Front porch family photos are becoming a popular addition to the walls and screen savers of many stuck at home.
Termed ‘porchtraits,’ these unique snapshots allow families to capture the growth of their littles while maintaining appropriate social distance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since most families are at home together right now, I was thinking of doing front porch family portraits,” said Charli Bouthiller, a Lumby photographer who started offering the service April 1.
“I have a nice long lens that would keep me at a safe distance. I’m honestly just bored out of my mind and this would give me some creative outlet!”
Since then, Bouthiller has captured nine family ‘porchtraits’ in the Lumby area.
“I’m trying to stay close to home so I’m only offering it to Lumby residents,” she said of the free service. “I thought it would be interesting to capture this time in history and I love having people posing at their own homes.”
Plus she adds: “I just want to bring a bit of happiness these days.”
But the idea hasn’t gone over so well with everyone. The Professional Photographers of Canada issued a statement April 9 recommending that these front porch type sessions do not take place at this critical time.
“I understand that photographers are suddenly cut off from most ‘in real life’ social contact and thus their clients; but this type of photography is not a necessary interaction, nor is it an essential service,” said Louise Vessey, PPOF chairperson.
But not everyone agrees with the PPOF’s recommendation.
“The photographers association had no right to tell photographers not to work,” said Fiona Forshaw, owner of Vernon’s Image Studio. “The CDC said any business that can operate while maintaining physical distance can do so. I can shoot with a long lens and my clients feel perfectly safe.”