Jeannie Loring, left, had professional help from makeup artist Tammy Peterson during Help Portrait Kelowna on Saturday. When her 18-month-old daughter, Angelina Johns, stuck out her lips, Peterson laughed and applied a touch of lipstick there too.
It didn't hurt that her 18-month-old infant, Angelina Johns, was cute as a button in a beautiful plum-coloured dress.
"I can't really afford to get photos of my daughter and I right now," said Loring, still glowing from her formal portrait session with Kelowna photographer Chris Roberge at the Okanagan French Cultural Centre.
"I'm in recovery again and I have a lot of financial responsibilities of my own making to catch up on. It's my fault that I did what I did but I'm trying to make the change now and have a better life for me, my daughter and the rest of my family. I don't want to go back to that lifestyle again."
Co-organizer Shaun Bos was one of the volunteer photographers last year for the second annual Help Portrait Kelowna, part of a global initiative by professional photographers to shoot portraits and provide free prints in time for the Christmas holidays to those in need.
"I was in the building for five minutes and realized I needed to play a bigger part in this because it is just so fantastic and heart-warming," she said. "They were very proud to have a picture of where they were in their life because they had come up, they were in a very good place and they loved that."
Some clients wanted to send a photo to their parents to let them know they were OK, she said, especially if they had children.
"When you give them the pictures, the look on their faces ... they're so excited to see them and so thankful," Boss said, her eyes filling with tears. "Ultimately, it's why we are doing it. It's absolutely an amazing event to be a part of."
Her sentiments were echoed by Roberge who commented: "I felt it was a good way to give back to the community and it was something I was capable of doing. I couldn't make it last year so I made myself available this year for sure. I'm absolutely looking forward to delivering them. It will be really gratifying for everyone to see their photos and give them to their families."
The 200-plus clients from 14 Kelowna organizations in Kelowna included 66 women and their children.
"We have 14 volunteer photographers, makeup artists and musicians who are pampering the ladies a little bit. And it's very nice to give them something they wouldn't normally have," said Bos.
Jessica Samuels, 30K Club co-ordinator at Kelowna Gospel Mission, also participated last year because so many of her clients got portraits.
"When you see everybody smiling, it is heart-warming. It really does make you feel really good. Some people come in with a bit of trepidation. Maybe they're not used to a lot of people giving them a lot of attention, making them feel special," she said.
"There are more families, the working poor, this year. They don't have the time or the money to have something like this done. We just had a full family, a mom and five of her teenage kids. This is going to be a lasting memory for them."