Project Connect | Portraits for the homeless
Project Connect is a one-day, one-stop annual service fair that provides Victoria's homeless with access to free services, resources and referrals.
Last winter Lorna Shaw, a photographer I met through the Victoria Camera Club, asked if I would be willing to teaching her portrait photography on a project she had lined up. She explained Project Connect, to me and I was excited to volunteer my time for a good cause.
We decided to create a mobile, fine art inspired, portrait studio where attendees were invited to sit for a free portrait. During the ten minute session, Lorna and I would take turns getting to know each individual, and work towards capturing an authentic image.
In previous years, image files had to be brought to a local lab for printing, thus participants' contact information needed to be collected so photos could be delivered later. Unfortunately, many photos went unclaimed as people in this demographic often do not have the luxury of a fixed address or phone number. This year I was able to solve the problem by providing an onsite dye sublimation printer capable of producing lab quality 8x10” print in just 27 seconds.
For those who participated, the process of having two professional photographers dedicate their time to creating a portrait brought them visible joy, dignity and pride. Subjects could be seen walking around the venue showing their photos to friends, family and strangers. This organic endorsement from participants and a physical takeaway resulted in the greatest number of portraits taken and delivered to date for this event.
Click on the right edge of this page, or use your right arrow key, to view some of the portraits I captured. →