Dundas photography club provides free family portraits:Second effort sees improvement in several aspects of project

Dundas Photography Initiative saw improvement with the club’s second Help-Portrait free family photo day at the Dundas Museum on the first weekend in December, and hope that improvement continues next year.

Photo club member Keith Sharp said the local version of an international movement of volunteer photographers provided holiday family portraits for 14 families that otherwise might not be able to afford them. That was an increase from nine families last year.

“I’d certainly do it again,” Sharp said. “I’m still disappointed we didn’t fill all the spots.”

He said during a four-hour period, the club’s volunteers could do portraits for up to 24 families.

But Sharp was pleased to see a 50 per cent increase over last year.

Most of the families came to the event through the Salvation Army – a partner the photo club wants to continue working with. The club wants to carefully target information to those who really need it.

Sharp said there was also more instructional benefit to the amateur photographers were are part of the club – the other important part of the day. There were two portrait locations set up in the museum, one run by Sharp and the other by professional photographer Mark Osborne. Seven club members worked with the more experienced photographers to practice all aspects of portrait photography.

“I think we did a little better conveying information to club members than we did last year,” Sharp said. “More members took an active role. I think it was a better experience for them.”

Each family receives one 8×10 and two 5×7 prints, in frames, and digital files of the images printed.

Providing the free photos, and photography training, requires a big group of supporters and sponsors. In addition to the Dundas Museum providing space on a Sunday, financial support came from the Optimist Club of Greensville, Mills Real Estate and The Keeping Room. Shoppers Drug Mart at 133 King St. W. donated cosmetics and Paul Wright Photography provided frames. Cousins Anthony Putrone of Putrone Salon and Spa, and Anthony DiSalvo of Salon DiSalvo provided on-site hair styling.

“We really appreciate what they do,” Sharp said of all the supporters.

He said the club hopes to add a volunteer make-up person for next year, but hasn’t found anyone yet.

Help-Portrait is a global movement of photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists who volunteer their time and expertise to give back to those in need. The Dundas club members are among 75,442 volunteers who have organized 3,049 events and taken 381,856 family portraits in 67 countries.

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