“Porch”traits March 2020

What began as a desire to give something back to the community has turned into something quite amazing. When everyone was requested to self isolate, we had no idea how long it was going to be for. We still don’t know. But one thing I did know was that I had a camera and a couple of dogs that needed walking. How could I help cheer others up and help them know they are not alone in this? A friend had sent me a post about a Photographer in Europe who was doing “Porch”traits to document what life is like during Quarantine. I messaged our community page on Facebook to see if there was any interest and I got both positive and negative responses. There were deep concerns that as a photographer, I would get too close to my subjects. Then people began reaching out to me for photos, so I decided to give it a try.

What I didn’t anticipate was the hope it started bringing all of us in my community. Many of us had not been in day clothes in weeks and it gave us all a reason to get dressed and have something to look forward to. Something to break up the monotony of isolation and the turmoil of emotions from everything that’s been taking place. What I also realized was that I had been walking these streets for years in a rush with my dogs. I wondered how many times did I actually look up and acknowledge, or get to know, the people who share my neighbourhood? It really made me take stock of how I have been a neighbour and a friend to my community. It also made me realize that we have all been shut in our bubbles of busyness and that slowing down is probably the best thing that could have happened to us in spite of the circumstances. I resolved that helping others with their mental health was just as important as their physical health. I was not expecting all of this when I set out to do these photos and I am grateful and feel I am better for it.

Please note that I stayed much farther than the required two metres (I have a zoom lens) and had a mask and hand sanitizer with me as well. All of these sessions are booked online and I text before arriving so I don’t even go close to their door, or entry way. Extreme caution has been taken, and I am so grateful for all these families that took a chance on me.