Three weeks into the 2020 Corona Virus lockdown and I was starting to struggle with my mental health. Away from friends and family, in this weird isolation, I lost my photo mojo and my anxiety and depression were swiftly on the rise. Having barely left the house for 3 weeks even for the recommended daily exercise I eventually forced myself to dust off my mojo, my camera, and my bicycle and get back outside.
I didn’t set out to take doorstep portraits, I live by a river and the path runs alongside our local and on the way home going down the street I live my friends were sat out in the sun and the opportunity arose to photograph them.
I shared them on my photography page and our community page on Facebook and suddenly had people requesting me to take theirs too.
I decided to go ahead photographing portraits in my local neighbourhood and as under strict boundaries to ensure I’d be adhering to all the UK government guidelines regarding daily exercise and social distancing. I havent charged for any portraits and instead would like to raise funds for The Shrewsbury Food Bank by asking people who have a portrait to donate what they can afford and it's not compulsary.
Life is still going on albeit changed, there are still occasions to be celebrated right now in our own lives, in our own homes or streets even if for now we are socially and physically distanced.
This project has brought me joy and purpose, I’ve gotten to know even more members of my community and it’s brought them together too and raised some money for our local food bank.
I shall treasure these photos, these moments that I got to share with people at a social distance. Bright sparks in a time of grief and uncertainty. I hope they will remind us of joy and that what we all share I think is a connection, a celebration of community and ultimately of hope.
By the end of the project I had taken 180 family doorstep portraits and raised £1800 for our local food bank. xxB
All Images Copyright Birgitta Zoutman Photography