As a wedding and newborn photographer I m always on great events, surrounded by happy people and I am visiting fledgling parents that just got a baby.
My part-time job in a hospital shows me, that there are also people, that need someone to talk to, people that are right now not on the bright side of life. It is important for me, to help this people everyday and to make them feel goo. Because every day is a gift and we should try to make the most of it.
So there was me, working parttime in a hospital and loving my job as a photographer. I was visiting the workshop of the great wedding photographers Carmen&Ingo in Munich when I heard from them about Help Portrait. The project was started by the american Photographer Jeremy Cowart in 2009 and is nowadays a big event worldwide. The mission is to give people, that can´t offer a photographer, or that are in a difficult situation, a portrait of themselves and to have a great experience.
I had the plan to start Help Portrait in Stuttgart about 6 weeks before the big event and to realize it in the Olgäle in Stuttgart, which is a children hospital. I knew, there was not a lot of time for the organisation but it was possible. I made a post on my photography site and within a few days we had a great team of photographer, make-up artists and other volunteers that tried to make everything possible to make the event happen. Within a few weeks everything was organized. Every memeber of the team was soooo dedicated to the project. We had teddies, frames, flyer, sweets and a lot of photography equipment for the event and we were ready.
The day in the hospital started early in the morning, as it was december, everybody was already in christmas feeling. Right on time we were finished, the first kids arrived and we could start with the portraits. Our make-up artists put the make-up on, our clows took care of the kids and we did one shooting after another, the editors had a lot to do with editing and printing the pictures and other collegues took care that every children gets their framed portrait and a Teddy. For us it was also very special to have the shooting in the room of the children. We listened to so many stories, our clows listened too and we had such a great day.
I really want to thank everybody that made this great event happen. I still remember all the happy children and the sparkling in their eyes, when they received the pictures and put them proud next to their bed. Thank you sooo much everybody. All the sponspors for the great help, the volunteers, Caroline Leibfritz from the Stuttgarter Zeitung for the great article, and the hospital for the opportunity to make such a event happen. And I want to thank the photographer Sandra and Kerstin from Heidelberg so much for the great movie of the Help Portrait day, which I think is a great insight into the Help Portrait project in Stuttgart.
Organisation: Michaela Janetzko
Video: Sandra and Katrin from sam-photo
Child Care & Clowns: Stefanie Walter, Carolyna