RIFA hosts families for Help Portraits

JACKSON, Tenn. — RIFA took time Saturday to bring families together with a smile. It was a picture-perfect afternoon in Downtown Jackson with free portraits for local families in need. Families will be able to cherish this holiday season, and many more to come. Matorya Hunt said the day was special. “This is my grandmother that I’ve been with, but she’s my mother, too. I don’t have one picture with her my whole life, so that was something that was special to me today,” Hunt said. RIFA, along with student photographers from Union University volunteered their time Saturday for the project, called Help Portrait. It’s a project, which started in Nashville and has spread worldwide. With a hair and makeup room and even a change of clothes for the picture, the only thing the family had to bring with them was a smile. “My professor told us about it and I was just so excited, just to take these pictures and give it to them. I just thought it was awesome,” volunteer and Union student Carrie Lee Cole said. Cole explained even though a picture isn’t a family necessity, it’s heartwarming to have. “It’s awesome to give people food or shelter for a night, but to have something that is their own, that’s really special. It’s just a neat thing for them to have,” Cole explained. For Hunt, spending this day with her family is something she’ll always cherish. “To have family pictures, this opportunity really doesn’t come around, and it’s nice to have everybody come together, just for Christmas,” Hunt said. Families will get these snapshots well before Christmas. Help Portrait was started in 2008 at a homeless shelter in Nashville by photographer Jeremy Cowart.

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