations including make-up artists, photographers, editors, and printers. We are anticipating a much larger turnout than last year’s 100 families, and hope to accommodate everyone who wants a picture taken. Each person or family will have their picture taken by a professional. Then we will print it. Then we will give it to them. If they want to, they can tell us their stories.”
“This has been an amazing collaborative effort between volunteers, community organizations and several local businesses. Just to give you an idea of how this came together: Metropolitan Exposition in Moonachie, NJ is donating the pipe and drape for the stations; AFR Furniture Rentals is trucking the pipe & drape along with furniture for props and waiting areas back and forth to Moonachie; JAMM Printing is producing the invites; The Photo Center in Brick is producing the prints; Boardwalk Productions is supplying lighting and other services and Copper Electric a generator to handle the electrical load.
Also, The Mercy Center in Asbury Park is providing the critical service of getting the word out to the community; Sisters Academy is allowing us to use their gymnasium; and ArtsCap is providing general support.
About 65 photographers and general volunteers are the backbone of the event. Tracey James, one of the volunteer photographers, speaks for many when he says, “It's a long day, it's a lot of work, but I wouldn't trade seeing the joy on the photographed families for anything. Working the Help Portrait event was one of the most rewarding days I've ever experienced in photography.”
The Sisters Academy is a middle school dedicated to educating girls in an academically challenging and highly disciplined learning environment. A program of Mercy Center sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, the Academy focuses on educating girls from economically challenged families in order to give them access to a private high school and college education.