Help-Portrait Vancouver EVENT DATE: December 2, 2023

Help-Portrait Vancouver
BC Children’s Hospital 2011

Early Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011, a small group of 12 volunteers from Help-Portrait Vancouver arrived at BC Children’s Hospital. With the enthusiastic support of Child Life Department Director Diane Hart and here team, the volunteers set up a small studio space and invited the patients and families of the terminally-ill ward in for closed studio sessions. Makeup and hair artists were on hand and donated their time and services to help each patient and family member feel their best in front of the camera, and before long the improvised green room was bustling with activity. Amidst the constant activity were countless smiles, constant laughter, and more than a few tears.

In addition to our studio space, this year we had the privilege of photographing patients in their rooms. A portable flash kit in hand, Bernard spent the day moving from patient to patient, inspiring some ear-to-ear grins and often filling the rooms with the sound of joyful laughter.

One patient, Joan, started an impressively long string of cheesy poses the second he saw the camera, and nearly had us in stitches. Another, a young girl, started out shy but soon warmed up, and with a glowing smile invited her infant sister into the picture. Patient after patient – and family after family – lit up as they stepped (or sat) in front of the camera.

All tolled, we had the pleasure of giving portraits to 27 patients and their families – 68 people in total. Each family received one 8×10, two 5x7s, and a disc of all of their images for future use. Some families shared tears, others smiles and laughter, but all of them shared stories that touched us deeply.

Thanks to our volunteers Steph Limage, Arne Gulstene, Bernard Ng, Ian Sheh, Leigh Culpin, Mike Moore, Tony Mah, Paula Cheema, Shana Fleming, Kim Falkiner, Meredith Lacosse, Neetu Gill and Neeka Chen, and a special thanks to Diane Hart, Claire Brown and the rest of the Child Life staff for making this event a huge success that all involved will remember.

Here are a few videos from this year’s BCCH event. To view all of our videos please visit our videos page.

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Help-Portrait Vancouver ( is an independent group of volunteers who are participating in the worldwide Help-Portrait, Inc. movement to give portraits away to the underprivileged. This is not an officially sponsored Help-Portrait Inc site, and is not managed by Help-Portrait, Inc. The opinions and views expressed on this website do not reflect those of Help-Portrait Inc. (