Family Portrait Week launched in UK

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HRH Princess Michael of Kent, David Cameron MP and The National Portrait Gallery have all got behind a new photographic promotion to raise much-needed funds for the Variety Club of Great Britain, which celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year.

Family Portrait Week will launch its inaugural annual event commencing 14th March 2009 and is the first time family portraiture has been promoted on such a national basis. This unique venture will enable the professional photography industry to raise valuable funds for disadvantaged children. All donations will go directly to The Variety Club of Great Britain.

The man behind Family Portrait Week, international photographer Gary Italiaander, explained how the promotion will work: “We have teamed-up with the Master Photographers Association (MPA) as our key partner and participating members will be on hand to shoot the family portrait sittings for any member of the public who donates a minimum of £25 to the charity. It is my intention to change perceptions of the portrait culture in the UK.”

When members of the public donate to The Variety Club through a dedicated Family Portrait Week website (, they will receive a voucher for a portrait sitting that includes a mounted 7×5 inch print as a thank you for their donation. They will of course have the opportunity to purchase additional photographs.

The photographic trade are already getting behind the initiative and GF Smith are donating the branded folders for the prints. Hasselblad and GraphiStudio have also pledged support.

Family Portrait Week will run from 14 to 21 March 2009. These dates have been carefully selected close to Mother’s Day (22 March), providing the option for a very special gift.

In addition to the above mentioned sponsors, Family Portrait Week also has the backing of Tesco’s Baby & Toddler Club, where it will be promoted to thousands of visitors to their website.

All the UK’s Newspapers, TV, radio and consumer magazines have been notified of the event and there is to be a celebrity launch at a London restaurant a few days prior. As this promotion will benefit the entire photo industry, the Trade are encouraged to actively participate in an awareness campaign by placing a Family Portrait Week logo on their website, stating that they support the event. These can shortly be downloaded from

There is no cost for photographers to participate, but those wishing to be involved must be qualified members of the MPA. For joining details please visit or call MPA Head Office on 01325 356555.

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