Professional Portraits Taken Nationwide
Knowing how important a good photo is to recruitment, AFFEC is now offering
to take professional photos for child bulletins. We are committed to a 2 week
turn around (although caseworker or foster parent schedules may make this
more difficult). We have developed our Oregon/Washington list of
photographers, that can, within a week of our call, photograph a child or
sibling group. (We are working on a nationwide list of photographers). Within a
week of images taken we will email the .jpg images to caseworkers. We then
store all images for further recruitment tools if requested by the caseworker.
All that is needed is the referral form.
The Heart Gallery exhibits portraits to raise awareness of
the needs of waiting children. They wait and hope for
their own adoptive family to love and protect them.
Professional photographers volunteer to take compelling
portraits showcased in the Heart Galleries. These
beautifully framed and matted portraits then get displayed
along with the children's biographies in various venues.
On average, we receive over 50 inquiries per week about
these children. DHS foster/adoption orientation class
size, adoption inquiries, and general applicants to DHS
have more than doubled since the inception of the Heart
"The mission of Heart Gallery of America ®
Inc. is to facilitate and utilize the power of
photography to capture the individuality and
dignity of children living in foster care, in
order to advocate for their permanency, raise
public awareness about their needs, and
obtain support to help meet those needs.
An integral part of honoring this mission is to
provide assistance and resources to Heart
Gallery chapters nationwide to help them
achieve parallel goals for the waiting
children they represent."
How to prepare your child for the Heart Gallery
What questions should you ask before referring your child for the Heart Gallery?
- Is my child on the adoption track?
- Has my child's recruitment been extended to out of the state?
- Could my child benefit from extra adoption recruitment?
What information do you need to provide when referring a child to the Heart Gallery?
- Does your child understand that you are searching for their forever family?
- Discuss the purpose of the Heart Gallery.
- Show the child examples of other children's photographs and bios.
- Talk about what the child likes and dislikes about various recruitment methods.
- Are there specific areas your child does not want to see their photos?
- If age appropriate allow your child to give input into what is said in their bio and allow them to choose their favorite photos
Sample language to use with your child when telling them about the Heart Gallery:
- Indicate any specific locations your child should not be featured (We host 50 venues throughout Oregon and Washington. If your
child is located in Lane County and is not open to seeing their
photos you can request they only be featured outside of Lane
- Provide the contact information in order to coordinate photos of the child.
You are going to have the experience of being photographed by a
professional photographer. The photographer’s job is to take a photo of
you that captures your personality. Your job is to be yourself and have
fun. Most kids really enjoy the photo session. It can be fun to be the
“star” subject. After the session, we will choose the best photos of you
and we will use in the Heart Gallery. The goals of the Heart Gallery
project are to raise awareness about children like yourself who need permanent, loving families and also to help find
those families. There are Heart Galleries in most states and many children featured in the Heart Gallery exhibits
have been placed with permanent families. People respond to pictures and these pictures speak louder than words.
They say “I’m here and I’m special.”
Your social worker and maybe your foster parents will help the photographer decide on a location and will be
present at the photo session. You may dress comfortably and you can bring a special prop/toy/item that has
meaning to you. For instance, maybe you love football, basketball, stuffed animals or books. You can bring any of
those things. Or you can simply bring yourself and your photographer will work with you to create a picture that tells
a little bit about who you are.
Questions to ask your child to have them help in creating their own bios, if age appropriate
A bio is placed next to your photo that tells a bit about you.
By answering these questions, it will help us to know some things about you and describe who you are.
Please “tell it like it is” and remember there are no wrong answers.
- First Name, Age
- What are your favorite subjects in school?
- What activities do you enjoy?
- What is your favorite thing to do?
- What makes you laugh?
- What is your favorite food?
- What do you like most about yourself?
- What do you do well? What is something you are good at?
- What would you like to get better at?
- If you had a dream for your future…what would that be?
- What would you like to do/be when you grow up?
- If you had three wishes, what would they be?