THE DOORSTEP PORTRAIT PROJECT
WHAT WAS THE DOORSTEP PORTRAIT PROJECT?
The Doorstep portrait project saw me and five other photographers in Yorkshire, partner up during the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to raise money for Harrogate Hospital.
The project had us going door-to-door across the Harrogate region, taking what we like to call Doorstep portraits. A great way to capture the bizarre shift in lifestyle brought about by COVID 19. My patch was Knaresborough and Goldsborough, where community spirit was at an all time high.
It’s amazing how a national lockdown can actually bring people together – not that I’d encourage another. The support and generosity of the community was outstanding! For me, the project started by me cycling around my patch, but was before long the subject of the regional press. Here’s why.
My models dressed up, made signs and even went to the extent of decorating their houses especially for the shoot! They truly went above and beyond to make best of a sour situation – admirable if you ask me. Although, it was capturing people celebrating their anniversary or birthday in slightly less ‘conventional’ way that was the real icing on the cake. And that was just in my patch.
Once I’d ticked off more or less every house in the neighbourhood, I turned my involvement in the project up a notch. I journeyed out to Dishforth, Boroughbridge and Ripon in search of even more portraits where I have to say the support for the NHS was astonishing. Near on every house had a rainbow on display in the window and people were more than generous, especially once they heard where the profits would be going. You can discover just how much we managed to raise below…
WHAT IS A DOORSTEP PORTRAIT?
In a nutshell, a Doorstep Portrait is much as a it sounds. A socially-distanced portrait taken at someone’s doorway or in their front garden during the first national Lockdown. The focus of the shots varied from family portraits and cute ‘coupley’ pictures to small children, pets and more. The idea stemmed from something similar that was done in the US and was adapted to abide by the government guidelines.
In the event of another national lockdown it’s likely that the Doorstep portrait project could return. Equally if you’re after photography, but would be more at home with a doorstep style shoot, do let me know.
FYI: Your safety is my top priority. I wear a mask to every shoot and do my very best to keep you and any participants safe. I do NOT require you to have Track & Trace on your phone or to have had the vaccination, so be you COVID-conscious or a conspiracy theorist you’ll be safe with me.
WHAT WERE DOORSTEP PORTRAITS USED FOR?
Doorstep portraits were different things to different people. To some a Doorstep Portrait was an opportunity to photograph a newborn baby, capture a special occasion or get some shots of their excitable pet, whereas to others it was simply a way to get some up to date photos to surprise Grandma and Grandpa with through the post.