Stuck in your home and looking for something to lift your spirits? Flin Flon photographer Sian King has an idea that may help.
King has started a local version of the Front Steps Project, taking family photos of people staying in their homes to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The idea of the Front Steps project began last March when Cara Soulia, a Boston-based event photographer, started taking family portraits while social distancing. The idea has spread like wildfire, including to communities throughout Canada.
King said she first heard of the idea when friends let her know about a photographer in Brandon doing portrait sessions for families staying home.
The subjects pay for the photos by donating to the Lord’s Bounty Food Bank.
“The idea really spoke to me, to be able to bring people together during a scary uncertain time through smiles and messages of love, all the while being able to continue to do the hobby I love and help out a local charity,” King said.
“I decided to choose the food bank because when things occur like they have, circumstances changing daily, we never know when it may be one of us or a loved one who may need their services. Being able to do something like this to ensure a charity like the food bank is stocked and available to the community is very important.”
The Front Steps Project shoots consist of King going to the subject’s home and observing social distancing, getting no closer than 10 feet to the subjects.
“They will meet me outside of their home. I have a 200-mm lens that I will use to keep our distance and we will have a quick five to 10 minute session,” King described.
“They can write messages of love or support to hold up if they wish that I will share on my page. All this will cost them is a donation of non-perishables that they can leave outside when we are all finished and I will collect them when they have returned inside.”
Keeping herself and others safe during the sessions is of utmost importance to king.
“For my personal safety, I plan on using gloves and I will be wiping down all donations before we bring them to the food bank,” she said.
King got the word out about her sessions not long after the outbreak began, spreading the news via Facebook posts.
“The outpouring of support has been fantastic. When I first made the event on my Facebook business page, my phone blew up with messages of interest,” she said.
“To be able to make people come out of their homes, to smile, to hold up their signs of love and support to loved ones they may not be able to see right now. The current circumstances are just a moment in our lives that we will get through. As tough as it may get, we need to have those moments of happiness and joy too, even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes on your front porch.”
Two other photographers - Dan Dillon and Alexandria Jones - have volunteered to help King take photos.
King is accepting bookings through her business Facebook page at Sian King Photography.