Help-Portrait, Kolkata is born! (2012)


The winter of 2012 opened up a world of possibilities to me and taught me a whole new way to appreciate my passion for taking pictures. While doing an online research for work, I had stumbled upon the magic that is known as Help-Portrait! I learned all about it, that I humanly could by going through every iota of online information available. I even connected with tons of photographers from all over the world who had taken the initiative to start this movement in their country/city/town. Now it was my turn to do exactly that! Initially, I was a tad bit surprised to find out that Help-Portrait had yet not made it’s way to the City of Joy but was equally thrilled at the idea of initiating it here.


The kids from CREW having a gala time during their field visit at Nicco Park (December 2012)


Since the official date was just around the corner and I had neither the time nor the resources to photograph a fairly large group of kids, I collaborated with an awesome NGO called CREW to get access to the desired subjects. CREW is a non-profitable rights-based organization working with both children and women to bring about a holistic change in the community and they were the perfect partners for the first Help-Portrait, Kolkata event. They arranged access to about 120 underprivileged kids in very short notice and I had a great time photographing the children while they were on a field trip to Nicco Park.




This was my very first experience with the magic of Help-Portrait. And magic it truly was! There is something massively fulfilling to watch from behind the viewfinder, young and innocent faces light up like a million watts, even if for a fleeting moment. And to know that you have captured that moment forever and given a printed copy of that memory to the child, for them to cherish for a long long to come. A portrait of compassion, love and hope. One human to another. So simple yet so powerful.


“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” ~ Pierre Corneille


      Over the last few years, Help-Portrait, Kolkata has grown slowly from a tiny one man project to a slightly larger group of amazingly passionate photographers, stylists, make-up artists and volunteers. It is their commitment and generosity that has helped light up many a smile, on hundreds of faces in and around the city. In the process, we have also partnered with many more charitable organizations, NGO’s and old-age homes who have made this journey possible and every bit worthwhile. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you. As we grow stronger in our resolve and wider in our reach every year, I hope that many more of you will come forward and be a part of this life altering experience called Help-Portrait. Cheers!



Sudhyasheel Sen Written by:

Just Breathe | Memento Mori | :): ☯ Be PRESENT in a world of distraction.

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