With all of my events cancelled/postponed until AT LEAST mid-may, I don't imagine I will be photographing much for the next few months so this is a good time to get caught up on old blog posts, BUT, the one project I had been working on is the #frontstepsproject, an idea hatched by a WONDERFUL Boston area photographer Cara Soulia (check out this article from when it started). Basically, while in a forced down time, instead of feeling sorry for herself, Cara decided to figure out a way to make the world a better place. She visited with local families, took a quick (5 minute), socially distanced portrait, free of charge, and only asked for a donation to a local charity. After contemplating this for a couple of days, I saw that a great friend and another WONDERFUL photographer (Seriously, I don't know any better wedding photographer in our area) Rebecca Garone had compiled over 50 families to visit in Derry and Sandown and was soliciting help to cover the overwhelming number of people. I decided on that Saturday night to reach out to the local town Facebook pages in Mont Vernon, Amherst and Milford, to see if anyone was interested in participating and helping me raise money for SHARE Outreach, in Milford. I only lined up 7 families the first Sunday, so it was a quick trial run (while also delivering Girl Scout Cookies for my step daughter).
We captured some wonderful images, and after posting them to the local town pages, I picked up another sixteen families to visit with the following Saturday.
By this time, a "Stay at home" order had been ordered by the Governor and after completing that round of visits, interest exploded to over 40 additional families. I had set up routes to visit Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday the following week, but after visiting a few Tuesday and Wednesday, My family and I decided to take a step back from it with all of the safety concerns (despite always maintaining a safe distance from everyone). We still have a list of families I promise to visit when we get the all clear, and there is a wait list at: https://forms.gle/iVUuG1RpBeRjkKWP7.
In addition to putting a few smiles on people's faces, raising a few dollars for an incredible charity (over $1000 so far!), this project has in some ways given me a sense of purpose, and also kept my mind off of some sense of hopelessness that is shared by everyone! I look forward to resuming this when it is safe, and thank EVERYONE for participating and looking to participate in the (hopefully) near future! Please enjoy this slideshow featuring one shot of each of the 35 families I've visited so far!