Help-Portraits 2012 event at Logan Auditorium
  • Laura Barlich
  • Help-Portrait’s 2012 event at Logan Auditorium

Holidays especially are a time for documentation. There’s nothing quite like looking back at blurry old photos of the fam, gathered tightly ’round the Christmas tree or menorah or Kwanzaa kinara candles or whatever it is that atheists gather ’round. Professional photos, on the other hand, are expensive, and a lot of people can’t afford to have nice portraits taken of themselves or their families.

For the fourth year in a row, the Logan Square branch of Missio Dei Chicago will be offering free portraits and prints to anyone (literally anyone) in need of a session. The church’s program is part of a larger, international movement called Help-Portrait, which encourages professional photographers, hairstylists, and make-up artists to donate their services for free for a day. The folks at Missio Dei, along with upward of 50 volunteers, will be setting up camp on December 13 from 10-3 PM at the former Pierre’s Bakery space at 2747 N. Milwaukee. Families, couples, individuals, and even dogs are welcome to come, according to Anthony Barlich, one of the event’s organizers.

Those who attend will get a photo shoot, a printed copy of their favorite photo, and a CD of selected photos from the shoot. Attendees will also reap the benefits of complimentary pie from Logan’s Bang Bang Pie and free Intelligentsia coffee. For Barlich, a six-year participant in the event, the portraits are about doing tangible good within the ‘hood.

“We’re taking the time as professionals to say, ‘you matter,’ and doing it in a way that’s more than just verbal,” Barlich said. “It’s kind of amazing what a portrait can do for someone.”