In a time where my photo sessions and scheduled events are on hold I, like many photographers across the world, am taking part in a project widely known as “Front Porch Portraits” as a way to bring local communities together during this historic and unprecedented time of isolation and uncertainty. I started the project around mid March after reading about a Georgia colleague working on something similar. I believe that we, as photographers, have the unique capability to document everyday life as it presents itself. We are living in extraordinary times that need to be remembered. Throughout history, photographers around the world have played an intricate roll in documenting events, good or bad. We make decisions based on a gut feeling, the gut feeling that rules all decisions of our career, the feeling that sets us apart from other photographers. In this case, its the feeling that lets us join forces with other photographers feeling the same responsibility. I feel very fortunate to be a part of a group of individuals that have taken their talent and time to give to our community as it is physically separated but deeply connected at heart.
I guess times like these bring us back to basics. Many of you have asked me why I started this project and why for free? The answer is two-fold. On one hand, I wanted to give something to the families in my neighborhood that is both fun and meaningful. Something that represents the most important thing at this time - being together. College students back home, spouses and their children having to come up with new ways to communicate, to cook together, do homework, share the space, respect boundaries, boundaries that have to be defined anew, and so much more. These portraits also evoke the notion of all the people we miss right now; for Grandparents, aunts, and uncles, friends, and even colleagues. These images represent the family's life as it is today. On the other hand there is the fact that anyone with a creative job needs to do exactly that - create. We need to create to stay happy and sane. This project has given me a purpose in these difficult times. Me choosing to stay 20 feet or further away from the people I capture has allowed me to keep creating safely. Yes, I can photograph flowers and buildings and the many cupcakes we are baking these days, but truth be told, I'm a people person. Lastly, I do it for free because I am not offering a session by any means. I spend about 5 minutes with each family; I cannot get close to them; I do not bring my hair and makeup artist with me. I am not conducting business. Enjoy the portraits below; these are the faces of my Village.