There's no way I can talk about this project without drifting into "Hey, look what I'm doing!", but seriously... if you have a camera and even one pico-clue as to how to take a portrait, book off December 12th... just an hour or two will do it. I have a feeling this will be one of the most rewarding Christmas presents you give this year.
Help-Portrait is the brainchild of Jeremy Cowart (I have half his name and half of 1% of his talent. Coincidence?). He explains the whole thing way better than I, so just go. I'll be right here when you're done.
It's a simple, beautiful idea. I especially respect that he doesn't want to see the photos—God knows there will be a lot of them. This is not about creating buzz or blog-traffic. I have resisted mentioning it, because of that whole coattail-riding thing; but I finally decided that it was too important to not pass along.
Several weeks back, I hosted "Free Portrait Day" . It was a combination fund-raiser / practice session / publicity stunt... and, I got what I hoped for: Money for breast cancer research, solid photos for my book, and—as a solid bonus—a nice shout-out from David Hobby at Strobist. Help-Portrait is very different from that.
It's personal—between you and whomever you're helping. It's not going to clothe anyone, fill anyone's stomach, or cure cancer. But it just might give someone a smile on Christmas morning. There are worse things you could do.