VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s their way of lending a helping hand.  Photographers are in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside today, taking part in a worldwide project called “Help Portrait.”

A team of photographers, hair and make-up crews are offering a free portrait service for those who live in the city’s poorest postal code.

Organizer Stephanie Forster says she realizes people in that area have more immediate concerns than just a photo.  But she believes the service addresses a deeper need “for connection between the rich and poor.  The poor have many needs.  Unless we have people with resources alongside them, we’re not going to break any cycles.”

Forster adds they have a wide range of groups getting involved.  “We’re all standing together and serving together, regardless of what our ethnic background is, what our religious beliefs are, and whatever our mentality is in regards to how we want to approach the Downtown Eastside.”

After having their photo taken, people are given a print copy and the opportunity to send it to their families free of charge.