Volunteers 2012

Volunteers 2012
Some of our volunteers from 2012...missing a few!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2 Days to Go

Well, here we are at crunch time, and here I am at 2:30am again blogging! Things are coming together slowly and quickly at the same time. We have a great base of volunteers for all areas of our day, the exception being hair and makeup in the afternoon. But I am sure that these will also come together in the 2 remaining days as we have been working on filling the spots. Laura will be at the church on Friday evening to set up a few things with those who are willing to come in and do it then. For all others, it will be a mad rush at 8am Saturday morning. Please, if at all possible, avail yourself for a group photo (or possibly a few) before we start our day. If you are one of those who are starting later in the day, please make sure you have your photo taken so that we can try to add you to the group shot afterwards. Anyone who knows anyone who is willing to bring along food, we would be very very grateful for anything. We do have quite a bit of food, but based on last year's experience, we can always use more. Savoury things like sandwiches, pizzas, veggies, meat and cheese trays, and fruit (a box of oranges would be great!) are where we are lacking more. Please also remember to label any dishes or things that you want to get back at the end of the day.

We have made a tentative schedule for the volunteers and have emailed a couple key groups of people who need to bring specific equipment. For the rest of you, if you are a photographer, please bring your cameras and flashes etc, and if you are a general volunteer you will be told where to be on the day of. Anyone who has funny hats or things to make kids laugh, bring those along, or any other props that may be useful (remembering to label everything!) When you arrive, please see Simran Bains, our volunteer coordinator, who will let you know where you need to go and what you need to do. Laura and Tamara will be everywhere at once ;-) and I'm sure things will be great!

There are probably going to be media there as well as several photographers taking candid photos for us. Be aware you may be on camera, and also please be sensitive and aware of guests who are in situations that require confidentiality. This year there are A LOT of these individuals. We have close to 100 amazing volunteers. Feel free to use the opportunity to network with each other and to learn from each other. So far we have around 300 people registered to have their photos taken, with more on the way, as well as walk-ins on the day. I am guessing we may hit close to our target of 500-600 people. The day holds great promise. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Always a Learning Process

Last year was our first attempt at an Abbotsford Help-Portrait event. We were pleasantly surprised at the success that it was, but most of all, we had a super fast learning curve and came away with many ideas for the way we wanted this year's event to be run. Having said that, we have already encountered areas that could be changed and better managed for next year. This blog is one example. It is constantly being modified in small ways to suit our purposes and enable a more fluid event planning and execution. Today's addition is something that I will definitely include at a much earlier date next year to facilitate guest management for our event. I was going to wait to add the Guest Registration to our next year's TO DO, but then I thought, why not just do it now anyway? So here we are, scrambling to ease the craziness of the next 9 days.... If any of you know of individuals or families who would benefit from being served by us at this event, please send them to our blog to fill out a simple form to let us know who they are. Once they have filled in the form, they only have to wait for one of our great volunteers to contact them to make an appointment on the day. 9 DAYS AND COUNTING PEOPLE!!!

Guest Registration

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More Great News!

So, we started out the morning with one bit of good news, and we were going to post about that on it's own, but the good news just kept coming, so we thought we'd just make one post to cover it all up to date, and to fill in any of you who were not able to make it out to our meeting this last Sunday.
First of all, thank you to all those who were able to make it! We had a huge turnout this time, bigger than we had expected, and so sorry to those who did not find a seat. It was great chance for us to meet those of you we didn't know already and for you to meet us and everyone else. Without all of you volunteers (both those at the meeting and those who couldn't be there) we would not be able to do any of this, so thanks for being so great!

So let's get to the news:

1. This morning, Rick MacDonald and his wife JoAnne, contacted us to let us know that they and their company Nutrilawn will be covering the cost of the screen printing on the volunteer's shirts this year. So this means that all those who have filled out the Volunteer Registration Form by the time we have ordered the shirts, will receive their shirts for free! We will be ordering a few extras, so others may get lucky, but the shirts will only be guaranteed for those who have registered in time. Thank you so much Rick and JoAnne for this!

2. We have a gift basket that is being donated by Shoppers Drugmart that they have made for us to raffle off to cover coupons for each guest offering them 5 more 4x6 prints (or equivalent) in addition to the 5x7 that they will receive at the event. Today we received confirmation that Great West Fitness have agreed to display the basket and sell raffle tickets for a full week to help raise money for this purpose!

3. Today we purchased 4 printers, plus enough ink and paper to allow us to print one 5X7 photo per session on Dec. 10th. And we still have funds left over from TWU's generous donation to cover other costs that come up either before or even on the day!

4. Thrifty Foods in Abbotsford have agreed to donate baked goods for our event. And Save-On Foods sumas have donated a $50 gift certificate for the store, which we are thinking of using to purchase any items we are missing a day or two before the event, or possibly some fruits and vegetables that we can cut up on trays for our guests.

Looks as though things are really beginning to come together! We are getting really excited about this year's event!

Monday, November 21, 2011

This Year's Shirt Design

So we had a few T-Shirt designs floating around, but hadn't settled on one yet. So, since time is now limited, we decided to go with a design that somewhat follows the theme on some of the HP clothing that they have for this year. Hope you all like it, and if not, we can start designing next year's shirts in January! :-)

Item Donation Form

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meeting Tonight

Just found out that our facebook group meeting link doesn't work for those without facebook accounts, so here are the details for those who still need them! Sorry!!!

Time7:00pm until 10:00pm
Laura's Place!!!, 35818 Eaglecrest Dr, Abbotsford, British Columbia

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Volunteer Registration Form

Here is the volunteer registration form which we would love for you to have filled out by November 20th if possible. If you miss the date, please fill in the form anyway so that we still know who you are. We will be ordering T-Shirts and screen printing that week so we need as accurate info as possible by then. Some of you have received this form via email, and others have not. Please only fill the form out once per person. Thank you!!!

T-Shirt Style and Sizing

As mentioned before, we will be getting t-shirts for all of our volunteers. There is registration form that all volunteers will need to have filled out that asks for their shirt size and style preference. Here is a website that shows the "fitted" shirt style as well as a sizing chart for all the shirts. Please have a look if you need a better idea of what might fit you. David says the fitted shirt fits a little small, so if in doubt, order the next size up.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Brief Overview of Our Day (or what we hope it will look like)

We are in contact with various organizations who are going to send us guests who are in need and want to have their photograph taken. We will be getting lists of those people and calling them to make appointments between 9am and 5pm on the day. I expect we will actually be there until around 7pm finishing up any appointments and walk-ins that are still waiting, as well as taking down all of our gear and cleaning up. We have a team of videographers who will be milling around capturing bits of the day, and hopefully some candid photographers as well. Guests will be greeted at a sign in table and then will go to a waiting room where there will be food and drinks and hopefully things for the kids to do. Then someone will come and get the guest(s) when it is time for them to have hair and make-up done. Once finished with hair and make-up, they will hopefully proceed to a photographer who will take their photos. Then back to the waiting room to relax as their photos are being edited. Once the editors have edited a few pictures, burned them to a disc, and printed a 5x7, they will go down to the waiting room and hand them to the guest(s). We would love for there to be some people milling around the waiting room and interacting with the guests and complimenting their photos once done, as this is part of the big point of the day, and we have found in the past that many people are just really in need of someone to talk to. Behind the scenes there are many, many jobs that need doing - from people taking guests where they need to be, to runners being the go-betweens from photographer to editors, to those making sure the food and drinks are replenished. I'm sure there will be something for you to do!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A bit of Good News

Just letting you know that Rick MacDonald was able to secure us the 5x7 folders for FREE! So we now have money to get printers, paper, and ink to print a 5x7 photo for every session, as well as a folder to present it in. YAY!

The New Artsy Idea

Ok, read a few comments on the new artistic experience idea and the share your camera plan, and here are my thoughts. Would love to hear some of yours...

I think that adding all that art stuff would create a bit too much mayhem plus mess. Last year we had trouble with one big paper and felts for the kids as it was. Secondly I agree that this is pretty late coming because we will have to adjust our print goal if we wanted to provide two prints, and if they would like us to be able to share photos of any kind, they will have to provide their own model release for everyone to use. I also agree that handing your camera to someone would take away from the "professional session" experience, however, I can see this working well with the candid photographers we will have around. Thinking a "photo booth" type thing might also be along these lines.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where we are at...

We have had a lot of good news lately, and have had a stream of incoming volunteers, which is fantastic! Here is where we are at in a nutshell:

1. We will have some nice new clothing to give away to our guests. Either in the event that the people do not have nice clothing for the pictures, or just that they simply need a warm jacket. We will do our best!
2. We got a great price for our shirt screens from Fraser Valley Cresting, and have had our shirts themselves donated from fellow photographer, David Falk.
3. We have had several more hairdressers and makeup artists volunteer which will lighten the load significantly from last year (though we always need more!)
4. We have a few videographers available, although we do not yet have someone who can edit our video once shot (one person subject to confirmation).
5. We did a quick walkthrough of our space, and are excited to see it all in action, however we do see the need of several more volunteers to make things run smoothly in such a big area.
6. We also had the opportunity to network with a lot of key organizations and service providers who will be sending us a good number of guests this year, and possibly some volunteers as well.

There is probably more that I am forgetting, but it is 3 am and I need to be in bed! :-)


Well, let me start by saying that we are totally excited to be working with such a great group of volunteers this year! It has been awesome interacting with all of you so far and having you help us to make this day a success. As always, we are humbled by the amount of giving that is and will be going on here. Thank you all.

For those of you who are new this year, you are in for a fun ride. There are so many ways for you to be connected and to know what is going on. Please join our facebook group if you haven't already, so that you can be aware of any meetings and details posted there. We will try to keep the blog and the group fairly similar, but wanted an option to reach more people this way too. We also have a shared Dropbox folder with some resources in it for us to use in preparation for our event. Just send off an email to helpportraitabbotsford@gmail.com and we will get you all set up.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Our New Blog

Ok, just trying to get this up and running so that there is yet another way for people to get up to speed on what is happening with Help-Portrait Abbotsford. Hopefully I will be able to work on this a little more in the coming weeks so that it looks better!