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University Photographers Give Back to First Responders Through Help Portraits

University Photographers Give Back to First Responders Through Help Portraits

Photography can have an incredible impact – whether it’s going viral and inspiring social change, or making a difference to just one deserving person.

At the University Photographers’ Association of America (UPAA) 2018 Symposium, photographers from colleges and universities across the country used photography to say thank you to first responders and their families.

Take a behind the scenes look at this moving event:


Video by Danielle Guerra and Brett Szczepanski, UPAA.

This is UPAA’s third event with Help-Portrait, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower photographers to use their tools and talents to give back to their communities. The organization worked with a wide range of corporate sponsors to make sure they had all of the best tools to bring their event to life. Sony even provided cameras so UPAA members could capture the video above.

Let’s take a step-by-step look at the event’s workflow.

Step 1: Outreach

The 2018 Symposium was hosted by Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. The team at Wake Forest reached out to local law enforcement, campus police, firefighters, emergency medical professionals, etc. to invite them to this free portrait session.

Step 2: Setup

The night before the event, UPAA members and sponsors set up studios with backdrops and lights provided by Roberts Camera and Profoto. Representatives from Nikon and Canon helped set up and test the full workflow, from shooting with gear and lights to delivering images with Libris.

Step 3: Inspiration

The next morning, photographer Joe McNally spoke to the group, inspiring everyone with his incredible portraits.

Joe McNally looks on as a UPAA member snaps a Help-Portrait.

Joe McNally looks on as a UPAA member snaps a Help-Portrait. Photo by Glenn Carpenter, UPAA.

Step 4: Portraits

Next, the first responders and their families arrived for their portraits. The photographers used top-of-the-line gear and a real-time FTP workflow to shoot the photos and send them straight to UPAA’s Libris media library.

Take a look at the gear breakdown:

  • Canon 5D Mark IV cameras with built-in wifi, provided by Canon
  • Nikon D850 cameras with WT7a transmitters, provided by Nikon
  • An array of Tamron lenses, provided by Tamron
  • Reflectors, provided by Rogue
Step 5: Review & Delivery

As soon as they finished shooting, the subjects would move on to the printing bays, where they could review their photos in Libris, choose their favorites and print an 8×10 portrait. Canon provided printers, ink and paper. They also received a link to the digital copies via Libris.

A family chooses their favorite portraits. Photo by Glenn Carpenter, UPAA.

A family chooses their favorite portraits. Photo by Glenn Carpenter, UPAA.

Thank You, UPAA!

We want to say a huge thank you to UPAA for making Libris a part of this event. We’re proud to partner with this organization, these incredible photographers and our fellow UPAA sponsors to give the gift of photography.

Cover photo courtesy of UPAA.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Glenn Carpenter
    July 25, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    The first time we did a project like this we had to run CF cards to the printing stations, it was a lot of work. Now with Libris and the wireless workflow we can send images directly to Libris to the appropriate printing station in seconds. No more looking through a stack of CF cards for the right images. Libris made our job so much easier.

    • Reply
      Kristin Twiford
      July 25, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      That’s awesome, Glenn! So glad to hear Libris is making your lives easier.

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