Blog #10: Coronavirus Impact & Porch Portraits

So this blog post is sure to ruffle some feathers in the photography community and I hope it does.

This Coronavirus pandemic has been scary and a huge disrupt to our everyday lives. I'm glad that the country has taken to the "Stay Home" initiative and have only left the house for essential needs and exercise. I personally think we should have done this a lot sooner and taken the threat more seriously early on. As I write this post, I am in Week 5 of working from home at my full time job and we had to shut down our photography studio right when all of this started. I've also had several shoots cancel so I've lost a significant amount of income from this as well. I believe we will make it out of this better and stronger people than ever before while we remember those we unfortunately lost during this time.

That then brings me to the Porch Portraits debate. I've seen a lot of photographers talking about staying home and not taking any photographs (outside of your own home of course) during this time. I can definitely agree with the majority of that. There have been photographers that haven't changed their business up a bit - still shooting with several people present, enclosed studios, even close to the subject and that is something I think is irresponsible. But with the recent trend of "Porch Portraits" I think this is a safe and fun way to create art while helping families find a fun way to pass the time while being stuck inside for this long. What is a Porch Portrait you ask?

This is where families literally stay on their front porch while a photographer takes photos from the street or even their car from a safe distance, way more than the recommended 6 ft. This allows for some creativity and ensures social distancing is being practiced. I have not advertised or posted that I am doing these shoots and they aren't on my booking website. I did however have two very close friends ask me to shoot with them and in doing so a neighbor of one of the friends wanted to participate as well. I wanted to tell any photographer that looks down on this idea a few things from my perspective, someone who recently took part in this. I was never in close contact with any of these happy people you see pictured here - some of which are who I would consider my best friends. These shots didn't take more than 15 mins each time. Lastly, when getting gas, going to the grocery store or taking a walk - something we've all had to do - I've been in much closer contact to people while than in these portraits. Yes, I've been "Staying Home". But I also feel my job as a photographer is to help people create memories and when asked, I feel I achieved that in the safest way possible. We should definitely frown upon these other shoots and sessions that are going on, not this.


- DR

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