A Vancouver photographer is giving away timeless Christmas presents in the form of portraits.

Jonathan Cruz usually takes photos of celebrities and fashion icons in his Gastown studio.

On Wednesday, Jonathan and his army of volunteers, photographers and makeup artists offered free portraits to people in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

"The big difference is that these people haven't been photographed in a long time. For most people there is always a camera or a phone somewhere. We're meeting people who haven't been photographed in five years, 10 years," he said.

with files from the CBC's Gloria Macarenko