Photographers Shoot to Help Neighbors in Need

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It's that time of the year where families coordinate outfits and head off to get a holiday portrait made to send to friends and family.

However, some families in the Valley have never had a professional picture taken, but you wouldn't know that by the sight of hair, makeup and photography stations at Studio 108 in Waynesboro Saturday.

Photographer Kevin Blackburn used his studio as part of a worldwide campaign called Help Portrait, started last year by a photographer in Nashville. Photographers in all 50 states and 59 countries participated in free photo shoots for neighbors in need.

"We're so used to taking pictures, now we get to give them. We actually have the opportunity to give somebody a professional and beautiful portrait," says Blackburn.

For Mariah Woodfolk, who lives at the Valley Mission, the beautiful portrait she received is actually her very first.

"This is the first glamour shot I have ever done," comments Woodfolk.

However, the event was not just about taking a holiday portrait. It was about capturing a moment of joy for families who need a little extra this holiday season.

Samantha White and her two children came with a large group from the mission. She plans to send her family portrait to the grandparents.

"To show that we are doing well, and that we're happy, and that the kids and stuff is fine," says White.

Though all the participants walked away from the shoot with a picture, many also left with a sense of pride in themselves.

"It makes me feel good because I didn't have to pay for it, and I am a beautiful woman," says Woodfolk.

According to Blackburn, that self-confidence is what Help Portrait is all about.

"Knowing that you can have that impact on somebody, to give them something they've never had or help them see themselves in a better way," says Blackburn.