Photographers providing free family portraits for needy

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Clovis resident Kayla Blair talks to volunteers at an organizational meeting for the Help-Portrait event Wednesday at Clovis Community College.

Liliana Castillo

A group of area photographers is getting together to provide free family portraits to less fortunate families for the holidays.

Nikki Penny of Portales and Kayla Blair of Clovis have worked together on other projects and when fellow photographer Kristin Allen posted the Help-Portrait event on her Facebook page, Penny took notice.

Help-Portrait is a global event in which photographers provide free portraits and print them on the spot. Portraits include hair and makeup.

The event will take place Dec. 4 across the world and Clovis’ is no different. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Matt 25 Hope Center.

The pair had planned to take part in the Lubbock event and then decided to organize their own for Clovis.

“It’s going to boost the morale on an emotional level,” Blair said. “Professional photographs aren’t available to everyone. This is our way of giving back.”

Blair, former military and a military spouse, said she doesn’t feel like she’s the one giving back in her family.

“It’s my husband who is giving his life and time. And of course I’m supporting him, but this is something I have a skill in and can give to people,” she said. “I feel like I’m really doing something and not just being a cheerleader.”

Penny said she fell in love with the idea as soon as she read about it.

“I like being able to give something back to our community,” Penny, a military spouse, said. “I know a lot of people haven’t been able to get family portraits, maybe for years, so being able to give them that makes it all worth it.”

Penny and Blair are gathering volunteers to greet, do hair and make up and assist photographers. They are also in need of money for printers, photo paper and ink or donations of printers, photo paper and ink.

Matt 25 Executive Director Steve Reshetar said the Help-Portrait event is exactly the kind of event they hope to administer.

“I think it’ll be a wonderful blessing for a lot of families,” he said.

Donations of can be made via PayPal online at