When March 2020 came with the news that had a lockdown, as many people lost their jobs. For me it completely changed my work, since I have an in-home photo studio, I was not going to be able to have clients.
I quickly realized that my usual style of connecting with clients during photo shoots – spontaneous, intimate and fun – would not be possible.
So, I started thinking about how I would be able to engage with my work, and also contribute to my community during a time of need.
That is when I heard in a photography’s group about the project about a photographer named Cara Soulia in Needham, MA, who had created The Front Steps Project. She had begun taking portraits of neighbors on their front steps, as a way of connecting while still safely following social distancing guidelines. Cara’s website invited other photographers around the country to replicate this project by donating their time. I immediately knew I wanted to be one of them.
The next day, someone posted on the Acton Parents Facebook group if there was someone doing this project and Jana Cataldo offered to help with scheduling. At that moment, I was so excited to have someone organizing with me on this Project. Together, with Jana Cataldo in three days I started the journey of photographing families, and with my daughter helping drive me around and texting the next family, it turned out to be very fun. At least I was seeing people smiling as you can see in the photos below.
It was 8 days of sun, cold and rainy days that I photographed 110 families. Here is the link for the original Blog TheFrontStepProject by Elaine Freitas
To be able to do what I most love to do, photograph families and specially kids, I forgot about the scary time we were living. It took me three weeks from the start to finish until delivering the images to families. The response from families about their images was so rewarding that I was so grateful to be part of this project.
These portrait sessions helped me in a way of keeping me sane and connected during a time of isolation. It also helped the community, families would donate money to Acton Food Pantry. I proudly announce that together we raised $2,828.25, helping families.
This project gave me the opportunity to meet so many more people throughout our community, but it wasn’t my usual style given the restrictions(10 feet apart and in a 5 minutes photoshoot) of the pandemic. I invite you to take a look around my website to get a feel for my approach!
It has been a year since the project, and just to put together these photos from the families on the project made me smile, revisiting those images was a really awarding project in my career. With their authorization to post, forgive me if I post any images of you without your consent, just contact me and I will remove from the blog, also forgive if I didn’t post your photo, contact me as well.
I hope you make time and effort every year to do a special moment to photograph your family, Kids grow too fast and we need to make history!
Here are some kind words from the Project, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
“We wanted to participate for a few reasons, to connect with the community, to remember the good parts of the pandemic (where we get to spend so much time together as a family), and because I love the idea of getting more support for the Acton Food Pantry. I’m cherishing my time with my boys and I’m so happy you were able to capture that, thank you !” Alissa Maxwell.
“The reason I wanted to participate in #TheFrontStepsProject is because I was feeling alone in this to protect our family and also helplessly hiding in our home. This project brought us a community making us feel that we are not alone and we can support those in need safely from our home. It is a much needed bright light in a dark world. Thank You!” Jess Mozdiez
“We are grateful to have participated in the front steps project to commemorate this unique time of social distancing. Some days are easier than others, and we certainly miss our friends, routines, and activities. But we are enjoying this opportunity to spend more time just being – in nature, books, imaginative play – and less time constantly in motion! If anything, this isolation time has brought a heightened awareness of how special and unique our village and community are. We may be apart but are in this together, Thanks so much!” Jen Walsh
Capture memories of this year
Every year we are blessed to have people in our family, why wait for a wedding or special event to have a photo of the people that matter the most to us. We should celebrate every year our family. Make a tradition, kids will get use to it and love the experience. They change a lot every year.