09 April 2012

A Single Photo {Help Portrait in Soweto}.

Some of you might remember when I joined MartinaKaren, and Heather in Soweto this past January for my first Help Portrait photo give-back {see original post here}.  It was one of my most treasured days in Jo'burg as of yet, and my first real Soweto experience in the more than two years I've been living here.

It's amazing to see the children's faces light up as they look for their very own portrait amongst a sea of familiar faces.  They walk curiously with their friends up and down the length of the tables all the while quietly pointing out the children they know and whispering their names to one another.  When they discover their very own photo, it's like a light bulb switches on and the grins across their sweet little faces are priceless.  They then proceed to walk proudly around the playground showing anyone and everyone one of their newly found most prized possessions. 

 It's amazing to think what a tremendous difference something as simple as a single photo can do for the life of a child.

Last weekend, I was able to join Martina and Karen for my second Help Portrait photo give-back in Soweto and it was equally as amazing and touching as the first.  The children were so sweet and thankful and we had a general all around good time getting to be present in their lives for a few short hours.  Lots of playing and laughing and swinging and jumping and picture taking and more laughing and general feel-goodness.  I'm already itching to go back again :)

Martina busy setting out all of the portraits for the children
Curiously perusing the sea of faces in hopes of spotting their own 
New friends
So much fun and laughter :)
Karen and her new entourage  
A natural!
He will be a pro in no time {look at that stance!}


Help Portrait is an international initiative with projects running all over the world.  If you'd like to learn more about Help Portrait and possible opportunities in your area, see here.

If you'd like to learn more about the program in general, here is their 2011 Community Video.
{But make sure you have a box of tissues within reach before pressing play!}

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We did something a little different this year for Easter - can't wait to share the photos with you on Wednesday!


  1. SO cool! I love help portrait and love Jeremy Cowart (he actually took the main pic on my blog!) for starting such a cool organization! It has reached so far around the globe and touched so many... how incredible!

  2. Very cool. What a great experience to have!

  3. I LOVE this, thanks for sharing Jenna! Such an inventive way to light up a child's life.

  4. This is so neat Jenna! I love that you guys serve over there. I've been really wanting to volunteer somewhere and this just motivates me to do just that!

  5. What a wonderful experience...loving the photos and especially the ones of the kids trying out the camera!

  6. This is so beautiful! You are lucky to be having such amazing experiences. I'm sure you miss home sometimes but you really are blessed to have two places to call home and get to experience such a wide range of experiences.

    Those pictures are absolutely beautiful1 So sweet, everybody looking for their own!


  7. So many beautiful faces in these photos. I love it.

  8. What a beautiful way to help the world! It's inspirational!

  9. Oh wow this is amazing! I have the biggest smile on my face now.

  10. amazing images and so nice to come across your blog!!

    Worldwide giveaway: 15 Harvey Prince Perfumes Giveaway on my blog

  11. Oh wow, that looks amazing! Those kids are adorable!

  12. Ooooh, I love this idea and what fantastic and colorful pictures!!! Can't wait to see yours from Easter! I've been planning to head back to Africa to volunteer with the children...something amazing about children and the joy they can bring! Yay! :)

  13. wow, what beautiful pictures! What a rewarding thing to do. I love looking at their happy faces. I hope they get to have many more pictures throughout their life.

    um and a teeny p.s.- your hair looks amazing!

  14. this is just incredible. it is so amazing how the photos we take everyday for granted can actually be something that can put a smile on a face of a child there. i think it is wonderful!

    ps: be ready, im playing blog catchup with you and there are probably going to be a ton of comments coming your way!

  15. Wow, what great portraits!

    It's amazing the things we take for granted (like pictures), that can bring so much joy into the lives of others.

    Well done :)

  16. this is incredible! while I was in Nicaragua it hit me that the children truly had no idea what they looked like. they were so fascinated with digital cameras and it was so exciting to let them see themselves on the screen, i would love to have a part in a program like this!

  17. this is awesome post thanks for sharing
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  18. This is a beautiful post, Jenna you inspire me to be a better person!

  19. such an inspiration, beautiful kids.


Thanks for the love!