Updated: Jun 20, 2020
In April, while everyone was stuck at home, I started offering Family Porch Portraits as a way to capture families as they sheltered in place. And, to connect with people while wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance by using my long lens.
Being stuck inside your house for an extended period of time is hard. I thought going door to door creating Porch Portraits was the perfect excuse to get dressed and get outside for some fresh air, not just for me, but for the families who wanted to document their life during this unprecedented time. My goal was to create a little pocket of joy for the families I photographed.
What started as an experiment with people on the porches of their home, quickly turned into an excursion where I traveled through the many neighborhoods and suburbs of Chicago: Oak Park, Evanston, Downers Grove, Wrigleyville, The West Loop, River North, Andersonville, and Hyde Park. Chicago is an amazing city and the pandemic allowed me to view it with a different perspective.
The families photographed included couples who were supposed to get married and had to cancel their wedding plans due to the Pandemic, traditional families with working from home parents, hard working single moms, a couple expecting their first child, high school graduates and two newborns with their parents!
I never thought I would live through a Pandemic. I was not prepared to have everything in my world stop and shut down. I know so many people who have lost someone they love. Large and small businesses are hurting. All the unknowns are overwhelming and create anxiety that is felt by many of us. It is times like these that help us realize we are not alone. We will get through this together and come out stronger on the other side.
I am honored these families wanted me to photograph them at such a historic time.
When these families look back on these photographs in a decade's time, hopefully they will remember the unique conditions that caused them to stay home and drive each other crazy. To be forced to stop everything and really be present in the moment is the best silver lining to come from this epidemic.