WATCH: Portraits at a safe social distance raise money for charity

By | March 26, 2020

Photographers around the world, including here in Manitoba, are joining the Front Steps Project, a free photo series that is capturing portraits of people while practising safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Collecting donations for Winnipeg Harvest instead of payment, Casey Nolin is one of 15 photographers in the city taking family photos at a safe distance.

“It’s essentially my goal to highlight smiling faces within our community,” said Nolin. 

“We are all still here and we are all in this together.”

Using instant messaging and a zoom lens she is able to maintain no direct contact with her subjects. 

Photographer Casey Nolin is a Front Steps Project photographer who is raising money for Winnipeg Harvest. (Submitted by Casey Nolin)

Nolin originally posted the idea on Facebook in her North Kildonan community group. Since then she has received around 70 requests for portraits. 

“It’s been really nice to still be involved in my community, while still being at a safe distance and keeping myself and my family healthy,” said Nolin.

The Front Steps project first started in Massachusetts by photographer Cara Soulia and Kristen Collins and has since been picked up internationally. 

Nolin recognizes that this is a tough time for everyone around the world and she believes this project gives people an excuse to smile and get out of their pyjamas. 

Lauren Wiebe, right, and her husband Chad take a Front Steps Project photo with their 15-month old son. (Submitted by Casey Nolin)

For participant Lauren Wiebe, the project was a break from what she said was a really heavy day.

The North Kildonan mother reached out to Nolin to participate in the project and make a donation to Winnipeg Harvest. 

“I think it’s a neat way to bring a positive moment in this crazy time,” Wiebe said. 

“(It’s) a really nice five minutes to … be reminded of the things that matter.” 

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