"It's very emotional," he said. "You are meeting an emotional need not a physical need. You don't walk away the same."
A discussion on Twitter led to the creation of Help Portrait, and photographers all over the world volunteering time and supplies to photograph people who otherwise may never have a family photo.
"I had one lady tell me - she had an 18 year-old son - and she told me it was the first family photo they have ever had done," said Coordinator, Valerie Foster.
Photographers also take time to shoot senior portraits for kids whose parents may not be able to afford them. Volunteers make sure the entire day is special for seniors and families by offering to style hair and apply makeup. Although clients are the ones to walk out the door with a new set of pictures, the volunteers say they walk out with so much more.
"You do really walk away with the sense that you participated in something a lot bigger than yourself," Thomas said.
Thanks to volunteers at last years session, with a snap of the lens, 40 Northwest Arkansas families now have portraits hanging in their homes - and the memory of the caring of others in their hearts.
The next portrait session in December 10th. To sign up, or volunteer, go to:http://www.help-portrait-nwa.com/