Photographers, stylists to do free portraits for those in need

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Several local photographers will use their skills to give back to their community as part of the national Help-Portrait event this Saturday.

The Help-Portrait event in Cape Girardeau will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Marshall Portrait Studio.

"Many individuals and families in our area struggle financially, which means the luxury of professional photography is not something they have," said Sheri Grippo of Bella Bambino Photography, Help-Portrait event organizer.

The Help-Portrait program was started last year by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart.

"The concept was simple, yet so inspirational and powerful. Find people in need. Take their picture. Print it out and give it to them. It was about using your gift as a photographer to give a gift," Grippo said.

There are no qualifying credentials to attend and no questions will be asked about financial status or family life, Grippo

said.

People should come wardrobe ready, but there will be stylists on hand, who have donated their time and supplies, to do hair and makeup.

"We wanted to bring this event to Cape Girardeau because we believe every individual should have the opportunity to create lasting memories saved in a photograph," Grippo said. "When faced with making a decision between family portraits and the electric bill, the answer is pretty clear."

She has contacted local organizations that serve people in need to spread the word about the Help-Portrait event. She and her brother-in-law handed out invitations to the event at the Salvation Army to all of those being served on Thanksgiving.

"Their reactions were so touching," Grippo said. "I see firsthand how images can affect the way that people feel. It can make them feel beautiful, valued, powerful and hopeful. It is truly amazing."

Local photographers who are donating their time and talent Saturday are Zane Riley, Sheena Faught, Natasha Ribble and Grippo. Kyle Dewitt of Print & Pixel will donate his photo editing

services.

Elements salon will be sending several stylists, and Eden Spa donated products for the

event.

For more information, call 803-8011.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

400 Broadway, Suite 101, Cape Girardeau, MO

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