During May, I have been taking Porchtraits (or doorstep portraits) of people at their homes during lockdown in and around Stowmarket. Taken during my daily exercise, all from a safe distance, and each one taking no more than 5 minutes. I’ve been asking for £10 donation. The total raised will be split between The Mix, and Stowmarket food bank.
To date (08.06.2020) the total raised is £1410!! Amazing, THANK YOU!!
When I started taking these photos, it was all really lovely, but it didn’t take long before I realised it was so much more than just a few quick snaps of strangers at their homes. They became brief glimpses in to peoples lives. We had some wonderful conversations and I heard of different ways the lockdown has impacted peoples lives.
I started to feel quite emotional about it all. Theses are photos that we will all look back on in years to come, and I wonder what memories they will evoke when they are looked at, what conversations will come from them. What some of these little ones will remember about this time, and what stories we’ll tell those too little to remember.
Some families were making the most of the opportunity to spend quality time together. So many said it was usually very rare to go for a walk or bike ride together, or all play in the garden due to school, work and clubs that usually take up most of their time.
Some had been having a clearing out, or doing some DIY Jobs around the house or garden. Others embracing time to just sit in the garden, relax and enjoy the sunshine.
Then there are those who have welcomed a new life into the world, with the added challenges of not being able to see their family for a bit of help & support or have those squishy newborn cuddles.
And a few families were able to move in together before lockdown started, to be able to spend time together and help each other out with the kids and general lockdown life. How wonderful is that?!
Everyones experience over the last few months has been different.
It’s been so wonderful to capture so many smiles and spread a little joy while the world has felt a little crazy! And it’s been nice to bring people together even though they are apart.
Some fun figures for you.
I've visited 126 homes, of those...
There has been 7 people celebrating birthdays.
6 couples had welcomed a new baby in to the world.
There were 2 would have been wedding days celebrated, and a 50th wedding anniversary.
45 dogs joined in, as well as 1 horse, 1 chicken and 6 cats.
Me, sat on my back doorstep after a run, with my camera, my bike
& a couple of lego figures from one of my lego couple shoots.
On a personal note, I’ve also found I’ve been exploring my local area so much more, discovering footpaths and green space I had some how managed to overlook before now. Or revisit places I never really made time for. When I have time off work, I would usually jump in the car and drive to the coast, or somewhere in the local countryside for a walk. So it has been really special to explore places closer to home. Northfield Woods in Onehouse has been my go to place for a bit of calm, and the footpath along the river gipping towards Needham is just beautiful, and full of wildlife to watch.
At the start of the lockdown I was incredibly anxious, I felt constantly overwhelmed, and didn't like the thought of not seeing anyone for weeks, if not months. I have been at home with my son. He has spent most of his time in his room like most teenagers, finishing off college work, catching up with tv shows, and perfecting his xbox skills!
I found the isolation really tough to start with, but managed to keep myself busy with a few creative projects (You might have seen the lego couple shoots on social media!) and jobs around the house. Plus I have still been working from home for my other job too. Once I adjusted to the changes, I actually started to enjoy a bit of quiet, and slow living. I also started to get in to running and cycling again too, which has been great for clearing my head!
I’ve really missed being able to photograph people on my usual family shoots or weddings, and although these porchtraits are not like my normal sessions, it’s been really lovely to get to get a little bit of something I love doing back again! I’m hoping these porchtraits will live on in some way after the lockdown is lifted, for birthdays, family get togethers or special occasions, I’m just looking in to ways to make it work! But I'll keep you posted!!
So, here they all are.. Thank you so much to all those who have taken part!
Can you spot you? or anyone one you know?
If you are still reading... Thank you!
Some things to think about...
What has this time in lockdown taught you?
What will you be taking with you as we move to a new normal? And what will you maybe leave behind?
Although it has been a challenging time for us all, can you think of some positives to come from this time, or acknowledge things you are thankful for?