The day I finished my editing was a weird one. Never in 4 years of full time work had I had a clean slate, Not that I’m complaining I really thrive on being busy and with a full Calendar of sessions and weddings I was always in a very fortunate position. To have no clients to work for and deliver to felt like the pits and myself like a lot of people have been on a journey coming to terms with the Covid-19 Lockdown and what it means for my business and life.
I had came across the Front-door Project, a paid for portrait style of session mainly practiced by American photographers as a way to have an income stream during lockdown, and had a lightbulb moment. I have no interest in profiting from people’s isolation but I do know that as a photographer I am drawn to document these extraordinary times in the only way I can, through photography.
I am very fortunate to be able to work at home with my husband and child also safe here with me and to top that within a small, tight knit rural community who are continuing to help each-other and remain safely social throughout these times. My neighbour two doors down has been providing live music from his front garden our local youth centre has been distributing, food, masks and sanitiser to those in need, a local baker has been making treats for key workers and best of all you cant go to the shop without chatting to two or three households across the garden, we really are a friendly bunch and I’m so proud to be a part of this community.
So I knew with such a small area of 200-250 Homes who are all very tight knit and friendly it would be easy to put my idea into practice, I took some test shots of friends and shared the concept which was then reposted by local the local shop, youth-club and residents and Doorstep Diaries was born.
The response was amazing, and far surpassed my goal of 50 homes in our small area, I would arrange to stop at a home on one of my daily walks and completed 9 photo walks from these in a 3 week period, I let households know roughly when I would be there in my hour walk and then messaged outside to take some images from the footpath so there was no contact required at all and I had a great excuse not to avoid my daily exercise!
I started this project not only for something to do but for a way to spread some joy around my little area and to see the story stretching further and further has been a dream come true and I’m so chuffed to think that I may have brought a smile to the faces of those even beyond my area.
Belfast Telegraph – Coronavirus: Our doorstep diaries… A snapshot of ordinary families who are living in an extraordinary time
Armaghi – Portadown photographer’s doorstep diaries documenting historic lockdown
Sky News – Doorstep diaries capturing lockdown memories