Front Porch Photography: “Porchraits” Captured Moments of People and Their Families
Front Porch Pictures, showing life during coronavirus.
Covid-19 is turning our world upside. Everyone is touched by this pandemic in one way or another. During this time of family isolation, it’s important to embrace the moments we have with our loved ones. We’re all a part of an American unprecedented time right now, and it’s a golden opportunity to embrace the all-American porch pictures. Decades from now, front porch pictures, or “porchtraits,” will bring a visual to stories that we’ll share from the days of “the virus.”
To me, photos are time capsules, because, through them, we can time travel. They allow us to connect with moments that affect us in many ways. After my mom passed away when I was seven, I’d flip through page after page of my parent’s photo albums. It wasn’t just that I wanted to see her again; I wanted more details alongside the stories I was told.
As an adult, I still enjoy going through photo albums to learn about my loved ones. Take my husband, for example. I’ve learned so much about him and his family’s history just by looking at pictures his mom, who is a fellow “archivist,” has shared. Thanks to her, I get to step into my husband’s family time capsule.
Porchtraits” more than family photos…Time capsules
The front porch portraits “movement” is sure to become a staple associated with this historic time of Covid. With more families having to stay home, they are getting more family time than ever before. With everyone home inside, taking a breath of fresh air on the front porch has become a regular thing. And why not capture those moments on the porch?
“Porchtraits” are a fun way to connect with your family all why telling your quarantine story. Here you are in your environment where you and your family are your authentic selves. Are you staying home all day in your pajamas? Kick back on your porch, in your jammies, with a cup coffee, and capture that essence of your quarantine days.
Maybe you’re getting tired of seeing your kids in wrinkled clothes pulled from the laundry basket and your spouse wearing those old shorts and ratty t-shirt from their college days. Get them dressed up and out on the porch for some fun pictures.
Bring out your pets, or wear costumes, or just chill on your porch or front yard with your favorite drink and snack. People are enjoying many different ways to capture their “porchtraits.”
Decades from now, we’ll all have tales from this time. I started doing front porch pictures for the same reason I looked through all those old family photos. They are a way for people to document this unusual, historical moment in time.
I can imagine how conversations might go:
“Remember when you lost your two front teeth during Quarantine?”
“It was so hard, but there are moments I wish I could be quarantined with my kids again”
“I didn’t know if my business would make it through…”
“A friend sent us margaritas in a bag, which we shared on the front porch….”
“We didn’t have reasons to dress up because we couldn’t go anywhere, so we decided to wear fancy clothes just because….”
“We had the time, so we got a new puppy….”
“Your dad was laid off, so he homeschooled you while I did therapy sessions in the bedroom with my patients….”
This time in history is calling all of us to make changes in our lives. For most, it’s forcing us to slow down, whether we like it or not. I may be projecting, but the families I met during these “porchraits” are radiating a current of strength and resilience. Maybe it’s the shared bond of what they’re going through. Maybe it’s all that time together paying off. (I can sense that happening in my own family right now.) Who knows, but I’m encouraged by it, whatever the case.
Supporting our community through porch pictures
I’ve also felt so grateful to those who’ve donated sessions for people deeply impacted by this virus. Thank you for your support.
I am reminded each time I do a session that humankind is still at the mercy of powers beyond our control. For some, we have more options and support than others. I’m so grateful to see those who are able to generously reach out to help their neighbors and community at large.
Staying safe while capturing “stay-at-home”
Everyone’s health is my first priority. During your “porchtrait” session, every precaution will be taken. First, social distancing is a must, and I will keep my distance by staying on the sidewalk, or even further, and use a long lens to take pictures. I will always have a mask on, and I’ll have disinfectant and gloves accessible.
If you’d like to use pieces of your furniture, maybe chairs and tables or picnic blankets on the front lawn, I can direct you on how they may best be positioned. Keeping to social distancing, I won’t touch your belongings, but I promise that my directions will be super easy to follow.
When you schedule your photo session, we’ll discuss (via phone or email) a checklist of anything that may be needed from both you and me, and we’ll review the process for the portrait session before, during, and after the photo shoot.
It’s best for me to do a “drive-by” to see the area where we’ll be doing the pictures, so this is something I’ll do after we talk. No worries, though. You don’t even have to be home when I do this. I’m just going to do a slow drive-by to get my mind in gear for things like what will be the best time due to light, where I’ll be able to stand to take the pictures, and if there are any obstacles I may need to discuss with you.
Sessions usually last between 15 to 30 minutes. To be accessible for all people, I’m offering these at a sliding scale between $25 and $200.
If you’re interested in scheduling a front-porch session or would like to donate for someone else in need, please reach out to me here, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 402-304-4057.
I’m also still scheduling full family pictures outdoors and indoor family photos with necessary precautions.
Good luck! Quarantine is rough, but you’re loved.
Also, if you’re alone or especially struggling right now, you can call The Samaritans anytime (with services for the hearing impaired) and find other sources for help, including free online services here.
The Samaritans: (877) 870-4673 (HOPE)