#TheFrontStepsProject • Calgary Newborn & Family Photographer
Inspired by a photographer in the United States, #TheFrontStepsProject caught on and spread like wildfire throughout countless cities, states, provinces, etc. and photographers all took on the amazing opportunity to document and capture this time in our lives when the whole world came to a screaming halt and, very suddenly, we all were told to #StayTheFHome.
Phrases like "social distancing" and "flatten the curve" became a part of our daily vocabularies.
Schools shut down. Gas prices plummeted. And...
People came together. Without physically coming together at all.
If you had told me even at the beginning of this year that nearly the entire planet would come into this crazy and surreal time where the highway lanes were become empty, but show up in grocery stores with one-way arrows and plastic shields covering the tills... I'd have stared at you with the most dumbfounded look on my face.
And the dumbfounded look finds it's way, still, across the expression on my face because the truth of the matter is: we have just and still are conquering one of the biggest things that will challenge our society in a long time.
(I mean, I hope so!)
My approach towards this project was not for financial gain, or to take advantage of an opportunity while the idea was enticing and adorable, and what have you.
What drives me with the entire idea of photography (bear with me, the next few words I use to describe this make it sound kind of boring) is with the hopes in documenting human life, as it is today, so that when it's looked back on it shows life as it was in that moment.
The delicious thought of history being made had me biting at the bit to get out there and capture just a few families who would be enduring the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19.
And when you think about it... I photographed nearly 40 families. That's a very, itty bitty, tiny minuscule FEW of the families (ALL of us!) who have gone through this together! All in different boats, but going through the same storm.
Ahh, the thought is altogether intimidating, overwhelming, and spine-tingling.
And so, it turned into a personal project.
Participants were asked to fill out a form and I put together schedules for 2 different days to drive around and photograph families, from the curb, on their doorsteps.
No money exchange was necessary to participate. There was an option to donate towards the Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund, of which 100% of the funds were forwarded, and I am very pleased to announce that a total of $1300 was donated! INCREDIBLE!
Amidst having taken on the project, on top of now having to homeschool two of my children and re-arrange our life as we knew it, the project ended up taking a little longer than expected. BUT it is complete, and here we are - TWO MONTHS LATER - still nearly in the same situations, with things slowly getting better, but still in a midst of uncertainty.
Luckily, with the phasing plans now in existence as we try to ease ourselves back into normalcy, I have to ask: What have people taken away so far from this entire experience?
What started out as extremely scary and nerve-racking has admittedly turned into one of the most relaxing, enjoyable times in my family's lives in a long, long time. We learned the meaning of quality time again. We found new and different things to do; I even taught myself how to crack open an egg with one hand, and wow-ed my husband the other day while making breakfast!
(And WOAH.. we made breakfast?!)
Of course, I've missed snuggling little newborn babies and shooting beautiful portraits of my loving and supportive clients, but I've also enjoyed finding a new closeness in my family and even learning some things about my kids that I simply, before all this, never really took (or made) the time to do.
After being forced to SLOW DOWN, even though it initially felt like the world had shrunk to the size of our block, it made me realize that there is more to life than scrambling about in a busy, hectic daze 365 days out of the year and that it is completely okay to just stop, relax, and enjoy whatever the day throws at you.
I guess, what it comes down to is, I am thankful.
Thankful for all of the wonderful families who took part in the project.
Thankful for the incredible individuals who donated towards a good cause.
Thankful for those who went a little bit farther and supported my business during this time.
Thankful that people were able to make the best of their situations, and look forward to seeing their adorable Front Step Photo.
Thankful that I was able to see all of the different personalities unfold from doorstep to doorstep.
Thankful that I was able to 'visit' many of my past clients - even if only for a minute and from a minimum of 6-feet away.
Thankful that I got to stay SAFE at home with my husband and children.
Thankful that I got to see, firsthand, just how smart my kids are and how they tackle their school work.
HOW THANKFUL I AM FOR TEACHERS. LOL
Thankful for the Front Line Workers who sacrificed so much to keep things running smoothly and safely.
Thankful for the Essential Workers who helped keep our world running during a time of sheer panic.
Thankful for so many things, the list could go on and on.
I am eager to get back to photographing again, and can't wait to step back into life with a whole new perspective. To never take for granted a warm hug, or not having to worry about how close I stand to someone. I hope that my children will be able to return to a school-life full of happiness without fear... I know it will take a long time to get there.
But, if this project has made something very obvious to me, it's that we will rise above this. This, too, shall pass. And that we are only getting stronger because of it!
All too soon, life will return to some sort of new normal.
Memes will start floating around, I imagine, of "can we go back into quarantine?" (#I'llPutMoneyOnIt)
So, enjoy it while you can! But once we are all set free from this mess, let's be sure to CELEBRATE!
Thank you for participating in The Front Steps Project, thank you for continually loving my photos and supporting my business and thank you all for being so friendly, smiley, and such a joy! I look forward to seeing you all again soon!
Fall Family Sessions ARE being booked, and my calendar is filling quickly! You can secure a spot with the payment of a session fee, and create your own customized package later on. Contact the studio for more information and availability.
Family Sessions can currently be arranged and shot as long as social distancing requirements are met and maintained.