Winnipeg families get free professional portraits at Siloam Mission

Winnipeg families were treated to free family portraits by professional photographers Saturday at Siloam Mission.

'They're here to get a photo taken and a memory they can hold on to,' Siloam spokesperson says

Families were invited to get portraits taken at Siloam Mission Saturday. (Michael Fazio/CBC)

Winnipeg families were treated to free portraits by professional photographers Saturday at Siloam Mission.

The Help-Portrait project has photographers provide their services at no cost to those who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford them. The project has sprung up in communities around the world.

The event reached Manitoba six years ago when Jon Adaskin was approached by two local photographers at the time, Ian McCausland and Jim Todd. The three of them decided to bring the program to Winnipeg.

"It's a time to give back at the holidays," Adaskin, who is now the event coordinator, said Saturday.

The event was open to the roughly 1,300 people who use the shelter's services daily, as well as to others in the community, Siloam Mission spokesperson Reagen Peters said.

"A lot of them might not be able to get a Christmas gift for their loved one, so this gives them an opportunity to come down and get a gorgeous picture taken by a professional and maybe give it for a Christmas present," Peters said.

Family members smile (or grin) for the camera at the Help Portrait event in Winnipeg. (Michael Fazio/CBC)

Peters added the event provides people with a sense of community around the festive season.

"Coming here [there's] a sense of love and hope and dignity," Peters said. "They're here to get a photo taken and a memory they can hold on to."

London Drugs St. Vital is printing the photos, which will be delivered to families on Monday.

A second portrait session was held at the Indigenous Family Centre on Selkirk Avenue on Saturday.


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